Toyota’s popular minibus, the Quantum now in new guise with short nose
The vehicle that defines in many aspects, passenger transportation in southern Africa, Toyota’s ever popular and affordable Quantum, has just seen the launch of the new model line-up.
Defining the new Quantum is a bigger, stronger diesel engine, moved forward to increase interior space. By necessity, this required an extension of the previous Quantum’s flat front with the result that it now sports a short bonnet, or a semi-bonnet as Toyota calls it.
The significant shift in design creates more room inside, gives the Quantum a modern commuter look and improves its aerodynamics. The new model is also a tad longer than the previous one.
Other exterior features for the Quantum include new 16-inch steel wheels as well as newly-designed large multi-functional side mirrors (power-retractable on GL models) to enhance visibility.
The new Quantum is available as an 11 or 14-seater bus, or as a 3 or 6-seater panel van.
All models are driven by a 2.8 litre turbo-charged diesel with intercooler.
In the panel van and the 11-seater minibus, the four-cylinder engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW at 3400 rpm and peak torque of 420 Nm from 1400 to 2600 rpm. The 14-seater bus produces 115 kW at 3600 rpm, also with a torque rating of 420 Nm but from 1600 to 2200 rpm.
The 6-speed manual transmission reflects the vehicle’s utility pedigree, designed for excellent fuel consumption and dynamic performance. Suspension comes from MacPhersons in front and conventional leaf springs in the rear. Braking comprises disks in front and drums on the rear wheels.
Inside, a more spacious seating arrangement has been attained by increasing the cabin length and width for better legroom and headroom. The colours, patterns, and shapes are coordinated throughout the interior to create a travelling space with an open feel.
The side door is now some 70 mm wider.
The new Quantum is equipped with various active and passive safety technologies. The Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution ensures that maximum braking power is produced without locking the tyres and distributes optimal braking force to the left and right wheels.
Vehicle Stability Control suppresses a sudden loss of vehicle stability during cornering; and when on an incline the Hill-Assist Control system will temporarily keep the vehicle from rolling back.
It is also fitted with Trailer Sway Control that will automatically detect excessive movement of the trailer and uses the brakes and engine power to help reduce the sway, keeping the driver in control.
Other passive safety systems include driver and front passenger airbags, and with the adoption of the semi-bonnet configuration, impact energy in the event of a collision is absorbed. For security, a wireless door lock and an alarm and immobiliser are provided.
The old Quantum has not been discontinued though. It is now called the Hiace, like the predecessor of the Quantum, and continues to be built by Toyota at their factory in South Africa.
The new Quantum, depending on derivative of which there are nine, retails around N$500,000 with the top model going for around N$620,000.
The previous Quantum, now the Hiace, is the budget commuter, costing between N$425,000 and N$450,000 depending on the engine that can either be a 2.7 litre petrol or a 2.5 litre diesel. The Hiace is specced for 16 pax.
All Quantum models come with a 9-service/90,000 km service plan with service intervals at 12 months or 10,000km. Toyota’s standard 3-year/100,000 km warranty is also provided.