Toyota has released an updated Coaster to mark the 40th anniversary of the bus model’s introduction to the Australian market.

The 2017 Coaster is said to be stronger, safer and more comfortable with updated suspension, a more rigid frame and the addition of driver and front passenger airbags.

Passengers will be able to get to their seats with more ease in the updated model, with 70mm taller and 45mm wider dimensions, as well as more upright sides. Toyota has also increased the seat number by one with a new seat alongside the driver.

According to Toyota Australia’s sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb, the model will appeal to a wider customer base.

“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,” Cramb said.

The new range features three models – an entry level automatic and manual and the higher Deluxe model in automatic only.

The exterior has a new look with restyled headlights and taillights, twin rear doors with an emergency exit, a larger entry step, and rear fog and high-mounted stop lamps.

A new 6.1-inch touchscreen incorporates satellite navigation, reversing camera and upgraded audio operations with a CD player, USB port, and the ability to use speech commands.

The 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.

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.

The Coaster’s 21 passenger seats are arranged into seven double seats behind the driver separated by an aisle from seven single seats.

Passengers now benefit from an overhead luggage rack and curtains have been added to the Deluxe bus.

The power comes from a turbocharged and intercooled 4.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that meets Euro 5 emissions regulations. It delivers 110kW of power at 2700rpm and 397Nm of torque at 1800rpm. The Coaster comes fitted with a 95 litre fuel tank.