Car reviews - Toyota - Hiace - van range
Rather than risk the radical, Toyota chose steady evolution for its fifth generation HiAce
11 Mar 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
TOYOTA has introduced a fifth generation of its HiAce range on the same basic principles as the 1967 original. There is more power, space, and safety but the new HiAce is packaged like its predecessors with rear-wheel drive and under-seat engine. In developing this critical new model, Toyota’s designers worked on refining the existing formula. Given the HiAce’s huge international success (4.6 million sold in 38 years), such conservatism is understandable. About half are sold in Japan and the rest exported to some 30 countries but Europe barely features on the itinerary. In an Australian context filling with vehicles such as the Volkswagen T5, Mercedes-Benz Vito and Renault Trafic, the new HiAce already seems dated but customer loyalty, keen pricing and abundant utility should ensure strong sales.
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HiAce vanReleased: October 1989
Ended: March 2005
Family Tree: Hiace
The first four generations of HiAce were introduced in 1967 (1971 to Australia), 1977, 1982 and 1989. In 15 years, the fourth series accounted for two million of the 4.6 million total HiAce sales to date.
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