Have a think about how many times you see a Toyota HiAce in traffic. They are absolutely prolific, but from a motoring point of view it’s not the kind of vehicle I’ve ever really paid attention to. Well a brand spanking new HiAce has launched, one that will no doubt send plumbers, fruit shop owners and fishmongers into a frenzy. 

2019 Toyota HiAce (L) LWB Van and SLWB Van (R).

It’s been a long bloody wait, 15 years in fact but hey Toyota needed some good news after killing off the much-loved Tarago van. The most obvious highlight is the new protruding semi-bonnet but the new HiAce is also longer and wider on a brand-new platform.

Engines choices include turbodiesel and V6 options, all boasting more power and refinement. 

Toyota Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said; 

“We focused on making the new-generation vehicle an even better tool of trade through an all-new semi-bonneted design, increased performance, a quiet cabin, smooth ride and improved handling and agility,” Mr Hanley said.

“Its impressive carrying capacity is even more flexible and user-friendly with increased internal width, and increased height on LWB versions, and dual sliding side doors on van models which, for the SLWB variants, can take a standard Australian pallet.

“We are also providing HiAce customers with the same high level of safety as found in our passenger cars and SUVs with a full suite of advanced Toyota Safety Sense technologies.”

2019 Toyota HiAce Commuter GL.

There are no less than nine HiAce variants on offer. Including long wheelbase (LWB) and super long wheelbase (SLWB) options. There are two and five-seat models and the choice of a manual (LWB-only) or automatic transmissions.

2019 Toyota HiAce LWB Crew Van.

The range kicks off at $38,6401 for the LWB van that can be optioned with a 207kW / 351Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol or 130kW 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. Manual and automatic transmissions both have six cogs. That petrol engine is a whopping 89kW more powerful than the outgoing four-cylinder unit. 

The turbodiesel engine is slightly smaller but again offers up more grunt via an increase of 30kW and up to 150Nm. 

2019 Toyota HiAce Commuter GL.

The five-seat HiAce is available for the LWB crew van with the turbodiesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent to the rear wheels too. 

2019 Toyota HiAce LWB Crew Van.

At the pointy end of the line-up is the Commuter that can seat 12. 

On the tech front the HiAce scores the latest generation multimedia system which is showcased via a 7-inch touchscreen display, the HiAce also gets DAB radio, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic alerts and voice recognition plus Siri eyes-free. But what about this, from the fourth quarter this year Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be offered. Plus, it can be retro-fitted on new HiAce models for no extra charge. This makes the HiAce the 2nd Toyota to be equipped with these systems after the new RAV-4.

2019 Toyota HiAce LWB Van with accessories.

The Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance features are included for the first time on a HiAce. This bundle includes a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist (certain speed signs only) and auto high beam.

2019 Toyota HiAce Commuter GL.

Standard features are excellent including cruise control, anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors.

The HiAce is covered by three years or 60,000km warranty, service intervals are six months or 10,000km. Prices are capped at $240 per service or $180 for petrol variants.