Toyota Quantum review
Moving the nation
The Quantum name is synonymous with quality, and along with the Hiace name is virtually interchangeable with ‘minibus’ in South Africa. As such, it’s always big news when a new Quantum comes along – especially when it is as good as this one!
While the Quantum name has been retained for this new vehicle, it is an all-new bus from the ground up, with a few major changes to the blueprint that has proven so successful for so many years.
First up, the new generation Quantum makes use of a ‘semi-bonnet’ design as opposed to a ‘cab-over’ design, and this is immediately apparent in the very different shape of the vehicle. In addition to the practical benefits (more space, better ergonomics, better safety), the new design looks far more modern and attractive.
The new shape also benefits from a new engine, in the form of the 2.8-litre GD-6 turbodiesel unit that does duty in the Hilux and Fortuner and which is eminently suitable to this new application, having high torque (420Nm) as well as power (130kW). The 14-seater bus gets a detuned version of the same engine, with 115kW and 420Nm. A six-speed manual gearbox is used across the range.
Ride quality, all-important for a vehicle that’s main job is transporting passengers, has been significantly improved thanks to new suspension, leaf-spring in the rear and MacPherson strut in the front. The additional width and length of the vehicle also adds to the passenger comfort levels, with better legroom and headroom, while the sliding door has been made 70mm wider for easier access.
Active safety systems, of paramount importance, include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which ensure that the maximum braking power is produced without locking the tyres and distributes optimal braking force to the left and right wheels.
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) suppresses a sudden loss of vehicle stability during cornering; and when on an incline the Hill-Assist Control (HAC) system will temporarily keep the vehicle from rolling back.
The Quantum is also outfitted with Trailer Sway Control (TSC) that will automatically detect excessive movement of the trailer and uses the brakes and engine power to help reduce it, keeping you in control.
Driver and front passenger airbags further increase safety, while the new ‘semi-bonnet’ construction absorbs impact energy in the event of a collision.
A new vehicle obviously deserves a new interior, and the Quantum has been decked out to cater for comfort and convenience. The increased dimensions and spaciousness are complemented by an interior that has used colour, patterns and shapes specially chosen to an open feel.
The new Quantum range is made up of nine different models, from 3-seat panel vans though 6-seat crew cabs to the GL Bus models, available in 11-seat and 14-seat capacity. (If you’re wondering what the taxi owners will do with fewer seats, rest assured that they are still adequately catered for by the new Hiace Ses’fikile, which is the new name of the previous Quantum that will continue to be made, complete with 16 seats and the familiar 2.7 petrol and 2.5 diesel engines.)
The new generation Quantum people movers are priced from R482 600 for the entry-level Crew Cab (six-seater) version and up to R613 500 for the GL Bus (14-seater). A VX model has also been launched, priced at R843 600 with 9 seats and a host of luxury features. All Quantum models come with a 9-service/90 000 km service plan with service intervals set at 12-months/10 000km. Toyota’s standard 3-year/100 000 km warranty is also provided.