2019 Toyota Hiace

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Unveiled in the Phillipines this week, the new van is set to arrive in Australia halfway through 2019, sporting its first complete overhaul 15 years.

Toyota has just taken the wraps off the new Hiace, which has been debuted in the Philippines. This all-new Hiace is longer, wider, and taller than the model it is replacing. It has also received a major stylistic update as the old cab-over design has gone and in place, there is a new front-end with a more conventionally positioned hood.

The Hiace has also taken inspiration from its more up-market sibling, the Alphard, in terms of the new sleek headlights, grille and front bumper layout. Toyota has also redesigned the rear view mirrors and has given it new alloy wheels. The Hiace also comes with new taillights as well as a new tailgate, although the changes at the back aren’t as evident as the ones up front.  The cabin has also been refreshed and the Commuter Deluxe variant is capable of seating 15, the GL Grandia can carry 12, and the GL Tourer can carry 14 passengers.

Coming to the powertrain, it uses a version of the 2.8-litre diesel also seen in the Fortuner. The engine produces 176hp with 420Nm of torque in the Commuter version, while the GL Grandia (and also the Tourer) has the same power but torque is up to 450Nm. The Hiace can be had with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The Commuter and GL Grandia versions of the Hiace measure 5265mm in length, 1950mm in width, 1990mm in height. The wheelbase is 3210mm for both these versions. The GL Grandia Tourer, on the other hand, is a much larger version of the Hiace with a length of 5915mm, width of 1950mm and 2280mm height. Its wheelbase is also significantly longer at 3860mm. The Hiace range is available in two body types – normal/standard roof and long/high roof.

The new Hiace is built on a special revised platform that will enhance safety, comfort and durability. The all-new body is based on the design ideas of Toyota’s TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture). On the safety front, all cars come with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), stability control, hill start assist and dual front airbags with the Commuter Deluxe version being equipped with triple front airbags.

Toyota has made no statement regarding its intentions to bring the all-new Hiace to India at present.

Aussies will get a choice of four variants – two-seater long wheelbase and super-long wheelbase, five-seater long wheelbase crew vans and a 12-seater super-long wheelbase Commuter bus.

A choice of petrol or diesel power is still an option with either a 3.5-litre V6 petrol or a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel – both available in six-speed manual or auto transmission. The new V6 replaces the current model’s four-cylinder petrol engine, which should mean a significant improvement in performance.

The 2019 Hiace also gets a new ‘semi-bonnet’ which Toyota says makes it ‘significantly easier and quicker to replace parts such as oil and air filters, battery and coolant’.

Safety-wise, the new van is a big step forward, available with Toyota’s Safety Sense kit, which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and reverse camera across the range.

Toyota Australia has not yet confirmed pricing which will be announced closer to its local launch.

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