Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and the country’s automotive industry leader, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), jointly unveiled the new generation Toyota Hiace during the new model’s World Premiere held at the Grand Hyatt Manila, Bonifacio Global City.
The Philippines was selected as the venue for the world premiere, being the number one distributor of the model outside of Japan and the 150 countries where it is offered. The Hiace has become a common fixture in providing mobility services to both public and private sectors, helping promote education, tourism, healthcare, and more.
“We, at Toyota Motor Philippines, are honored to host the World Premiere of the All-New Toyota Hiace. For the first time, the world’s eyes are on the Philippines, to witness the unveiling of the Full Model Change Hiace, never before exhibited elsewhere,” said Satoru Suzuki, President of TMP.
Redesigned inside and out
In designing the all-new Hiace, engineers sought to create a highly productive, yet also safe, comfortable, and reliable means of transport. This begins at the very front, with a new semi-bonnet design, moving the engine forward instead of atop the front wheel axle in its predecessor. This grants the driver and front passenger better ergonomics, without the heat and vibration emanating underneath their seats. This also results in better serviceability, as the engine becomes easier to access.
The front features upswept headlights while mid to high grade variants feature vertical LED Daytime Running Lights and fog lamps in the bumper. They are complemented by chamfered rear combination lamps in the rear.
The all-new Hiace also comes with a highly rigid body and a spacious cabin space is built for maximized storage. The cabin features large overhead and console trays, in addition to the ample space beneath the front row seats (in the base variant). There is noticeably greater legroom, wider door steps, strategically-positioned assist grips, and an illuminated entry system. Mid to high grade variants get plush headrests, while the entire line-up features improved overall suspension for a better ride.
Power and safety
Propelling the vehicle is the 1GD-FTV 2.8-liter engine that makes 176 PS and 420 – 450 Nm (depending on the model). The new powertrain also integrates technologies like a high boost turbocharger, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), and a Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF). This four-cylinder turbo diesel is paired with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic. It also includes variable power steering, lighter gear shifting. Keeping it aloft over bumps is a MacPherson strut front suspension system with leaf spring rear suspension.
As for safety, all Hiace variants come with ABS, airbags for front passengers, and emergency brake signals. The base model includes a center passenger airbag, while the higher grade variants include vehicle stability control and hill start assist.
TMC and TMP officially introduced three variants of the all-new Hiace: the GL Grandia Tourer, the GL Grandia, and the Commuter Deluxe. Both the Commuter Deluxe and the GL Grandia will be available for retail in all Toyota dealerships nationwide starting March 5, 2019. The GL Grandia Tourer will be available in early April. The GL Grandia Tourer, GL Grandia, and Commuter Deluxe comfortably fit a maximum of 14, 12, and 15 people, respectively.
The all-new Hiace starts at P1,590,000 for the Commuter Deluxe 6MT; P1,973,000 for the GL Grandia 6MT; P2,048,000 for the GL Grandia 6AT; P2,145,000 for the GL Grandia Tourer 6MT; and P2,220,000 for the GL Grandia Tourer 6AT. Luxury Pearl Toning white is a P15,000 color option.
An enviable legacy
The Toyota Hiace has been present in the Philippines for 25 years. It was first introduced in 1994 and since then has sold more than 135,650 units. The Hiace is the leading model of the utility van segment with a 55.6-percent total market share, as of last 2018. The Hiace is a transportation staple that ferries people, moves cargo, and shuttles clients over great distances whether in urban centers or rural countryside.
“The Hiace is a faithful partner that makes people feel safe, satisfied, and proud. Owners, drivers, and passengers know they are in good hands when they own, drive, and ride in a Hiace,” said Toyota Motor Corporation Hiace Chief Engineer, Takuo Ishikawa.
Text and photos by Iñigo S. Roces