Toyota is out to change the game once more, particularly in the people carrier segment.
Officially making its world debut in the Philippines is the all-new 2019 Hiace. This is the first time that the Philippines has hosted a world premiere for an all-new model.
Longer, wider and sleeker, the next-generation people carrier has received a major design makeover along with new technologies and a more powerful turbo-diesel motor.
As seen from leaked photos last week, the signature cab-over design from before is now gone. Instead, the people carrier gets a new face and now comes with a hood. Taking inspiration from the more upscale Alphard, the new Hiace gets a sleek new set of headlights, as well as a new front grill and bumper. Other changes seen on the 2019 Hiace are the redesigned side mirrors and new alloy wheels on higher-grade models. Changes at the back are minimal although Toyota did install larger taillights and a new tailgate.
In terms of exterior dimensions, the all-new people carrier has grown in size. The Commuter Deluxe and GL Grandia versions measure 5265mm long, 1950mm wide, and 1990mm tall. Wheelbase is at 3210mm for those two versions.
The new GL Grandia Tourer is the much larger version of the Hiace at 5915mm long, 1950mm wide and 2280mm tall. It is also a long wheelbase variant: 3860mm.
Hop inside the new Hiace and you are greeted by a refreshed cabin and dashboard The commuter variant is capable of seating 15 while the GL can carry 12. The GL Tourer can carry 14 passengers.
As for the dashboard and center console, it is now less utilitarian-looking. The driver is treated to a new steering wheel, along with a revamped instrument panel. Meanwhile, new HVAC controls and a 2-DIN sound system are now equipped as standard on the 2019 Hiace.
Gone is the old 3.0-liter 1KD-FTV series turbo-diesel. Now, the 2019 Hiace is powered by a detuned 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine derived from the Fortuner and Innova. Unlike previous Hiace models, the new model sees the engine migrate ahead of the cabin, instead of under the driver and front passengers.
In the Commuter Deluxe the 2.8-liter engine makes 176 PS and 420 Nm, while the version in the GL Grandia makes 176 PS and more torque at 450 Nm. Surprisingly, the same 1GD engine in the bigger Hiace Grandia Tourer makes 163 Nm and 420 Nm, less than the "standard" GL Grandia and Commuter Deluxe.
Both automatic and manual gearbox options are 6-speed models.
In terms of safety equipment, all variants of the Hiace come with anti-lock brakes (ABS); surprisingly the GL Grandia and Tourer models come with 2 front airbags, while the Commuter Deluxe version even has a center airbag for a total of 3. Grandia variants will get stability control and hill start assist. Most models have disc brakes in front and drum brakes in the rear, but the Tourer version also has ventilated discs in the rear instead of drums.
Pricing for the 2019 Toyota Hiace is as follows:
2019 Toyota Hiace Commuter Deluxe 6-MT - PhP 1,590,000
2019 Toyota Hiace GL Grandia 6-MT - PhP 1,973,000
2019 Toyota Hiace GL Grandia 6-AT - PhP 2,048,000
2019 Toyota Hiace GL Grandia Tourer 6-MT - PhP 2,145,000
2019 Toyota Hiace GL Grandia Tourer 6-AT - PhP 2,220,000
Luxury Pearl Toning is a PhP 15,000 color option
Sales of the 2019 Commuter and GL Grandia will begin on March 5, 2019. The GL Grandia Tourer, on the other hand, will be available on the first week of April 2019.