Toyota Hiace

Toyota hiace

The Toyota Hiace is an iconic van that has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted and versatile commercial vehicles globally. Manufactured in Japan by Toyota Motor Corporation since 1967, the Hiace has gone through multiple generational updates with the latest launched in 2019 (This is according to the time of this publication – 2024).

As a van, the Hiace is designed primarily as a multi-passenger people mover (commonly used as a matatu in Kenya) and cargo haulier. Its key strengths lie in durability, practicality and low running costs making it a popular choice for public transportation operators, schools, hotels and more.

The latest Toyota Hiace sports a boxy exterior typical of its commercial vehicle roots. However, smoother lines and revised front fascia lend it a more modern look compared to previous generations.

Its core design ethos still focuses on functionality over flashiness. Large sliding side doors provide easy access to accommodate passengers and cargo. Upfront, the tall nose helps create a spacious cabin while improving driver ergonomics.

For drivers doing regular hauling duties, the Hiace offers excellent ingress and egress. Wide opening doors and a low lift-over height make loading bulkier items relatively easy. Extended wheel arches hint at its reasonable off-road capabilities as well.

All Hiace variants get halogen headlamps but higher grades integrate fog lamps for improved visibility. Alloy wheels are also reserved for top-spec models with commercial variants getting full steel rims. Overall, form follows function but little styling enhancements provide a touch of visual flair.

Toyota hiace Interior Design and Comfort

Don’t expect luxury appointments inside but there is decent room for both passengers and their belongings. Hard-wearing plastics dominate most surfaces suited to the rough use commercial vehicles are subjected to.

Driver comfort has seen notable improvements with better seat padding and adjustment range. Passenger comfort depends on seating layout, available in 12 to 17-seater configurations. Bench seats are flat but still tolerate a few hours duration. Optimal comfort comes from the 14-seater with forward-facing individual captain seats.

Getting in and out is easy thanks to a low floor and wide sliding side doors. Air conditioning with roof-mounted vents keeps the cabin cool even when fully occupied. Higher variants add luxury touches like leather-wrapped steering wheel, wooden accents and extra storage spaces.

With all seats folded, over 6 cubic meters of volume is freed up to swallow cargo thanks to a flat loading bay. Tie-down hooks help secure awkward loads while a hard-wearing rubber mat protects the floor. Overall, Toyota offers clever functionality expected from a versatile people mover.

prix toyota hiace occasion Performance

Motivating the Hiace is a well-proven 2.7-litre diesel engine producing 163 hp and 420 Nm torque. Matched to a 6-speed auto or manual gearbox powering the rear wheels, it moves the big van briskly even when loaded.

Performance tuning focuses on drivability rather than high power. Strong torque from low in the rpm range gives good drivability, especially in urban areas. Noise levels are well controlled with minimal engine rattle entering the cabin. Vibrations are also damped out reasonably for this vehicle class.

The automatic gearbox shifts smoothly but the manual option better handles frequent shifting in start-stop traffic. Expect 0-100 kph times around 15 seconds – modest by passenger car standards but ample for safe overtaking. High-speed cruising is effortless with the engine barely breaking a sweat at highway velocities.

Fuel efficiency is a key strength with up to 14-15 km/l readily achievable on the highway. Adding occupants or cargo brings economy down to around 10-12 km/l depending on load. Love it or hate it, the economy-oriented performance focus helps keep running costs in check.

Toyota hiace Safety Features

Safety takes high priority in the Hiace thanks to a range of active and passive systems. All models get anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, stability and traction control as standard. These help avoid skids and loss of control in slippery conditions.

Passive protection comes from SRS front airbags for drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. There are also side-impact door beams and three-point seat belts on all seats. Higher variants add further airbags taking the total count to six.

The Hiace enjoys a strong reputation for safety in the tough operating conditions of the Kenyan matatu industry. Its rigid body-on-frame chassis provides excellent crash protection aided by a host of assisting technologies.

Toyota hiace On-Road Experience

The Toyota Hiace feels nicely suited to daily driving duties whether fully laden or not. Strong torque provides smooth drivability around town while open-road performance remains more than adequate. The suspension absorbs harsh surfaces well aided by the separating chassis limiting shock transfer to occupants.

All round visibility is excellent thanks to the high seating position and large glasshouse. Large mirrors also help reduce blind spots. Light steering proves nimble at parking lot speeds while weighting up reassuringly on highways. Slow-speed manoeuvres are further aided by rear parking sensors featured on some variants.

Thanks to 9 inches of ground clearance and an optional 4×4, the Hiace can handle moderately rough off-road terrain. Low-range gearing becomes handy during muddy situations or steep ascents further aided by its torquey diesel motor.

On the tarmac, it remains surefooted at speed and resists body roll reasonably through corners. Ultimately, passenger comfort and safety take priority over any backroad adventures. But it will get the job done within reasonable limits.

Maintenance and Ownership Costs

toyota hiace van recommends a 10,000 Km service interval for routine Hiace maintenance. This averages around KES 8,000 – 15,000 at Toyota Kenya dealers depending on the model. Major service costs are in the KES 15,000 – 25,000 range occurring at 30,000 km intervals.

Tires can last over 40,000 km before requiring replacement at around KES 15,000 per tire fitted. Consumables like brake pads and wipers will entail added costs depending on usage severity.

Thanks to reliability born from years of global experience, total maintenance costs remain reasonable for private owners. For matatu owners covering higher mileages, careful maintenance diligence is key to minimize downtime.

VariantPrice (KES)
Hiace Van – STD5,050,000
Hiace Van – Commuter6,200,000
Hiace Van – Tourer6,700,000
Hiace Van – Grand Tourer7,360,000
Hiace Van – Premium8,000,000

On the second-hand market, Toyota Hiace prices typically range from KES 800,000 for early 2000s models with over 200,000km on the odometer to KES 3,500,000 for 2015 and newer variants with under 100,000km. Midrange examples from 2010-2013 with 150,000-180,000km usually retail from KES 1.5 million to KES 2.2 million. When shopping for a used Hiace, year of manufacture, mileage, service history and overall condition determine market values. But their renowned durability ensures even higher mileage examples still command reasonable resale pricing.

Reliability and Durability

With over 50 years of service globally, Toyota’s expertise in building durable commercial vehicles needs little introduction. The Hiace leverages this know-how to deliver class-leading longevity in the roughest operating environments.

The diesel engine and drivetrain components are designed and tested to cope with extremely high mileage. Clever features like a rear-wheel drive layout, ladder frame chassis and leaf spring suspension boost vehicle robustness.

Interiors also make use of hard-wearing materials to shrug off daily abuse from passengers and cargo. All components feel well integrated with excellent build quality that promises to minimize problems as the kilometres tally up.

Toyota hiace Disadvantages

The toyota hiace van does come with some limitations typical of vehicles created mainly for carrying people and cargo. Large exterior dimensions make it cumbersome to drive on narrow city streets, especially for novice drivers.

A high floor means passengers must haul themselves up into the cabin requiring some level of fitness. For private buyers who do not need huge people-carrying ability, more comfort-oriented SUVs offer better luxury and refinement.

Advanced driving aids and crash avoidance technologies are also absent possibly raising safety concerns. However, keeping vehicle costs low remains paramount for most customers in this category.

toyota hiace van Conclusion and Recommendations

For over five decades, Toyota’s Hiace van has built an enviable reputation as a versatile commercial workhorse. It blends durability, practicality and low ownership costs into excellent value for private and fleet buyers.

Passenger comfort is reasonable while engines strike a sensible balance between performance and economy. Known to regularly clock over 300,000 km, life expectancy should satisfy most owners in the rough operating conditions it faces locally.

While SUVs boast greater luxury and comfort, their running costs often limit feasibility for owners covering high mileage daily. Test drive the Hiace back-to-back against typical SUV alternatives to experience the compromises involved.

For owners needing reliable and affordable commercial transportation, either as private people mover or profit-generating investment, the Toyota Hiace warrants close consideration.