Toyota has extensively revamped its Coaster bus line-up with a new model that is stronger, safer, more comfortable and better equipped while benefiting from refreshed exterior and interior designs.
Safety was a priority for development of the new model with the adoption of a stronger and more rigid frame, the addition of driver and front-passenger airbags, and upgraded suspension hardware and tuning.
Coaster's new body is 70mm taller and 45mm wider with more upright sides that result in greater interior comfort and space, including more headroom when walking down the central aisle.
The roomier cabin has enabled Toyota to install an additional seat opposite the driver, lifting passenger capacity to 21 people (in addition to the driver).
The three-vehicle Coaster range has been realigned to meet shifting customer demand, adding an automatic version to the Standard grade while discontinuing the manual version of the higher Deluxe grade.
Exterior upgrades include new headlamps and taillights, twin rear doors with an emergency exit, a larger entry step, and rear fog and high-mounted stop lamps. One-piece 17.5 x 6-inch steel wheels are wrapped by tubeless 215/70 tyres.
The Deluxe variant, equipped with an electrically operated sliding side door, is now further distinguished by a black panel underneath the windscreen. The Standard variants retain a body-colour treatment under the windscreen and a folding side door.
A modernised dashboard layout provides a more functional work space for the driver, including better visibility and additional storage options. A new 6.1-inch touchscreen incorporates satellite navigation and upgraded audio operations with a CD player, USB port, and the ability to use speech commands.
All Coaster models are equipped with reversing camera, air-conditioning, tilt-and-telescopic adjustment for the steering column, and a 95-litre fuel tank.
Along with the improved safety, comfort and features, price rises have been contained to less than 2.5 per cent.
Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the Coaster upgrades would appeal to buyers including tourism operators, sporting and social clubs, large medical facilities and conversion companies.
"New features, improved safety, a stronger frame, larger body and greater interior space will enhance Coaster's appeal as a capable and flexible transporter in a wide variety of conditions," Mr Cramb said.
Coaster's new frame improves rigidity by utilising a circular structure that connects side pillars with roof reinforcements. An additional pillar has also been added near the front passenger seat for greater body stiffness.
Laser welding of thick metal sheets results in precise, high-strength welds. Other structural features include extensive use of high-tensile steel and the addition of floor panels above the transmission to reduce the level of noise reaching the cabin.
The double-wishbone front suspension has been upgraded with a thicker stabiliser bar and new bushings to promote handling stability and ride comfort. Coaster's rear leaf-spring set-up, chosen for its reliability, features a new stabiliser bar.
Coaster's 21 passenger seats are arranged into seven double seats behind the driver separated by an aisle from seven single seats (two forward and five behind the side door).
Passengers now benefit from an overhead luggage rack, designed to ensure adequate clearance for passengers entering or leaving seats. Curtains have been added to the Deluxe bus.
For easier access, the centre door step is now half a metre deep, a gain of approximately 70mm. Footrests have been installed behind the driver's seat and the rear-wheel housings.
Coaster is offered in one colour, French Vanilla, with PVC and fabric seat coverings for Standard variants and fabric for Deluxe variants.
Power comes from a turbocharged and intercooled 4.0-litre direct-injection turbo-diesel engine that meets Euro 5 emissions regulations. It delivers 110kW of power at 2700rpm and 397Nm of torque at 1800rpm.
Standard buyers have the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The Deluxe is now automatic only.
Coaster was first launched in Japan as the Light Bus in 1963. In 1969, the vehicle underwent a partial redesign and was later renamed Coaster - a name which it has continued to use for almost 50 years
In Australia, Coaster is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 1977 introduction. Local sales recently passed 20,000 vehicles. Global sales have now exceeded 550,000 vehicles.
The new Coaster bus range is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $360 a service*.
* Maximum payable for standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 3 years or 60,000km (whichever occurs first) (up to the first 6 services). Excludes Government & Rental vehicles. Contact your Toyota Dealer or go to toyota.com.au/advantage for other exclusions, eligibility and full details.
# Manufacturer's list prices are provided for media purposes only and do not include statutory charges or other on-road costs.
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