By Steve & Tamami Laser
Compact vans are big business in Europe where they’re offered by a variety of nameplates including Ford, Volkswagen, Nissan and more. Following up the success of the midsize Toyota Proace vans, the automaker is preparing to roll out its new smaller Proace City and Verso models for 2020.
Toyota plans to introduce the new models at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, UK, on April 30. Like their larger siblings, Proace City and Verso are developed in collaboration with Groupe PSA that offers similar compact vans with Peugeot, Citroën, and Open/Vauxhall nameplates.
While the new vans target the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market, the Proace City Verso is designed as a versatile people mover/cargo hauler with seating options including a 60/40 split-folding bench in the second row and an available third-row bench.
All of the passenger seats fold flat, including the front seat, for quick and easy conversion to a cargo van. A panoramic-style roof is on the option list including an available aircraft-style overhead storage locker.
Proace City Verso offers high-tech features including an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen system with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, Bluetooth®, and USB/Aux connections. A head-up display is also on the option list, and so is a wireless smartphone charger.
The Proace City cargo delivers the goods with a choice of two different lengths, panel van or side and rear glass versions, asymmetrical or top-hinged rear doors, and a “crew cab” option. While specific powertrains have not yet been announced, a range of gas and diesel engines with 5- or 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic transmissions will be available.
Toyota says that Proace City is “one of the few vehicles in its class that can accommodate two Euro paletts.” Adding the Smart Cargo system option gives “best-in-class load length capability of 3.1m for the short version and 3.4m for the long, while the maximum payload is another class-best figure at one ton.”
The roster of available safety features includes a Pre-Collision System, Road Sign Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic High Beam, Sway Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a Blind Spot Monitor.
Sales of the new Proace City and Verso are expected to begin in Europe in early 2020. Could they come to America? While both would have little trouble finding buyers, obstacles remain including a stiff tariff on imported trucks. However, with Ford, Nissan and Ram offering compact commercial vans in the U.S., perhaps Toyota would like to join the party?
For more information visit Toyota Europe
Note: Features, specifications, launch dates and availability for European models is subject to change without notice
News source and photos courtesy Toyota Motor Europe and Toyota (GB) PLC
Story (text) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com