In over 40 years a quarter of a million Toyota HiAce vans and buses have been sold in Australia. The Toyota HiAce has been market leader of the van and light bus segments here for more than two decades. HiAce vans claimed 36 per cent of sales in its class in 2013. While that’s an impressive number, although nothing compared with the staggering 73 per cent share of the light bus market.

Just because you drive a van or bus doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the comfort features you get in a car, such is the thinking behind the upgrades just introduced on the Toyota HiAce range.

Instead of the traditional three-seat arrangement in the front, HiAce now has a bucket seat for the front passenger, and there’s a centre-console box between the seats.

Toyota_HiAce_rearCruise control and audio switches are fitted to the new design four-spoke steering wheel. There’s a multi-information screen showing the time, outside temperature and odometer.

Automatic HiAces have a shift position indicator. An ‘Eco’ driving indicator light encourages low fuel use by showing the driver when the accelerator is being operated efficiently.

You would never have described any Toyota commercial vehicle as looking soft, nevertheless Toyota now tells us, “the HiAce front-end looks more robust”. So there. The robust look consists of a new shape for the headlights. The additional safety provided by with daytime running lights (DRLs). The new front bumper has been pulled back at the corners, where it finishes with squarer edges.

Toyota_HiAce_interiorThe grille openings are larger than before and take styling cues from the trapezoidal shape seen on the latest generation of Toyota passenger cars.

HiAce has had a reversing camera on all models from May 2012 production with a 3.3-inch image displayed in the rear-view mirror.

Toyota HiAce range has three body types, two wheelbases, two engines and two transmissions. Body styles are long wheelbase van, wide-body and high-roof super-long wheelbase (SLWB) van and Commuter bus. Wheelbases are 2570mm for LWB van and 3110mm for SLWB van and 14-seat Commuter bus.

All offered with the choice of 2.7-litre petrol or 3.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engines.

Transmissions are five-speed manual or four-speed overdrive automatic.

Value for money continues and there are no price increases for HiAce vans, though the HiAce bus has been limited to just $500.

The complete 2014 Toyota HiAce range is:
Long Wheelbase 2.7-litre petrol van: $32,990 (manual), $35,490 (automatic)
Super Long Wheelbase 2.7-litre petrol van: $40,990 (manual), $43,490 (automatic)
Long Wheelbase 3.0-litre diesel van: $36,990 (manual), $39,490 (automatic)
Super Long Wheelbase 3.0-litre diesel van: $44,990 (manual), $47,490 (automatic)
Commuter Bus 2.7-litre petrol van: $53,490 (manual), $55,990 (automatic)
Commuter Bus 3.0-litre diesel van: $57,490 (manual), $59,990 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Toyota dealer for driveaway prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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