Last February 2019, the all-new Toyota Hiace made its global debut in the Philippines. A few months later, the more luxurious Super Grandia followed, and we thought that would be the end for the fifth generation Hiace that has been produced since 2004.
But we thought wrong.
Despite the introduction of an all-new model last year, it seems the previous-generation Hiace H200 continues to be produced and sold in Japan. And what's more bizarre is the fact that Toyota even updated the people carrier with new safety features for the 2020 model year.
The latest update on the Japanese Hiace comes in the form of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). Yes, the van now comes standard with the latest version of TSS, which can help drivers cruise through the Japanese roads safer. As a result, the Hiace now comes with a pre-collision system or automatic emergency braking (AEB), Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert, and Lane Tracing Assist. As we found out for ourselves, LTA can even detect and follow the car ahead should there be no visible lanes.
Optional upgrades on the Hiace include a new digital mirror; basically a rearview mirror with a screen. The digital mirror is then complemented by a panoramic around view monitor which is displayed on the infotainment screen. Rounding up the optional upgrades is Toyota’s Acceleration Suppression Function (ASF) system which helps prevent sudden unintended acceleration (SUA).
To help drivers use and understand the new safety better, Toyota also upgraded the gauge cluster. A 4.2-inch screen, similar to the one in the Fortuner, has been fitted into the cluster, displaying various parameters and even shows when TSS functions are being used.
The updated Hiace H200 with Toyota Safety Sense is scheduled to go on sale in Japan starting May 1 and is standard on all trim levels. No new engines here or body updates here. This means the Japan-spec Hiace H200 continues to be offered with either a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, a 2.7-liter gasoline mill, or a 2.0-liter gasoline unit, all of which are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Considering that Toyota still updated the aging H200 model, it seems as though it might still be staying around for a while. Well, for Japan at least.