Toyota Hiace Review

List of Pros

  • Five-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Excellent ride quality and turning circle
  • High comfort standards (particularly, best in class legroom and headroom)

List of Cons

  • It still looks a bit boxy and utilitarian
  • The car is more suitable for driving at lower speeds
  • High fuel consumption and high cost of maintenance

Toyota Hiace Overview

This model is known as a reliable and unpretentious car for commercial purposes, the one that won’t let you down at difficult moments. And this especially true for the fifth generation of the Japanese mono cab, which, among other things, also offers a quite comfortable interior and advanced equipment. In 2019, Toyota presented the 6th generation that will be available in 2020.

The car is available in several versions – Toyota Hiace Van, Toyota Hiace Tourism, and Toyota Hiace Commuter. Depending on the chosen design (passenger or cargo-passenger), the number of seats can vary from 11 to 17.

Exterior

The exterior design of the latest Hiace isn’t innovative or remarkable, which is not surprising, given the positioning in the commercial vehicle segment. Nevertheless, it looks monumental and harmonious due to slightly slanted headlights, a massive front bumper with integrated fog lights and LED daytime running lights, stylish rims, and precise body proportions. The new generation of Toyota Hiace has got a completely new body layout: the front doors shifted back, behind the wheel arches, and the engine shifted forward forming a hood.

Interior

The interior architecture is notable for its wide center console and transmission selector, which is pushed to a driver as close as possible. The basic version has got an almost completely analog instrument panel and a modest audio system on the dashboard. The main emphasis is on interior ergonomics and a functional component, so you won’t find any unusual solutions. The front panel has a console, typical for cars of this class, with a high platform used to accommodate the gear lever.

Technology & performance

The new Toyota Hiace has got a 2.7-liter gasoline engine with 151 hp. It has excellent traction at low medium speeds, so there are no special problems with passing other cars. The engine comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox. At first glance, this kit is not very impressive, but remember that we are talking about an engine for a minibus carrying many passengers. There is another option – a 3.5-liter power unit that runs on gasoline. It is, however, too powerful for a city. It is perfect for long trips and highway conditions.

Seats

There are three interior variations, each with a different number of seats:

  • Van – 3 to 5 seats and a luggage compartment, nine modifications in total; 
  • Tourism – a tourist minibus with 11-14 enhanced comfort seats, eight modifications in total;
  • Commuter – an ordinary minibus with up to 17 seats, comes in 12 modifications.

Climate Control System

Japanese engineers took care of passengers from different climate zones. There are good air conditioning and heating systems that will help to create a comfortable temperature in the passenger compartment and driver’s cab all year round.

Infotainment System

A multifunctional panel allows a driver to instantly read all the necessary information from the devices. All buttons and switches are at your fingertips, providing calm and confident driving. The most demanding owners will be fully satisfied, because even a standard trim features TTE Sport spoiler, roof rack, side window deflectors, universal cooler bag, carpet mats, Bluetooth, and speakerphone.

A set of equipment depends on the configuration. For example, a basic audio system with USB and Bluetooth can be replaced with a more advanced multimedia complex that has a 6.1-inch display.

Storage and Space

Everything depends on a specific Hiace version. As a rule, in passenger models, loadspace is not available, while it can reach 9,300 liters plus overhead storage in other models. 

Comfort

The car is very maneuverable in conditions of heavy urban traffic. The interior is quite spacious, so all the passengers can feel comfortable. Sliding large windows integrated into the door make the cabin light and visually more spacious. Boarding and alighting are facilitated by the wide opening of the sliding side door and folding seats.

Seat comfort

Excellent build quality and interior ergonomics allow operating a 12-seater model even in difficult climatic conditions. The seats are finished with fabric. A driver’s seat has good lateral support and a wide range of adjustments. It’s not a problem to get comfortable. An adjacent double sofa, however, is too little too cramped for two adults. 

Ride comfort

The new Toyota Hiace is equipped with halogen optics, fog lights, steel wheels, and electric power windows that altogether make a ride a real pleasure for a driver. Except for the light steering wheel that can disorient you in a difficult situation, the overall controllability of the car does not cause any complaints. It stably follows the indicated course and does not show a strong buildup. The car passes minor irregularities effortlessly, without shaking. However, on rough roads, the passengers will experience strong shocks and vibrations.

Quality

Designers tried to create a car that would fit in an urban style and look organically against the background of the architecture of modern megalopolises. A chrome-plated radiator grille, larger block headlights, and fog lights located in the front bumper give the exterior a certain solidity and aggression. Inside, everything is well-assembled. Although simple materials are used, they are pleasantly tactile and look neat.

Safety & Reliability

The new Hiace has received a proprietary Toyota Safety Sense electronic assistance kit, including a frontal collision avoidance system with emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection. The level of passenger protection, according to the manufacturer, corresponds to a five-star Euro NCAP test rating. 

All Toyota Hiace seats are equipped with seat belts, while the front seats are equipped with pre-tensioners. There are front airbags for a driver and a passenger, nine airbags in total. You can easily mount child seats for the smallest passengers.

Should I Buy the Toyota Hiace?

Toyota Hiace has every chance to compete for leadership in the line. The car can offer a high level of equipment, a comfortable interior, and balanced driving qualities. However, some will say that its high cost doesn’t match the advantages. If the value the quality and passengers’ safety, this is one of the best cars you can get, even if you are overpaying a bit. So consider your budget and priorities, and you’ll have an answer. 

How Much Does the Toyota Hiace Cost?

The average price of the Toyota Hiace is around N15,000,000. However, the newest cars can cost as much as N52,000,000 or even N70,000,000 – it depends on the year of a particular model, its version, and trim. Old vans are available at only N500,000.