Following a major, breakthrough exterior design change that has tremendously enhanced its appeal, Oman's favourite people mover - the ubiquitous Toyota Coaster has arrived in the country.
According to an official note, "Keeping up with its heritage of transporting people with peace of mind and delivering unrivalled safety and comfort, the completely redesigned Toyota Coaster has been unveiled in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The new model features an even more spacious cabin, enhanced quietness and a stable ride. The design conveys strength and innovation while staying true to Coaster's identity of delivering Enhanced Quality, Durability and Reliability."
Toyota Motor Corporation has given the Coaster a major upgrade after 24 years of runaway success in more than 110 countries across the globe. As recently as 2015, the Coaster registered cumulative sales of more than 550,000 units since its initial release. It is celebrated for its enhanced Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR), and has deepened its reputation as an indispensable community and school bus that helps in safe, comfortable and reliable commute of large groups, even in harsh road and weather conditions.
The Coaster was first launched as the 'Light Bus' in 1963, in response to increased demand for a minibus. In 1969, the vehicle underwent a partial redesign and was later renamed Coaster―a name, which it has continued to use for over the past 50 years. The current, third-generation Toyota Coaster was launched in 1992 amidst growing calls for a new design that adds to existing success and incorporates the full safety features package.
This complete redesign marks a significant evolution from the current model, and features a full range of safety functions, improved comfort, outstanding reliability and a design appropriate for a new generation of minibuses.
Assistant Chief Engineer of Toyota Coaster, Masahiro Yamakawa, said: "The current generation Toyota Coaster built a strong reputation over the past 24 years as a 'working vehicle' as well as an 'earning vehicle'. Our customers know that even in tough usage conditions – rough roads, overloading and the likes – they can trust Toyota Coaster to get passengers to their destination and back. This is why the current generation has increasing sales volumes despite going on 24 years without a model change. The fact that Toyota Coaster is increasingly taking an indispensable role in the day-to-day lives of people has ushered in a full model change. By further honing the Coaster's renowned QDR, we are able to provide customers with a dependable, safe and comfortable transportation."
Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said, "I am delighted that the MENA region will be part of yet another heritage and milestone from Toyota. The new Toyota Coaster is built with an insightful understanding of the unique demands in each region, and will contribute towards upholding the highest safety standards in transporting groups such as workers and students in markets across this region."
Yoshitsugu added: "With several countries in MENA welcoming a large inflow of tourists, the new Toyota Coaster will help clients stay at pace with demands for comfortable and reliable minibuses that transport guests and families with peace of mind. We thank our customers for their relentless support and timely feedback that help us develop vehicles like the Coaster that are cherished and ridden for many years. The loyal fans of Toyota are also instrumental in our pursuit of building 'ever-better' vehicles."
The completely redesigned Toyota Coaster features a user-friendly cockpit that enables the driver to focus on driving. The front mask has been redesigned, and a more expansive cabin provides a more pleasant and comfortable feeling. The windshield openings have been widened to expand the driver's field of view, while an optimal distribution of function switches, as well as compartments around the driver's seat help minimize the need for the driver to shift his or her line of sight. The cabin space has also been heightened by 60 mm, and the windows have been moved outwards by approximately 40 mm, thus providing enough space for passengers to rest their elbows.
In addition, the side windows have increased in height by 50 mm that all together enhance passenger comfort, which creates a comfortable and open passenger space. The doorsteps have been lengthened by 65 mm to improve ease of ingress and egress.
The use of UV-cut glass in the side windows contributes to the creation of a more comfortable interior space.
Improved body rigidity due to the ringed body frame, adjustments to engine cover structures, enhanced body-seal structures, and the optimal distribution of soundproofing materials all contribute to improved cabin quietness. The suspension features front and rear stabilizers, as well as optimized shock-absorber damping forces. Together with the improved body rigidity, this helps to realize a stable ride.
The new Toyota Coaster is available with a choice of two engines: a 2.7-litre petrol engine producing 145 HP and a 4.2-litre diesel engine with a power of 129 HP, both of which have been paired up with a five-speed manual transmission and a power steering.
The completely redesigned Toyota Coaster utilizes a ringed body frame which unifies the roof, sides and floor frame sections. The use of high-tensile steel plates further contributes to a rigid body. The roof features chamfers to realize a simple yet attractively modern design. Character lines divide the side of the vehicle into upper and lower regions while the under body accentuates the area around the wheels, thus revealing a sturdy body that provides powerful support for the cabin.
In order to minimize cabin deformation in the event of a rollover, the Coaster's body has been strengthened with a circular-framed structure.
Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags are installed in the driver's and front passenger's seats as standard features. The vehicle also provides passenger safety and peace of mind in the event of an emergency through Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
For more information about the All New Coaster, please visit the nearest Toyota showroom.