And it doesn’t actually look half-bad.
The Toyota HiAce is one of those vehicles that are as ubiquitous as sliced bread. Now in its sixth generation, the HiAce is tough, dependable, and absolutely cavernous, a reputation that it’s established by being one of the best vans out there for doing the things that people do with vans, like haul people, and stuff.
The 6th-gen HiAce sits on a bespoke platform, and now adopts a semi-bonnet design that has allowed Toyota to fit new engines into it. Those engines now come in the form of a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, or a 3.5-litre atmospheric V6 petrol, mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic (outputs were not offered by Toyota at press time). Additionally, the new platform offers better rigidity and an improved ride, a couple of things that HiAce owners & drivers will appreciate.
As before, the HiAce is available in two sizes – Normal/Standard Roof, and Long/High Roof. The Normal model measures in at 5265mm in length, 1950mm in width, and 1990mm in height, sitting on a 3210mm wheelbase (increments of 570mm, 255mm, 10mm, and 640mm respectively).
The Long/High Roof model measures in at 5915mm in length, 1950mm in width, 2280mm in height, atop a 750mm wheelbase (increments of 535mm, 70mm, -5mm, and 750mm). As per usual there are a wide variety of seating options available with the new HiAce, with Toyota touting no less than 29 different layouts between the two bodystyles.
The larger dimensions & new bonnet means that the HiAce now resembles its Western competitors a bit more, with the semi-bonnet featuring an angular face. As a result of that semi-bonnet, the front doors are now larger, and no longer sit above the front wheels. And the rear features a larger tailgate & more prominent taillights.
Inside, the new HiAce gets a dashboard that’s meant to look more premium than before, with the centre stack featuring vertical air-conditioning slats that flank a media headunit. The HVAC controls have also been moved closer to the headunit, freeing up space beneath thanks to the high-mounted gear-selector. The steering wheel & meter cluster have also been revamped, in the same vane.
Interestingly, Toyota’s aiming for a full 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating with the new HiAce, which it says is achievable thanks to the inclusion of Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of advanced driver assist systems. We’re not sure if it’s as extensive a suite as in their passenger cars, but if it is, that could mean the inclusion of things like autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and even rear cross-traffic alert.