Toyota sure takes their time when it comes to redesigning utility vehicles. It took a decade for them to come up with a new Hilux, Fortuner, and Innova, and the current Hiace has been around since 2004. That's just about 15 years without a major redesign.
But Toyota isn't gunning for the Mitsubishi L300's (unofficial) record for longevity. After more than a decade, there's an all-new Hiace coming, and it could debut just before the year ends. So, what do we know so far? With a little help from these renders, we could know what's in the pipeline.
It was spied late last year with something most of us aren't used to seeing in a Hiace: a hood. Granted, there was the Granvia and the Euro-spec model from the 2000's, but traditionally, the Hiace has stuck to the 'cab-over' design for over 50 years. Switching over to the hooded design is likely due to more stringent crash test regulations worldwide. With a limited crumple zone, it seems like the flat-nosed days of the Hiace are numbered.
With that, the render shows what could be thee Hiace's front end. It gets some inspiration from Toyota's current design of MPVs and vans with upswept headlights, a sizable (and functional) grill, and an even larger lower air intake. The render also took liberties to add multi-spoke alloy wheels, along with some chrome bits. Grandia anyone?
As it is a commercial vehicle, it is possible that the next-gen Hiace will still come in various body configurations. The spied van had a long wheelbase, a wide body, and a low roof, which could be the Grandia. As the render draws on the spied Hiace, it has a wide tailgate with slim tail lights, likely for a wide opening to the cargo area. The render even includes a bumper step, just like the current van.
Japanese motoring website BestCar Web added that the Hiace could gain Toyota Safety Sense. The package includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning, to name a few. It is likely that Toyota Safety Sense will be available for the Japanese market, as well as select countries. Stability control is also a possibility.
BestCar Web said that the sixth-generation model will be revealed by the fourth quarter of 2019. This year's Tokyo Motor Show will be held at about the same time, which will be on October.