The Probox/Succeed light van has maintained a stable demand over a long period of time since its launch in 2002. It has undergone minor changes for the first time in 12 years.
Fuel efficiency was improved in order to correspond with the environmental standards and the latest safety standards; in addition to that, its indoor practicality was also greatly improved.
The latest improvement brought about the utilization of a new power train which in turn resulted to the modification of the platform accordingly. Having said that, it is not a full-scale update as it is a minor change; the front portion was done in the current Vitz series to correspond with the equipment of the CVT.
As for the rear portion, the dedicated specification of the Probox/Succeed is being maintained . Next, for the upper body, there were portions that were altered for the sake of providing pedestrian protection; however, these did not receive drastic modifications since there was basically no need to change it.
It is equipped with a 1.5 liter engine which is an improved version of the existing 1NZ-FE type based on the 1.3 liter 1NR-FE type that is equipped to the Vitz and the like. Both of them are furnished with a VVT-i convertible valve timing mechanism on both sides of the intake and exhaust; furthermore, a low fuel consumption was achieved by mating it to the super CVT-i.
The natural feel of the performance of the 1.5 liter engine equipped UL-X which I was able test drive did not give me any reason to be dissatisfied. There were also concerns that the utilization of the CVT for the improvement of the fuel efficiency would become a negative if it is considered for its functionality, but its actual performance has the favorable impression of the smoothness of the CVT and it does not have a negative impression.
The chassis has an electronically operated power steering system that is responsive to the car’s speed; the utilization of a constant capacity assist motor brings about a friction-less and refined steering feel. This is also a portion which has a favorable impression.
Regarding the indoor equipment, the driver’s seat up to the place within hand’s reach guarantees a space that can store necessary things for the business scene which thoroughly raises its practicality.
It includes a center tray(drink holder + with illumination) which can store a one liter paper pack beverage, a large instrument panel table can accommodate an A4 size laptop or a bento, and a multi-holder that can be used as a storage place for information systems such as smart phones is assembled in the center cluster.
A tray (with a cup holder) that can hold a business bag was installed in the center console portion that is immediately on the side of the driver’s seat by making the parking brake into a style that is foot operated.
With regards to safety, it has a pedestrian injury mitigation and an anti-skid device VSC and TRC, a hill start assist, and a standard emergency brake signal which is equipped all over the car. In addition, the front brake of the entire car was made bigger thereby raising its braking power.
The price of the UX-L vehicle that I test drove is about 1.5 million yen. Toyota’s 1.0 liter engine equipped Passo is the cheapest car but if you are going to look at the line-up with the 1.3 liter and 1.5 liter equipped engine, you will realize that its price was configured to overlap with that of the Passo.
The impression that it is a car that is completely for corporate usage was strengthened since there will no longer be a wagon due to the latest improvement; however its functionality in business usage will probably continue to be highly valued.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Hiroshi Matsushita | Car Critic
Born in 1951 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. He is former journalist for the car industry and editor of a car magazine before becoming a freelancer. He is known for his strength in economical discussions related to car and money such as tax, insurance and miscellaneous expenses. He writes an online diary almost every day.
(Translated by Michael Sabaldan)