When it comes to all-round real-world usability, Toyota has the best small and medium vans on the market, according to What Car? which has today named Proace and Proace City as “best for practicality” class winners its first van awards.

It’s a comprehensive success for the models, which cover the most competitive segments in the market. Going beyond a capacious load space and high payload, both offer an ingenious Smart Cargo system which extends carrying capacity for longer items through the bulkhead with a folding passenger seat mechanism. Smart Cargo is provided as standard on all new Proace vans and is available as an option or standard, according to equipment grade, on Proace City.

Commenting on the award for Proace, Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, said: “Our judges selected the Proace because the practical nature of a van extends beyond the vehicle’s simple shell.”

He added that practicality “goes beyond the load space,” drawing attention to the lay-out of the “comfortable” cabin and the availability of “clever tech” options that can help reduce driver fatigue and take some of the stress out of driving.

Turning to Proace City, Huntingford said: “This van can carry almost 4m3, with payloads up to 1,000kg… and it has the longest load length of any vehicle in its class. Further upticks follow because you can have your vehicle in a variety of sizes, with standard or long wheelbase options.”

Stuart Ferma, General Manager Toyota and Lexus Fleet Sales, said: “Proace and Proace City are central to the scope and appeal of our Toyota Professional LCV range, so it is very rewarding to see their designed-in practicality being rewarded by What Car? Together these models cover a wide span of business customer needs, answering not just the requirements for carrying capability, but for being safe, efficient, comfortable and reliable, too.”