Toyota Probox: The ideal delivery van

Thursday February 04 2021
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By Mustafa Ziraba

Having some of the longest model years, 2002 through 2014, then an updated model in 2014 onwards, the Probox is one of the most popular cars among small business owners looking for a delivery van that is cheap, reliable and versatile. The spacious boot, thanks to the folding rear seats, makes it ideal for small business owners as a delivery van.

Exterior

When it comes to looks, many early models of Japanese budget cars come quite close to zero effort from the design department. You take a look at the car and wonder who had offended the designer, or how on earth did this make it into production? This car looks just as the name suggests, a Box. The edges are straight, there is no inspiration when you look at it, actually it stands out as a very boring car and the flat rear does not help much in redeeming its looks.

Most come in white and a few in silver. It shall look even more bland in any colour different from those two. To top it off, the Probox only comes with the old school steel rims just to emphasise the economy nature from the design standpoint. However, the black plastic bumper discontinuities give the eyes a break from the long boxy shape and that is a good thing.

Interior

The Toyota Probox is an economical car with a van inclination and, therefore, making it minimally comfortable. At the first row, the seats are manually adjustable with sufficient legroom for tall people. On the second row, which is a fully flat bench seat, space is tight and tall passengers will feel squeezed.

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The materials are fully plastic although durable to take all the expected abuse, wear and tear. This car is largely bought for business purposes so the size of the boot is a key consideration.

How much space do you have and how much luggage can you cram into the car? Well the Probox does not disappoint. There is a large boot and gets even bigger when the rear seats are folded down. At the front, there are four cup holders, door panel storage, storage spaces below the dashboard, an open storage box and a tray in between the seats. At the back, the only storage is on the door pockets. With no bells and whistles, the Probox interior straight up tells you that this is a car to get you and your cargo from    point A to B in the most practical and economic fashion.

Driving dynamics

You would assume the Probox to perform much worse in this regard, but you will be pleasantly surprised. The car handles itself surprisingly well at moderate speeds. At higher speeds, you might feel some wobbles here and there but nothing to worry about. There is some cabin noise at high speed but I guess this is okay for an economical car.

The Probox comes with three VVTi armed engine sizes, 1.3L 2NZ-FE inline four petrol engine, 1.4L 1ND-TV D4D inline four diesel engine or the 1.5L 1NZ-FE inline four Petrol all mated to either an automatic or manual transmission with a two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive option.

It produces 84 horsepower and 121 Nm of torque at 4400rpm on the 1.3L petrol engine and 109 horsepower and 141Nm of torque at 4200rpm for the 1.5L petrol engine. The diesel variant of the Probox although very rare is equipped with a turbocharger giving it a power output of 89 horsepower and 205Nm of torque at 2800rpm. Fuel consumption for the 1.3L and 1.5L petrol variants that are regularly available is 15 and 18kms per litre, respectively. The 1.4 Diesel may do up to 23kms to the litre.

Overall, however, the Probox drives well.

Value

There are many good reasons why the Probox line remains popular among small business owners. Excellent fuel economy, Toyota reliability, low maintenance costs, versatility and perhaps resale value. If one is not obsessed with the appearance of the car and rather interested in the performance and fuel efficiency, the Toyota Probox is the right choice for you. You are bound to get your money’s worth with close to zero regrets if you use it for its intended purpose.

Specifications

Maximum power         72 - 109ps

Fuel Consumption       13 - 19km/L

Drive Type      AWD/FF

Engine Capacity          1,298 - 1,496cc

Number of Seats         5

Improved. On August 30, 2016, Toyota Probox van was partly improved and released for sale again. As a result of the improvement, collision avoidance assist package (Toyota Safety Sense C) was added as an standard equipment.

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