VIDEO REVIEW: Driving the new Toyota Coaster

By: Steve Skinner , Video by: Barry Ashenhurst

"It’s no surprise on driving it to experience the good performance of the 4 litre diesel engine"

We took the Coaster to one of its natural habitats – the airport – then onto the freeway and back to base via some urban arterial roads in Sydney.

Beside the driver is Toyota’s trusty 4 cylinder, 4 litre turbo diesel which puts out 150hp (110kW) and 400Nm of torque at 1800rpm.

That looks very modest on paper but the little bus drives really well, with good acceleration off the mark and it easily keeps up with the traffic.

On the freeway our unit "coasted" (get the pun?) along nicely at the speed-limited 100 kilometres an hour on 2300rpm, and didn’t sound or feel like it was working hard at all.

The engine ticks over nicely and is relatively quiet. There is also relatively low noise and no vibration for passengers up the back.

We drove the deluxe version with Toyota’s 4-speed fully automatic transmission, and it’s matched nicely with the engine.

What I particularly like about the transmission is the little "overdrive" button on the handle mouseclick can think, which might better be termed the "power boost" button. When you press it in with your thumb in top gear the gearbox kicks back, just like in the old VL Commodores. It’s much easier and quicker than yanking the whole gearstick into manual mode, and gives you that extra grunt to maintain your speed up a rise.

The ride is excellent, thanks no doubt in part to the long rear leaf springs and independent front suspension (with double wishbones and an upper torsion bar). There is no suspension seat for the driver, but running over lots of speed humps, a few potholes and even a railway line was no problem for the old spine.

The steering and handling in the wet was good and the brakes do a good job, with ventilated discs at the front and drums on the rear. The parking brake holds very firm even though it’s not air operated.

The turning circle seems very good, and it is, at a touch over 14 metres.

See the full review on BusNews.



Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook