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Monday / 17 January 2022
HomeFeaturesToyota Quantum VX Premium review – A benchmark setter

Toyota Quantum VX Premium review – A benchmark setter

The Toyota Quantum name is synonymous with carrying South Africans to-and-fro every day.

However, now in its sixth generation, there is a high-end version – called the VX Premium – which is sold as a luxury transporter.

As a direct rival to the VW CaravelleMercedes-Benz V-Class, and Hyundai Staria – I was fortunate to test drive one.

Executive carrier

With the rise of SUVs, people-carrying vans are not as popular as they used to be, and they’ve become quite expensive.

This is perhaps where Toyota saw the opportunity for a niche product – an “executive shuttle”.

At a shade over R1 million for the nine-seater, 2.8-litre diesel automatic model, it’s better priced than the VW and Mercedes-Benz by at least R150,000.

Although it’s the same engine found in the 2.8 GD-6 Hilux, it puts out a more sedate 115kW and a stump-pulling 420Nm is available from 1,600rpm-2,200rpm.

These figures get the Toyota bus moving in a hurry.

There’s more than enough power in just about any situation – even fully loaded – letting you accelerate, pass, and maintain highway cruising speeds when needed.

The six-speed automatic sends drive to the rear wheels and does so very smoothly.

You can also set the radar-based cruise control on journeys and leave the van to do the rest, while the lane departure guidance and warning system require just the slightest inputs to keep the van tracking within its lane.

Cross-traffic alert, I found, turned out to be the most useful safety feature when reversing a 5.3m-long bus into the street – as the sensors pick up oncoming traffic when you can’t see what’s next to you.

Expect fuel consumption of around 12.0l/100km on anything other than the open road, though, as during my drives the 8.7l/100km claim remained just that.

Planted

As a result of the technology, massive glass panes, and seating, you feel more in command in the drive, which is not unusual for a van.

The driver or front passenger seats are also among the most comfortable in the market, despite their lack of captain’s-style armrests, heating, or cooling.

This bears special mention because these features are built into the two infinitely-adjustable captain’s chairs in the second row – which basically fold into reclining beds complete with a footrest – setting the Quantum VX apart from anything in its class.

Cramming nine seats into this Quantum forces compromise in all the other rows, however, as there isn’t enough space to have this setup work comfortably for all passengers.

Toyota has also released a six-seat version – three rows of two seats – which is far more suited to this application than the nine-seater I had.

It’s also R30,000 cheaper.

Setting the benchmark

I have not driven the new Volkswagen T6 Caravelle, but the previous generation was always the benchmark for me until the Mercedes-Benz Vito I reviewed earlier this year.

The Quantum VX Premium is now the new contender in this segment if you can put up with the styling.

There’s a lot of chrome on the front grille, door handles, and rear garnishing.

Inside, the cream leather interior, beige roof-lining, and carpeting are not the most practical colours for a people mover. They may be better suited to sombre executives.

There’s an air of exclusivity that it possessed, though, which I’ve only ever experienced driving large executive sedans.

This is only amplified when the rear doors slide open electrically to reveal the fully reclined business-class seating in the rear.

Verdict

After a week and around 500km with the 9-seater Quantum VX Premium, I handed the keys back, sad to see it leave my driveway.

While not perfect, it offers fantastic value relative to its competitors.

Until I have a chance to drive the Hyundai Staria, there would definitely be a Quantum VX in my garage over any similarly-priced SUV.

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