Toyota ‘Tfender’ Probox Is a Fake Land Rover Defender
With the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon almost upon us, we’re getting a look at some of the Japanese tuner participants. One of them, ESB Style, will be featuring its Toyota Probox transformation, called the “Tfender.” It’s a play on the Land Rover Defender fascia and details ESB makes for the Probox.
Does Toyota sell the Probox in the U.S.?
What’s a Probox, you ask? Toyota’s Probox is a Japan-only cross between a van and an SUV. It is also popular as a taxi in Jamaica, Bolivia, and Peru. The Probox is a shorter and less expensive version of the Succeed, also introduced in 2002. It is an affordable family hauler for four passengers or a commercial van for two.
While the Succeed was discontinued in 2020, the no-frills Probox soldiers on. From a high for a few years running with around 70,000 units sold, it has settled into yearly sales of around 55,000. There is no infotainment system, and a radio is optional, but this isn’t all that uncommon in Japan.
How much power does a Toyota Probox have?
Power comes from three different packages. A 1.3-liter 94-hp four-cylinder engine, a 1.5-liter four with 107 hp, or a 1.5-liter hybrid. A CVT automatic transmission backs all of the engines. But buyers have a choice of with front- or all-heel-drive. In 2021, Toyota added optional power front windows, power-folding mirrors, an AC outlet, and privacy glass.
Having stayed almost the same for over 20 years, the Probox represents pure profit for Toyota. It did receive a minor facelift in 2014, and in 2018 Mazda rebadged it as the Familia van. ESV’s Tfender conversion will work on any year Probox or Succeed beginning in 2002.
What comes with the ESV Tfender kit?
The Tfender parts, along with the lift kit, give it more of an off-road SUV look. The fiberglass “CLS Fox” fascia, headlight covers, and hood leading edge with “Tfender” in place of “Defender,” are the main ingredients. There are also rear bumper and taillight covers, C-pillar covers, as well as suspension lift components.
ESV Style makes all of it available as a kit that also includes armrests and seat covers. It’s priced at $2,500. Oh, and you need a Toyota Probox on top of that. Or a Mazda Familia will work too, as it is a rebadged Probox.
The lift gives an additional 1.6 inches of height. ESB Style’s example also features CLS TC01 alloy wheels shot in white paint and wrapped in off-road hoops. A skid plate was also added to the rear. A new 2022 Probox has a base price of 1.491 million yen or around $11,300 based on current exchange rates.
In all, ESV Style has taken one of Toyota’s lowliest cars and created a kit to mimic one of the more expensive SUVs on the market today. We’re sure that dichotomy pleases Tfender buyers. As for us we’ll have more upcoming vehicles from the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon starting January 13.