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Hiace, the dependable ‘go-to’ van and passenger transporter for more than five decades, has been radically re-worked from top to bottom in its new, fifth-generation guise. Hiace is so ubiquitous it’s almost the household word for van.
Hiace vans are part of daily lives, transporting people, cargo, tools and small packages across towns, cities and rural roads.
While Toyota has kept the core functionality in the new Hiace – the great load-carrying ability, easy maintenance and multiple interior layout configurations – it has also found ways to improve those features and add greater comfort, durability and safety.
“The new Hiace has been completely revised. After 14 years since the previous generation was launched, it changes the game completely,” says Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager New Vehicles and Product.
“It ticks the boxes as a workhorse van, but drivers and passengers will experience greater comfort and functionality.”
Most noticeable about the 2019 Hiace is the shift to a semi-bonnet design. By shifting the engine and front wheels forward of the driver and front passenger, Hiace gains increased quietness and comfort when travelling, and improved entry.
Secondly, the semi-bonnet platform provides a longer wheelbase with increased exterior length by 570mm for the ZR and 535mm for the ZX over the previous model – and revisions to the cargo area shape allowing drivers to take advantage of the increased payload, by up to 85kgs in the ZR.
The width in the ZR and ZX variants has also been aligned, increasing the accommodation for wide cargo such as pallets or gib board to lie flat in the back between the wheel arches.
With the knowledge that Hiace is used by a myriad of businesses, from builders and couriers to taxis and luxury hotels, Toyota has looked for continual improvements that allow for greater customisation as well as providing a range of seating layouts for commuter vans and tourist operators.
“Owners can customise the van to suit their own unique needs,” says Neeraj. “We talked to Hiace owners in the field to create a van that is highly versatile, with flat mount surfaces and anchor points to make it easy to customise the vehicle.”
Toyota recognised that Hiace is slightly different from other vehicles in that the owners are not necessarily the drivers or the passengers. All variants of the Hiace have a height adjustable driver’s seat for increased driver comfort.
Driver and passenger technology have also been updated. All models have a 7”touchscreen audio unit with satellite navigation and SUNA traffic channel as well as Mobile Assistant, Bluetooth and Voice Recognition.
The driver cockpit has a 4.2" colour multi information display with a digital speedometer, and cruise control.
The body of the Hiace is also wider than the previous model at 1950mm.
The wider body has allowed for more useful storage for the driver and passenger and thanks to the semibonnet design useful storage for order books, vehicle logs and the like has been built into the centre console.
New look, improved functionality and safety
The new silhouette of Hiace is squarer from the rear profile and more powerful looking from the front. The new semi-bonnet and grille is wide and powerful with relatively high front combined headlights. The combined rear taillights are also enlarged.
With a completely revised platform and body, the new Hiace improves access for passengers and cargo alike.
The front door opening has a wider step, providing greater access. Larger fixed-glass areas on the front doors increases side-to-side visibility. A lower belt line gives the driver an improved downward field of vision at the front.
The Hiace features the Toyota Safety Sense package, which is now standard across the new range. The new model Hiace includes Toyota Safety Sense consisting of Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking and vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian detection. It also has Lane Departure Alert with brake control (Yaw Assist) and vehicle sway warning, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beam.
Other safety features include Trailer Sway control, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
In addition to the reversing camera, the all-new Hiace also gains front and rear parking sensors. Have Hiace your way Hiace has always been a highly versatile van – designed to be customised for various industries and occupations. It also is commonly used to transport passengers in both short commuter shuttles and longer tourist trips.
The new generation Hiace will be available in New Zealand in five variants – with two body sizes, two body types and three passenger seat configurations. The Hiace ZR has four variations – a 6-speed manual transmission two-seater with full glass windows; a 6-speed automatic transmission two seater with full glass windows; a five seater (2+3) automatic with half glass and solid panels and nine airbags; and a 10-seat automatic with full glass featuring additional speakers, rear cooling and rear heaters.
The ZR is 5265mm long with a height of 1990mm. The two and five-seaters have dual sliding doors while the 10-seat ZR has a left-hand side sliding door.
The new Hiace ZX is 535mm longer than the previous ZX at 5915mm but 5mm lower at a height of 2280mm. The ZX cargo van has two seats, full glass windows, supplementary door mirror and overhead console storage. It has one left hand side sliding door.
All new Hiace are powered by a 2.8L turbo diesel – the same 1GD diesel engine found in the Hilux.
The new Hiace engine delivers 130kW (up 30kW on the previous generation) and 420Nm (up 120Nm) for manual transmissions or 450Nm (up 150Nm) for automatic variants. Toyota Drive-away pricing includes all on road costs; WOF, registration, a full tank of fuel, 1,000 kms of RUC (if applicable), the Toyota Care Service Advantage package, floor mats, and the three years or 100,000 kms warranty.