Hello, everybody, and welcome to my overwhelming review of the legendary Toyota Hiace Van! It’s been around for almost 50 years, serving happy folks from all around the world and getting better and better with each new version, edition, and model.
Currently the Hiace is in its 5th generation, but, as it’s been too long – more than 10 years – my guess is the new gen is just around the corner. And with the Hiace Van 2016 and 2017 models on the way, Toyota will probably officially announce the arrival of the 6th generation sometime in the nearest future.
An All-Around Amazing Brand
The Hiace van is loved and respected all over the globe for being reliable, safe, hardcore and very comfy. The Hiace wagon and van have been extremely popular among a very wide range of drivers, as they’re good not only for transporting cargo, but also for carrying all kinds of big and heavy equipment. Another strong side of the brand – it’s great for camping – just imagine getting all your closest friends into the passenger seats (the interior can take in as much as 14 people) and driving to the wild nature to start a camp fire and have a good time.
The Hiace brand is consisted of a big line-up of different models – we’ve got:
— a Toyota Hiace bus,
— a Toyota Hiace minibus,
— a Toyota Hiace van,
— a minivan,
— a Hiace pick-up,
— and even a Hiace ambulance.
And all of these models are doing great in their respective markets. The Toyota Van is the most wanted in the segment, and the Hiace Toyota bus is wildly successful in the Middle East. By the way, the amazing Toyota van is available in 140 countries all around the world with sales going higher and higher with each new model.
Toyota Hiace Van: Customs And Super Customs
Today we are going to talk about the history of the legendary brand, the different editions, powertrain specifications, Toyota vans for sale, pricing in India, Dubai, UAE, UK, and, of course USA. Right now I just want to take a minute to tell you about the special love and loyalty than fans have for it. The Hiace van was around for such a long time that folks started doing all kinds of crazy things to it – have you ever seen a Hiace custom, or, better yet, a Toyota Hiace super custom? Go check them out right now! Customizing a van has never been a hobby, or, as kids say today, a “thing”, but the Hiace inspired drivers to think outside of the box and make some beautiful tweaks and upgrades. I’m taking about “pimped out” wheels, crazy color combinations, futuristic lights, entirely new seats, completely redesigned cabins, etc. There’s also an official Toyota Hiace Super Custom model on the market, and we’ll get into that later, it’s just that some folks are more used to calling custom and super custom those self-customized vans, rather than the speical editions from the manufacturer.
Watch on video: Super Timelapse of a Hiace Camper Conversion
It’s a conversion of a 1995 Toyota Hiace.
Toyota Hiace Campervans
Don’t even get me started on what people are doing with a Toyota Hiace campervan! Essentially, it’s a DIY-customized and enlarged version of that same old Hiace, but furnished with enough space to sit, eat, and, of course, sleep. The US official term is RV (recreational vehicle), and sometimes it’s also called a motorhome, but don’t ever call a Toyota Hiace camper a motorhome – never! I personally know a couple of folks who will start a fight with you if you do. Ok, back to the topic: camper vans are also often mistaken for trailers, but they’re not the same, as you usually attach a trailer to your van/SUV/truck/whatever, and a camper van is a whole composition.
Toyota Hiace Bus: Camper’s Best Friend
To tell the truth, “campers” are not always that comfortable, they usually don’t have toilets and showers, and the romantic associations you get when watching a campervan on the screen are not always there in the real world.
But, if you put your best effort and knowledge into building one, you’ll get yourself an amazing transport with up to four beds, a kitchen, and simply the best vehicle for going out camping! Just imagine – driving through the suburbs in a Toyota bus slash campervan slash house-on-wheels with your friends, talking, laughing, with the windows open and the music blazing; and you don’t even have to worry about sleeping bags and food -it’s all in the van!
Toyota Vans For Sale: Where To Buy
Got you all hyped up, didn’t I? Well, the beautiful thing is you don’t even have to build a camper van yourself.
Just type in “Toyota Hiace camper van for sale” in Google and check out the available Toyota vans.
I’ve heard the Brits are great with campers. Got a fresh one for ya at http://www.freeads.co.uk/: a true Toyota Hiace camper van from Fordingbridge, Uk – great quality, amazing layout, and it will cost you 5000 pounds (a pretty sweat deal).
Campers in Australia are at http://www.gumtree.com.au/. Make sure to check them all out if you’re from there – very beautiful, great-looking and affordable (starting at 20K); and don’t forget that you can negotiate on the price! Hey, I can tell you about Toyota Hiace camper vans all day, but let me just stop there, so I don’t get carried away.
So, basically, the difference between a full-range Toyota Hiace campervan and a Toyota Hiace custom (or super custom) is that with the camper you have to invest a lot of money, energy and time, but, you get a sweat deal at the end of it. With a customization you’re just having fun, and whether you decide to just color the front bumper or do a solid upgrade, you can stop whenever you want. The official super custom models are just the bigger versions of the standard editions, so, nothing special there.
By the way, a lot of folks are known to perform a Toyota Hiace engine conversion – that’s when you switch the standard engine with a mightier one, like a V8. And some enthusiasts these days are crazy enough to install that V8 into the very first edition of the Hiace. What can I say – people love Toyota’s van!
Ok, that was my short tour into the world of customs and campers. Let’s take it back a bit and dig into Toyota Hiace’s history and see where it all started.
The History Of Toyota Hiace – The First Generation
The debut of the Hiace happened in 1967 (that’s 48 years of loyal service right there), and right from the start it was available as a delivery van, a cab-over pick-up, and an enlarged commuter vehicle. There was also an official camper van edition that was named the HiAce Commercial. Toyota rolled it out into the market 2 years after the release of Nissan’s Homy brand, so, they had some time to perfect it. Thus, the Hiace was offered with a choice between several engines, ranging from a 1.35-lit 70 PS (kW) to a 1.6-lit 83 PS (61kW). Eight years later, in 75, the company introduced the 1.8-lit 16R engine.
A Hiace For Everyone
The Hiace was initially designed to be a commuter vehicle, capable of transporting an impressive number of passengers. The Hiace wagon and van had a monocoque body and Toyota made an independent front wheel suspension for both models. The company offered 4 body types: 1 – a delivery van with passenger capacity of 6/3 and payload of 500-850kg; 2 – a wagon, which could take in up to 9 people; 3 – a commuter, with the max passenger capacity of 12/15; and, finally, 4 – a truck, with a payload capacity of 1000 kg, a low floor and a single cab. In 1974 Toyota added high-floor and double-cab editions to the truck line-up.
The High Ace
The name “HiAce” is a combination of words “high” and “ace”, which basically means a better version as compared to its predecessor, the Toyota Toyoace. Besides that brand, the company also used to make a Toyota Coaster minibus, and a much tinier Toyota MiniAce. These editions of the Hiace are very rare these days and are considered to be something of a relic. They had been exported from Europe to Africa in significant numbers and were used (some still are operational) as public transportation vehicles.
The Second Generation Of Toyota Hiace
The second gen of the Hiace saw the light of day in 1977 (the van in February, and the wagon in April) and was a big step forward in terms of comfort level, functionality, reliability and safety. The new Toyota Hiace seats were improved a lot as well, and you could travel hours behind the wheel on a passenger seat without hearing complaints or swearing. Plus, Toyota significantly enlarged the floor area and volume of the cargo cabin. The different editions included vans and commuters in standard, long, and super long versions, two basic wheelbase wagons with impressive passenger capacities – 9 and 10, as well as 4 trucks: a single-cab, a double-cab, a panel van and an open van. With the second gen of the van Toyota went big. Overall, the second generation was a huge improvement and had a lot of commercial success, as well as great reviews in the press and from regular drivers.
Toyota Van: Significant Improvements
As for the new Toyota Hiace engine, the customers had a choice between three 3 engines, all gas-powered, including a 2-lit 100HP engine, a 1.8-lit 95HP engine, and the modest one – a 1.6-lit 80HP engine. The basic van’s payload capacity got a boost to 850/600kg, and the Toyota van with nine seats was now capable of carrying 750kg of cargo – however, you had to stow the rear seats, which would reduce the passenger capacity to 6 (still more than enough space). The small commuter bus and the super-long van got a fancy new high roof. The van had the parallel 4-link back opening/closing door installed to make it possible to work in narrow spaces. This door mechanism became wildly popular and is heavily used ever since. The second gen also introduced the first Toyota Hiace 4WD van.
A Rare Fish
As with the second generation the Toyota Hiace dimensions got larger, Toyota introduced a smaller version, the LiteAce, which was something of a bridge between the 1st and the 2nd gens. Even after the release of the third generation, certain editions of the 2nd gen were still manufactured for years. Today the 2nd gen is as rare as the first gen, so, if you see one online (they pop up here and there occasionally), and you’re a fan, make sure to contact the owner and set-up a meeting.
Toyota Hiace Minibus: The Third Generation
Alright, let’s continue on with the Toyota Hiace review. The third generation, released in 82, didn’t bring anything major to the table – only some updates and improvements. The last Hiace pickup was available on the market until 1990 – Toyotathen ceased its production. At that time the Hiace wagon gained a lot of praise and respect, and so, the ride comfort and interior space were perfected. That’s when the company introduced the Toyota Hiace Super Custom Sunroof/Moonroof grade – the first Toyota Hiace high roof edition. Also, a 4-speed automatic transmission became available with the gas-powered engines.
The Fourth Generation
The 4th gen was released in 1989. The biggest change was of the engine selection, which included fresh-new 2-lit 1RZ-E and 1RZ units, a 2.4-lit 2RZ-E unit, as well as a 2.8-lit diesel engine which was mated to the Toyota Hiace 4×4 models. To keep it fresh, Toyota invested a lot into interior comfort and exterior equipment, developing numerous Toyota Hiace accessories to make it the best van on the market.
In the 4th gen the Hiace was also transformed into an ambulance – the Toyota Himedic – which quickly became very popular because of the amazing reliability and suitable dimensions. It was packed with a V8 engine. In August 1993, the 4WD Toyota Hiace models changed the powertrain set-up from a part-time system to a full-time system.
Hiace Van of Toyota: The Fifth Generation
The Hiace brand entered the 5th generation in 2004 (August, to be exact), and that was the first full redesign in 15 long years. Keeping the balance between the highly luxurious 1-box wagon and standard commercial vans, Toyota decided to integrate the Toyota Hiace Super Custom wagon with the Alphard line-up that was first released in 2002. As for the body variations, the company offered the same old standard, long and super-long models – all with a standard/high roof.
Take a look at the various Toyota Hiace van specifications:
|Model/Version||2WD Super Long||2WD Long||AWD Super Long|
|Mass in KG||2020||1910||2130|
|Length in millimeters||5380||4840||5380|
|Width in millimeters||1880||1880||1880|
|Height in millimeters||2285||2105||2285|
|Wheelbase in millimeters||3110||2570||3110|
|Engine Variations||Water-cooled, in-line 4-cylinder, DOHC Water-cooled, in-line 4-cylinder, DOHC Water-cooled, in-line 4-cylinder, DOHC|
|Transmission||4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual|
|Max Output kW/(PS)/r.pm||111-151-4800||111-151-4800||111-151-4800|
Those are the basic Toyota Hiace specifications.
The 2.5 and 3.0-lit turbodiesel engines have a maximum output of 75 kW at 3,600 rpm and 80 kW at 3,000 rpm respectively and max torque capability of 260 Nm at 1,600–2,400 rpm and 286 Nm at 1,200–1,600 rpm respectively. The 2.7-lit petrol engine has a maximum output of 111 kW at 4,800 rpm and a max torque of 241 Nm at 3,800 rpm. If you want more details, you can always visit the official page on Toyota’s web-site – I’m not gonna bore you with that info here.
Fun fact: Hiace is currently the most commonly stolen car in Japan. That’s because it has no theft immobilizer installed, and without it, stealing a vehicle is relatively easy. So, don’t forget to install some kind of alert or theft-proof system whenever you decide to by a Hiace.
Toyota Hiace 2015
Since the last gen was released in 2004, everybody was kinda waiting on Toyota to introduce something really new in 2014, but it that never happened. The 2015 edition, on the other hand, got a brand-new engine (a 2.7-lit, 4-cyl with 118kW and 243Nm of torque) and a reduction in price for the LWB Diesel Vans; also, the company introduced a 5-seat crew van as the new member of the family.
Toyota Hiace 2016
The 2016 Edition is still on its way, but Toyota has everybody hyped up in anticipation. Some believe it will be just another mild improvement over the previous edition, others claim it’s a completely new thing. I’d say it’ll land right in the middle – not a revolution, but certainly a very nice evolution. Don’t believe me? Then check out the review about Toyota Hiace 2016!
Toyota Hiace 2017
Even though the 2017 Toyota Hiace is yet to be announced, it’s just natural for people to start speculating and claim all kinds of crazy things. Nobody really knows if it’s gonna be just another model from the fifth generation, or if it is set to finally start the new, 6th gen that is more than 10 years in the making.
And now let’s find out where we can buy a new/-pre-owned Toyota Hiace in USA, Australia, Uk, India, UAE and Dubai and take a look at local prices.
Toyota Hiace For Sale In USA
Alright, if you’re looking to buy a pre-owned Toyota Hiace 4WD (or one with a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout), then the first think you should do is type in Toyota Hiace vans for sale in Google.
If you’re looking for a used Toyota Hiace USA edition, then I recommend checking out web-sites like Autotrader.com and Carsales.com. I’ve got friends of mine selling and buying there all the time, so, it’s all legit.
You can also try KBB (Kelley Blue Book), but they’re usually not very strong on vans, and the rare ones always get snatched, so, don’t rely on this site too much.
The average price is around 10 to 20K for a used Hiace and 45K+ for a new one.
Toyota Hiace For Sale In Australia And UK
Toyota Hiace is hugely popular in Australia, so, if you’re from there, try Carsales.com.au – they’ve got a serious line-up of pre-owned Hiace models, including a 2007 Commuter for 28K (that’s Australian dollars), a 2009 LWB manual for 30K, a 2012 Hiace LWB Manual for 32K, and more. Go ahead and check them all out. If you’re from Great Britain, then just type in something like Toyota Hiace for sale UK.
Or, better yet, you can take a look at what I’ve found: the good-old Autotrader is present in UK as well – go to http://vans.autotrader.co.uk/used-vans/toyota/hiace and see all the available options. They’re trading in pounds, so, don’t get it confused.
Also, check out www.gumtree.com/vans/uk/toyota+hiace – very affordable pricing – http://www.parkers.co.uk/vans/for-sale/search/used/toyota/hiace – also great pricing, and very easy to contact – http://www.motors.co.uk/used/vans/toyota/hiace/. I can go on with the list, but I think this is more than enough for a start.
The Third-World Markets
Ok, finally, let’s talk about the price of Toyota Hiace in India, UAE and Dubai. It is very popular in these countries, so, that explains my choice. You gotta understand, that different dealers offer different pricing, not to mention the local stores and pre-owned/used models. Right now we’re going to find an average price to at least have an idea in our heads.
Toyota Hiace Price In India
Ok, first up, let’s take a look at the Toyota Hiace price in India. Toyota’s brands were always extremely “wanted” in India, and, with the country’s economy having a boost right now (top-5 in the world), I’m guessing the sales are just about to go higher. The Hiace will make its debut in India later this year (most likely in October), so the expectations, as you could imagine, are pretty high. Two of the company’s models – Innova and Qualis – are the leading MPVs on the market with yearly sales numbers outrunning the rivals’ by miles. As for the price, different dealers offer different values, with an average price of 25-35 lakh. So, if we’ve got some Indian folks joining us today, please stand up and introduces yourselves. Oh, and yes – start saving money for the long-awaited arrival.
Toyota Hiace Price In UAE
Next, I want to tell you about the Toyota Hiace price in UAE (United Arab Emirates). Like I said in the beginning of this review, Toyota has very strong positions on the worldwide market, the Middle-Eastern one as well. Currently, the Hiace brand is being assembled in Portugal, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Pakistan, Malaysia and Vietnam. And don’t you think for a second that the third-world markets are not very profitable. On the contrary!
Today we don’t really have first, second or third world countries. We just have people who want to drive reliable and comfortable vehicles that Toyota happens to be extremely good at making. So, back to the price in UAE. Probably the best web-site for checking out prices in UAE is Drivearabia.com. The estimated cost is 84000 AED (one AED equals 0.27 US dollars, so, that’s about 22-23K converted to the American currency).
Toyota Hiace Price In Dubai
Dubai is one of the biggest cities in UAE, so, if you’re looking for the Toyota Hiace Price in Dubai, you might as well visit that same Drivearabia site and start your search from there. Also, make sure to check out Dubicars.com. Right now you can get a 2015 Toyota Hiace for 70K AED, a 2014 edition for 72K, a 2013 edition for 61K, and so on.
Also, go to dubai.dubizzle.com/motors/used-cars/toyota/hiace – they’ve got an impressive line-up of Hiaces as well.
Alright, folks, this is it! That’s all I wanted to tell you about Toyota’s legendary Hiace brand. Drive safe, stay tuned for new reviews, and don’t forget to comment!
A funny Tribute to Toyota Hiace. Best thing what human hands have ever made: