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Toyota Hiace
There are more modern rivals, but the Hiace drives well, is very well made, and its long, relatively narrow load area still make it is strong contender

Toyota Hiace 300 D-4D 120 LWB

What is it

Long-wheelbase version of Toyota’s long-running Hiace panel van. But now with cleaner and more powerful engines and a restyled front-end with more prominent grille. Hiace has been with us in its current layout, with the engine in front of the cab rather than under the driver’s seat, since 1995. Toyota is the only Japanese manufacturer still offering a van of its own design.

 

What’s hot

  • Hiace has a unique body style – relatively narrow, but with a long load bed…
  • …which makes it ideal for urban delivery use, especially long loads – carpet fitters swear by the Hiace
  •  Power-assisted steering aids manoeuvrability; turning radius just 5.5m.
  • New bold grille and big headlamps give more road presence
  • Upgraded 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine comes from indestructible Hilux pick-up
  • The 115bhp engine gives excellent acceleration
  • And usefully wide torque band: 294Nm from 1,600rpm to 2,400rpm
  • Long service intervals of 20,000 miles keep down maintenance costs…
  • …though filters need changing every 10,000 miles
  • Legendary Toyota reliability, so expect low running costs
  • LWB version tested accommodates two standard EuroPallets

 

Toyota Hiace
One area where, in spite of a re-vamp, the Toyota shows its age. The satnav is excellent, though it’ll set you back #1200

What’s not

  • Cab interior has been tarted-up…
  • …but finish still of the grey plastic variety
  • Load area is narrow, so Hiace won’t suit all purposes …
  • …. but it can carry a load of 1.26 tonnes if you need payload
  • 224g/km CO2 could be lower: at least Toyota quotes a figure!
  • Full-map sat-nav system is excellent – but way too expensive at £1,200…
  • …you’d be better spending your money on the bargain-priced £200 plywood lining
  • Also factor in the £850 professional pack of air-con and parking sensors, both essential

 

Prices and specification

Price – £15,295 (Excluding VAT, RFL and first registration fee)

 Load volume  5.5m3
 Payload  1.260kg
 Loadspace 2.780mm long x 1.650mm wide x 1.420mm high
 GVW  3,000kg
 Kerb weight  1,660kg
 Towing capacity (braked)  2,000kg
 Overall length  5,160mm
 Engine  2.5-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel
Power/Torque  115bhp/264Nm

 

Business Van Manager Road Test Rating

The world has moved on since Toyota launched its ‘European’ Hiace in 1995.

Twenty-first century rivals such as Ford Transit and Renault Trafic are more sophisticated, with better ergonomics. And yet…there’s still something very likeable about the Hiace. It drives well, with excellent engines. It’s very well made, and you just know it won’t let you down. And it’s extremely manoeuvrable around town thanks to its narrow body and excellent steering.

Those factors, plus the combination of good payload and long load bed, might just suit a lot of small business users. Definitely worth a look.

Options include:  Professional pack (air conditioning, parking sensors), £850; passenger airbag (covers both passenger seats), £130; plywood load lining, £200; Satellite Navigation, £1, 200; metallic paint, £350; tailgate with heated rear window, no cost.

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