Welcome the beloved Toyota Hiace into the modern world with improvements to all the classic features, and a facelift to top it all off. It’s been fifteen years since the Hiace had a new model in the market. Now, with three new variants, the Commuter Deluxe, GL Grandia, and GL Grandia Tourer offer much more size, safety, and efficiency over their 2004 predecessors.
Opting for simplicity, all three 2019 Hiace variants offer the same features at their core, with only key features and tunings that set each apart in terms of range and purpose. This means that you don’t get a different vehicle depending on which you choose, but rather the same vehicle, tweaked towards what you are most likely to use it for. There is an equality that sets a lot of buyers at ease, as well as a confidence in the van’s utility.
In terms of size, the 2019 Hiace series offers a massive upgrade to the 2004 models. There’s more room for seats, more room between those seats, more room for comforts and features, and most prominently, more room at the nose. Among the added dimension is the incorporation of a hood, moving the engine forward, freeing up room for the first row, as well as providing a crumple-zone in the event of an accident. This added safety feature alone puts the 2019 Hiace ahead of its predecessor, and any other similar vans. Options for size are simple, with both the Commuter Deluxe and GL Grandia offering substantially more room than the previous models, while the GL Grandia Tourer boasts even more than the two, with a noticeable increase of headroom.
As for the seating, the Commuter Deluxe offers the highest amount, totalling to an impressive 15 seats, despite the modest trim and interior features. The GL Grandia Tourer comes in second with 14 seats, and finally 12 for the GL Grandia, if you don’t really need to be carrying so many people. In addition, all 2019 Hiace variants provide a much more comfortable and accommodating interior in comparison to the 2004 models, with the GL Grandia, and GL Grandia Tourer leaning towards the lavish, as expected.
In addition to the new crumple-zone at the hood, Toyota appears to be using the 2019 Hiace as a flagship for a wave of new safety features to cover all their newer vehicles, and put them in them in the top spot of reliable manufacturers. Among these safety features are ABS across all variants, airbags for each front row seat(2 on the Grandia models, and 3 on the Commuter Deluxe). The Grandia variants also offer a game changing stability control, as well as cruise control perfect for long trips outside of the city.
That efficiency is provided by a 2.8-liter turbodiesel 1GD-FTV that puts out:
176 hp & 420 Nm of torque on the Commuter Deluxe and GL Grandia MT
176 hp & 450 Nm of torque on the GL Grandia AT, and
163 hp & 420 Nm of torque on the GL Grandia Tourer
That said, both manual and automatic transmission options have also been upgraded from the 2004’s five-speed and four-speed transmission to a full six-speed to cap-off a performance output that would rival a mid-size SUV. The differences in performance are tuned to specific capacity, and projected role the vehicle will have. The engine itself is based off the Hilux and Fortuner ones.
If you’re looking for a comfortable way to move a lot of people all day long, this is the car you’d want to get. If you’re looking for everything that an SUV can deliver, minus the “sport,” this is the car you’d want to get. If you like or are looking for anything the classic Toyota Hiace has to offer, this is the car you get.