In addition to the good payload capacities, the volume of the cargo space at the rear of the Proace is also competitive. The short-wheelbase model comes with up to five cubic metres of room, with the long-wheel base and high-roof models offering six cubic metres and seven cubic metres respectively.
In its crew cab format, which adds an extra layer of seats and thus reduces the load volume as a result, there can still be up to 3.6 cubic metres of space on board, making it easy to manage equipment, products and pallets as and when required.
Loading the Proace is simple thanks to sliding doors at the sides, swing doors at the rear and the low load sill height of just 562mm. So for jobs that require regular access to the rear, it will be especially convenient.
Toyota has often placed an emphasis of the safety features which it offers on its vehicles, with the Proace being no exception in this respect. The cab comes with up to four airbags to keep drivers and passengers well protected, while an anti-skid stability system makes it easier for the van to gain traction even on slippery road surfaces.
Hill-start assist and hill control capabilities make heading up inclines a breeze, as well as preventing the van from rolling backwards and causing issues when it is stationary on slopes.
Automatic headlights are also included thanks to a dash-mounted sensor, meaning they will come on as soon as the sunlight starts to fade, making the Proace visible as night falls. The same automation is added to the wipers to keep rain and road spray off the windscreen without requiring that the driver constantly reaches for the controls.
These safety features come together to limit driver fatigue and make sure that people who use a Proace can reach their destination in a better frame of mind than would otherwise be possible to maintain.
Although the Proace will usually spend most of its time on the road, Toyota also recognises that this type of van will probably end up being taken on to construction sites and other areas where tarmac is not the main surface. As such, this van range can come with a number of selectable traction settings, letting drivers adapt to the terrain they are facing, whether it is sandy, slippery or especially rough and uneven.
This is not just about making sure that the van avoids skids - it also ensures that it does not get bogged down and stuck in situations which might necessitate the assistance of other vehicles to overcome.
The Proace is a successful replacement for Toyota’s older Hiace range and has found favour with drivers in the UK thanks to a combination of its solid features and its association with the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert, with which it shares a platform.