1 July 2019 · Vehicle Reviews

Review | 2019+ Toyota HiAce

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It took Toyota 15 years, but it was worth the wait: say hello to the all-new HiAce. With more power, more comfort and more technology plus improved safety features it's not just a step up - it's a jump. The design is definitely more modern as well, setting the van up for a run that might last well into the 2030's.

Initial Impression

The new Toyota HiAce might still look like a regular van, but it's definitely not a bad appearance. It's nose has grown a bit (the engine can now actually be found where you would expect it, instead of under the passenger seat) and it's lines sharpened, but it's nonetheless equally recognizable as a true HiAce. Exactly why they've been so successful for so long. It's built to help you get the job done in style. The HiAce reliability and resale value best in its class. Inside the cabin, you'll find a range of handy storage spaces, map lights and a USB port  
 

Driveability

Driveability

Toyota has fitted the all-new HiAce with a 2.8L turbo diesel that delivers a smoother ride. It's not overly powerful (don't try to accelerate in 6th gear), but has no problem getting a move on. Because you now sit behind the engine bay, rather than on top, the cabin is more quiet and you feel less vibration. It also provides more stability all round. With a fuel consumption of 7.2L/100km for the diesel (it's also available with 3.5L V6 Petrol, but most will opt for the diesel) the HiAce is pretty fuel efficient, putting out 130kW and 450Nm of power. We drove both the automatic and manual version and honestly have to say that we prefer the latter. More control over the revs and just that extra punch when you hold it in gear a tad longer. The turning circle of the Long Wheel Base (which is 570mm longer and 255mm wider than its predecessor) is decent enough, though we haven't tried it in the Super Long Wheel Base or Commuter, an additional 535mm longer measuring 3860mm overall. With it's additional length you can imagine it's a a bit more, but with it's great visibility it probably won't proof difficult either.

Liveability

Liveability

Let's first of all say that inside the all-new HiAce is a very safe. Toyota has fitted the van with its latest Toyota Safety Sense including Pre-Collision Safety System, Lane Departure Alert, Auto High Beam and Road Sign Assist. Because of its 7 airbags it received a 5 star ANCAP rating as expected. But next to safe it's also comfortable inside the HiAce. Open the driver's door and you are welcomed with a refreshed cabin fitted with 7.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation. Unfortunately it only comes with one USB port standard where the Commuter has 6 - that could have been more for the first. Other standard options include cruise control across the range, dual sliding doors, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. If you choose a variant with closed back - unfortunately no barn doors are available - you can opt for a digital rear vision mirror, which turns the standard rear view mirror into a live camera feed looking out the rear of the vehicle.  

Genuine accessories are in abundance for the HiAce, including a rigid rear step with inbuilt parking sensors, ceiling-mounted ladder storage system, cargo/panel/window barriers and nudge bar. The ladder storage system is especially handy if the capacity inside isn't enough, though it has increased to 6.2m3 for the LWB van and 9.3m3 for the SLWB.

The base price of the Toyota HiAce with a petrol-manual combination sits just under $40k, but then the list of options start. Getting a more fuel efficient diesel engine costs an additional $3500 and it's $200 to fit it with an automatic gearbox. Moving up from the LWB to the SLWB requires an extra $10k and on top of the range we find the commuter, which ticks just over $70k. Of course accessories are extra and vary widely in price. The $1000 option pack that adds the auto-dimming rear-view mirror also gives you body-coloured mirrors and bumpers, halogen fog lights, and chrome trim.

All models have capped price servicing and with a minimum five-year unlimited kilometre warranty that gets an additional 2 years of engine protection when serviced annually. And if you buy a new HiAce and register for MyToyota, not only can you start saving on fuel and will be getting exclusive rewards as you go.  

Conclusion

Conclusion

It might have taken 15 years, but with all the improvements in the all-new Toyota HiAce we're pretty sure it doesn't need another update for the same amount of time. The previous generation held its own in the van segment for so long for good reasons. Now that we're got a more comfortable, more powerful and safer version we're confident it ready for the next 15 years. Your old HiAce might still perform perfectly, but for creature comforts and the latest technology you might want to consider upgrading. And with the resale value of the van you might not even be hit in the pocket as much as you think. All the more reason to pay us a visit. 

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