Here’s another obscure oddity from Toyota: The Probox. The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) has always been a Pandora’s Box of unique cars and JDM-exclusive versions of more well-known cars, so this may not be the only one I’ve never been aware of. I stumbled into this one in doing some research on the Avanza, but the two wagons have little in common, except for their 1NZ engines. Update: I used google to translate the Probox website, and it is available in both FWD and AWD versions. Toyota has offered AWD on a number of Yaris-platform vehicles, including the bB, which was what the gen1 Scion Xb was based on.
The Probox was specifically designed for the domestic market, as a low-end commercial-oriented compact wagon, and came out in 2002.
A somewhat higher-trim version is also sold as the Succeed. They sit on a 100.4″ (2550mm) wheelbase, and is 165.2 inches (4195mm) long. That wheelbase length tips it off: that’s the same as the Yaris Verso/Ractis, so it shares their platform; a lengthened Yaris, in essence. Now what other Toyotas don’t I know about?
That top pic just screams VW to me. Odd.
It did to me too.
Me too, to the extent that I thought “if that’s a Toyota, in what market is Toyota building wagons for VW or vice versa?” The grille is a dead ringer for the current VW lineup, especially the Jetta. (To me, anyway.)
Yep, my first thought was the whole front is very similar to current Jetta and Passat. It’s a fairly handsome looking vehicle, most things these size try to be too cutesy or funky (looking at you Spark…), forgetting that adults might like a small car too.
I shopped these while looking for a used JDM car to export for a posting in Malawi in 2007, but they tended to be relatively pricey and high mileage. Ended up with a diesel, five speed all wheel drive Toyota Town Ace Noah instead.
Proboxes can be had with front or all wheel drive, 1.3, or 1.5 litre petrol engines, or a 1.4 litre turbodiesel.
The specs on this link are not exhaustive, but an interesting site anyway: http://specs.amayama.com/toyota/probox/
Paul, I’m surprised you didn’t look here: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Probox (Searching trick: on Wikipedia pictures, when you click all the way through to the picture’s own page, down at the bottom are links to all articles in all languages that use it, which are occasionally more complete than the English article.)
Google translate says it’s all-wheel-drive. About the same wheelbase but 10% shorter than the first-gen Subaru Legacy.
As I suspected, Toyota could have directly competed with Subaru Legacy in North America, but has decided to keep AWD in the higher-profit crossover segments.
I’m 99% certain that it’s primarily FWD, but that the AWD was an option. You might try having google translate the Probox Toyota Japanese web site. I’ve learned that not everything wikipedia says is true.
Toyota has offered an AWD option for a number of Yaris-based small cars for years. In fact the gen1 Xb, which was the Bb in Japan, had AWD as an option. There’s been lots of speculation as to why it was never offered in the US. I’d love to have my Xb be AWD!
I did it myself: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ftoyota.jp%2Fproboxvan%2F
It comes in both FWD and AWD versions, as I suspected.
I think that Succeed would succeed here. Most modern minivans are far too maxi.
Enjoying the non-US machines, keep ’em comin’.
You probably never heard of one of these, but I suspect that is actually somebody else’s product rebadged like the electric pallet jacks which appear to be Crown products.
Here’s a nice website for those interested in JDM vehicles. It’s a Japanese website for used cars, but can be viewed in English. Visit http://www.tradecarview.com to enter the world of Japanes Domestic Models. Lots of beautiful automobiles we have to miss out on here in Europe. Lots of weird cars too, especially from Toyota. In the picture a prime example…
This or a Scion Xb with AWD would sell like hotcakes up here in the Reno Tahoe AWD Belt.
The Probox is something we see on and off here in Sri Lanka, since we do import a lot of used JDM cars which begin their second lives on our shores. But it’s not that common even here.
As for Toyotas you may not have heard about here’s one from a local auto sales website…. The Toyota Alphard. It may look like a smaller Sienna, but this is pure JDM MPV madness..
And here’s it’s more upmarket sibling, the “Vellfire”, complete with executive jet style seating no less!
Toyota Alphard, which is now a rather common sight here in Jakarta, along with its brother the Vellfire, is something that does not exists in the US: a luxury minivan! Yes, some people insists their luxury car is a MPV. It’s somewhat of an aspirational vehicle here, helped by the fact that our President has one. It’s based on the Camry chassis, and shared its engines, and quite luxurious and expensive, priced at something like $80,000 and up. Now the probox, that’s rare. People who buy imported cars wants something cool and exclusive, so a barebone utility car, with styling to match, isn’t exactly popular. I never knew it’s based on the Yaris, I thought it has Corolla’s chassis.
Come to New Zealand Paul! You’ll see more Toyotas that you didn’t know about than you can imagine! Plenty of Proboxii, and scores of other oddities to keep you amused/puzzled for weeks! One of my fave weird Toyotas is the Will VS. The black ones look like Darth Vader’s helmet on wheels. Even the interior is way different!
I love the design of that car, but when I was looking for a car last year, they were *just* out of my price range. The rest of the WiLL range is pretty hideous.
It’s like the aftermath of a Lancia Stratos and a Peugeot 306 getting waaaay too drunk…
These wagons are fairly popular in Peru, all I have seen are white.