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Toyota Probox facelift: Van legacy in Japan

Functional, spacious and very cheap: The Probox, which is partly very cheaply made inside and out, simply does not want to disappear from Toyota's model range in Japan. Now he gets a new equipment line.

Everyone knows that from the annual spring cleaning: No matter how thoroughly you scour through and clean every corner conscientiously - somewhere there is this unnoticed spot that simply remains dirty, in case of doubt for all eternity. It's similar at Toyota right now: The Japanese are turning their previous model strategy inside out and presenting in one fell swoop an electric range of 15 models in order to position themselves new and broadly for the future. But there is this one legacy that just won't go away and will last for decades. In the case of Toyota, their name is Probox.

Never heard of it? Understandable, after all, the very boxy designed van only exists in Japan. But there since an eternity; The model celebrated its market launch as early as 2002. At a time when normal automobile series would be about to undergo the third fundamental model change, Toyota only granted the Probox a few extremely subtle facelift measures - the word "facelift" would already be an exaggeration . The last optical retouching was also seven years ago.

Now also with electric windows

Again, Toyota does not do more than necessary to keep the Probox, which is primarily intended for stingy traders, reasonably up-to-date. There's a new trim line, called the GX, that gives the Probox power front-row windows, power-folding door mirrors, and tinted rear windows. Of course, we don't want to omit the accessory socket, which is also included in the scope of equipment.

The Probox may be a low-budget, low-tech vehicle. Nevertheless, since the last major model refresh in autumn 2018 - typically Toyota - it has been available with a hybrid drive. The system combines a 74 hp and a maximum of 111 Newton meters strong 1.5-liter petrol engine with an electric motor that contributes a maximum of 45 kW (61 hp) and 169 Newton meters. Together, the engines have an output of 73 kW (100 hp); the electrical energy is supplied by a nickel-metal hybrid battery. A CVT transmission is integrated into the hybrid system as well as into the drives of the pure combustion engine versions. The Toyota Probox is alternatively available with a 95 hp 1.3 liter petrol engine and a 1.5 liter engine that delivers 109 hp. Individual model variants are even available with all-wheel drive.

Rudimentary Safety Sense package

For three years now, the Japanese van has even been equipped with Toyota's Safety Sense package, which works on the basis of a monocular camera and a radar system. Okay, it's not as extensively equipped here as, for example, in the new electric SUV BZ4X . But an automatic emergency brake assistant with pedestrian detection, which only works in the light, a lane departure warning and an automatic high beam are better than nothing, right?

You shouldn't expect more for a base price of around 11,500 euros (1,491,000 yen, to be exact). The most expensive Toyota Probox is in the price list at 2,014,000 yen (about 15,600 euros). The new GX model is pretty much in the middle at 1,790,000 yen (almost 13,900 euros).


It will be interesting to see how long this senior among automobiles will last. In any case, there is still no end in sight for the Probox manufactured by Toyota's subsidiary Daihatsu. However, one should not be too sure: The Probox started its career with the slightly longer, but otherwise almost identical sister model Succeed. But this was discontinued last year after 18 years of construction.


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