We try to be experts about the auto market at Motor1.com, but the global industry is so vast that there are vehicles that we aren't aware of. As a perfect example, here's the Toyota Probox. Judging by our comments, there is a vocal group of people who want a no-frills machine that doesn't have a lot of tech. This van does exactly that.
Toyota launched the Probox in Japan in 2002 and introduced an updated version in 2014. It aims the model at the commercial light van market, rather than the general public. This becomes obvious when you look inside and see the very simple cabin. The instrument cluster amounts to a massive speedometer with a small digital display below it.
Gallery: Toyota Probox
The dashboard is even more basic. There's a phone holder next to the steering wheel, which is convenient for workers. There's absolutely no infotainment system. Even a stereo head unit isn't standard. Although, this isn't uncommon in Japan where low-frills models like this leave it up to owners to select one to install after the vehicle's purchase.
The HVAC controls are plain and easy to understand. There are two circular control panels for changing the temperature and fan settings. An orange display shows the selections.
Currently, the Probox is available with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder with 94 horsepower (70 kilowatts), a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 107 hp (80 kW), and a hybrid-assisted 1.5-liter. All models use a CVT, and there's a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
We only learned about the Probox because Toyota just announced an expansion to the lineup. The new GX grade will launch in Japan on January 6, 2022. It'll have amenities like power front windows, power-folding mirrors, an AC100V/100W accessory outlet, and privacy glass.
Given its simplicity, the Probox's low price shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Prices range from at 1.491 million yen ($13,054 at current exchange rates) to 2.014 million yen ($17,632). The new GX fits into the middle at 1.790 million yen ($15,670.55). These prices are before Japan's vehicle recycling fee.
If you want more style, TRD offers a front splitter, clear lights, and different 14-inch wheel designs for the Probox.