Toyota announces safety upgrade

Toyota announces safety upgrade

It’s been a year since everyone’s lives were drastically changed. This change has seen individuals and companies alike introducing new ways of doing things. Toyota is no exception …

South Africa’s most-loved people mover has received an upgrade in response to the prevailing Covid-19 operating conditions. In support of the local taxi industry, and to ensure the safety of both drivers and commuters, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has introduced an upgraded driver guard to the Ses’fikile commuter.

This enhanced driver guard provides additional protection for the driver against possible Covid-19 transmission – thereby providing enhanced peace of mind for both drivers and passengers.

All Hiace Ses’fikile models produced from October 2020 onwards are fitted standard with the Covid-19 driver guard.

Not only a willingness to change

This isn’t the first time that Toyota has kept the taxi industry’s interests close to heart. A stellar example is when TSAM made the decision to reintroduce the 14-seater version of the previous-generation people carrier under the Hiace nameplate, following the release of the new Quantum in May, 2019 (sporting the semi-bonnet design).

While the semi-bonnet Quantum has moved up in calibre, demand still existed for a value-focused people mover. With this in mind, the previous generation 14-seater Quantum was rebranded as Hiace – joining its Ses’Fikile 16-seater minibus stablemate under this naming convention.

Specifications remain unchanged, with only a single diesel model being offered. The proven 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine, delivering 75kW and 260Nm, drives the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.

A wonderful benefit as well

A key differentiator between the 14-seater Quantum and the reintroduced Hiace 14-seater is the driver’s licence requirement. Due to GVM classification, the Hiace 14-seater remains classified as a light commercial vehicle (LCV) and thus doesn’t require a Code-10 licence.

And while the Hilux has enjoyed a long stint as the country’s favourite vehicle, the Hiace has – for the past few years – maintained a steady market share of above 95% in its segment.

“We are particularly proud of the role played by our dealers and our customers in making Toyota the leading brand in the LCV segment. A segment leadership of 41,4% is not to be sniffed at,” says Leon Theron, senior vice president of sales and marketing at TSAM.

“Our products in this segment range from Hilux and Land Cruiser bakkies supporting the agricultural sector to Hiace taxis anchoring the local transport system – as well as lifestyle afficionados who love the comfort of the double-cabs while appreciating their utilitarian qualities.”

Semi-bonnet design

The biggest departure from the previous Quantum model was undoubtedly the change from a cab-over to semi-bonnet design. The latest design provides for a more spacious interior and modernised look with enhanced aerodynamics. This stylish revision to the Quantum has increased the overall length and passenger space, with improved leg room and seating comfort.

The width of the sliding-door opening has been increased by 70 mm, enhancing the ease of access in combination with a large step (with LED lamp on GL Bus). The sliding-door opening on the SLWB panel van has been widened, enabling Euro-size pallets to be loaded via the side and rear sliding doors.

The semi-bonnet configuration, with its relocated engine and renewed suspension and peripheral undercarriage parts, also helps to provide a powerful, stable and quiet ride for sustained comfort even on long commutes.

The Quantum’s new 2.8-litre engine adopts a turbocharger with intercooler, which helps produce powerful dynamic performance while enhancing fuel economy and quietness.

The four-cylinder, 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW at 3400 r/min and peak torque of 420 Nm at 1400-2600 r/min on all panel vans and the 11-seater bus model. The 14-seater bus delivers power of 115 kW at 3600 r/min and peak torque of 420 Nm at 1600-2200 r/min.

A MacPherson strut suspension is adopted for the front and a leaf spring suspension for the rear – conferring ample suspension stroke. The suspension helps achieve excellent straight-line stability as well as a quiet and comfortable ride.

The braking system – comprising front ventilated discs and rear drum brakes – was designed to deliver reliable stopping performance regardless of the road surface condition, loaded weight or number of passengers.

The turning circle of the LWB version spans 5,5 m and 6,4 m for the SLWB.

Added convenience for Quantum

The Quantum range now sports added comfort and convenience features along with exterior upgrades on selected models. The GL bus inherits 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/65-R16 tyres (replacing the previously used steel versions), while also standardising the wheel size between 11 and 14-seater models.

A new upgraded rear-view mirror incorporates an auto-dimming function (electro chromatic), as well as reverse camera display. The newly added reverse camera provides drivers with a clear view behind the vehicle, offering improved visibility while also promoting safety.

Panel van and crew cab derivatives also benefit from the auto-dimming rear-view mirror and reverse camera upgrade.

Model line-up rationalisation

Based on market response and customer feedback, Toyota South Africa has have reduced the number of derivatives within the panel van and crew cab ranges. The non-air-conditioned models have been discontinued while the crew cab line-up has been simplified by deleting the rear air-conditioned version from the line-up.

Model line-up

Quantum 2.8 LWB Panel Van 3-s
Quantum 2.8 SLWB Panel Van 3-s
Quantum 2.8 LWB Crew Cab 6-s
Quantum 2.8 LWB GL Bus 11-s
Quantum 2.8 SLWB GL Bus 14-s
Quantum 2.8 LWB VX Bus 9-s

All models are sold with a nine-services/90 000 km service plan and three-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are set at 12 months/10 000 km.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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