Toyota HiAce: Old vs new

toyota hiace

The HiAce van we have come to know and love is now on its sixth generation, and it’s sporting a longer nose than ever before. Launched in the Philippines before anywhere else, for sure, the new Toyota HiAce is a huge departure from the one that came before it.

But do the changes make it better, or worse? We try to find out in this comparison of the old vs. new Toyota HiAce van.

Specs and performance

The old HiAce's 2.5-liter direct-injection, four-stroke, four-cylinder, in-line, 16-valve, common-rail diesel engine pushed the van to 101hp and 260Nm of torque. This engine was paired to either a 4-speed gate type dash-mounted automatic transmission in the upper trims and a 5-speed manual, also dash-mounted, in the base Commuter.

The biggest change in the sixth-generation Hiace is the engine location. While past Hiace vans had their engine located underneath the front seats, the latest version has it up front. A 1GD-FTV 2.8-liter engine now sits before the driver's knees, dishing out 161 to 176hp and 420 to 450Nm of torque, depending on variant. Speaking of variants, the 2019 Hiace has four: the Super Grandia, GL Grandia Tourer, GL Grandia, and Commuter. The Grandia trims come with a choice of six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, while the base Commuter only has the manual gearbox option.



Like the new van, the previous generation HiAce also introduced a lot of changes to the one before it, beginning with the boxier shape that represented a more retro feel, not to mention make the van more spacious interior-wise. Its base model, the Commuter, measured 4,695mm long, 1,695mm wide, and 1,980mm tall, with a 2,570 mm wheelbase. It offered buyers six paint finishes to choose from, including White Pearl (also available in two-tone), Silver Metallic, Xtreme Black, White, and Dark Green Mica Metallic.

toyota hiace

The 2019 Toyota Hiace is longer, wider, and taller than ever before. With the engine now moved to the front, naturally, the 2019 Hiace now has a longer snout, making it two feet lengthier than its predecessor. The GL Grand Tourer in particular, is a whopping 152mm loftier than the tallest trim of the outgoing model. It’s also 290mm higher than its fellow current trims, allowing for a more spacious feel overall. Design-wise, the 2019 Hiace exterior boasts clean character lines sweep through the Hiace horizontally, creating a strong muscular look. The Grandia variants come equipped with LED daytime running lights and fog lamps at the front bumper, complemented by chamfered rear combination lamps. Color options vary between the new HiAce’s four variants.


toyota hiace

The old Hiace offered captain seats, full reclining driver and front passenger seats, with day and night rear view mirrors, a door ajar warning signal, dual air conditioners, standard audio systems, and key/left/lights off reminder signals. Its moquette-upholstered seats are comfortable enough to relax in. What’s more, this 15-seater's seats can be folded to maximize the space inside, offering decent room for everyone to move around and store their cargo inside.

toyota hiace

Four different configurations of the new HiAce offer three different seating capacities. The top-spec Super Grandia seats 10 people, the GL Grandia Tourer seats 14, while the Commuter offers the most seats with 15. The mid-trim GL Grandia only seats 12. Drink holders also come aplenty, with the Commuter having five, and the Grandia’s having 20-plus cup and bottle holders in all. Large overhead and console trays also offer storage for other items. The Grandia variants come with more comfortable headrests for passengers to relax on. Other added creature comforts include wider legroom, strategically-located assist grips, and an illuminated entry system.


Owing to its age, safety features could certainly have been better in the old HiAce, especially when compared to today’s standards. This rings true even for the upper variants, where airbags were reserved only for the driver and front passenger. Standard safety offerings include side door impact beams, 3-point ELR seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes.

In the new HiAce, moving the engine up front offers better protection for driver and front passenger against crashes. Meanwhile, a center seat airbag is available for front center passengers, making Toyota the first utility van maker to offer such a feature. Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags have been increased, with the Grandia variants now with driver knee, front side, and curtain shield added to the standard driver and front passenger. The upper variants also come with Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Anti-Lock Brake System, and Emergency Brake Signals. The Commuter Deluxe also has Anti-Lock Brake System and Emergency Brake Signals. Opt for the Super Grandia Elite and you also get the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance technologies.

Shopping for a Toyota HiAce, check out the selection of new and used Toyota HiAce vans here on Carmudi.

Photo/s from Toyota

Also read:

BUYER'S GUIDE: 2019 Toyota Hiace

2020 Toyota Camry Gets Better Traction and Handling with AWD

Explore Toyota Hiace

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