Since the launch of the current generation in March 2006, the Toyota Hiace has been among the more popular vans sold in Malaysia, the popular choice of many fleet operators in the government and private sectors. More significantly, the model assembled at UMW Toyota Motor’s plant in Shah Alam, Selangor, is also exported to Thailand – the only model that Toyota exports from Malaysia. To date, over 14,000 units have been sold (including 3,000 units exported to Thailand).
The popularity of the Hiace is attributed to the sound original product concept it was developed with. The concept, based on extensive studies of customer needs and usage patterns, required the model to be the best in its class, offering a high volume of cargo capacity and also comfort for the passenger-carrying versions. Ample power was also to be provided but with good fuel-efficiency since low operating cost is very important to fleet operators. Toyota’s proven quality, durability and reliability have also helped, of course.
Recently, an updated Hiace appeared in Toyota showrooms and as before, it is available in three versions: Panel Van 2.5 Turbodiesel, High Roof Window Van 2.5 Turbodiesel and High Roof Window Van 2.7 Petrol.
The Hiace Window Vans are intended as people-carriers, able to accommodate up to 11 people comfortably on four rows of seating, with the turbodiesel version suited for longer journeys as it offers low operating costs. The Hiace Panel Van is an ideal business partner and has a GVW of 2,800 kgs.
The latest Hiace has some cosmetic changes but retains the familiar looks. There are no changes to the interior layout but in response to customer feedback, the interior colour theme is now a darker grey colour. This applies to the door trim, floormats and fabric upholstery for the seats.
As a people-mover, the Hiace Window Van has been equipped to make every journey a comfortable one, the most important consideration being the provision of cool air inside the cabin. To ensure this, there is a 2-tier custom-designed air-conditioning system which rapidly cools down the interior by blowing cool air to the rearmost section via a second blower mounted on the ceiling.
As the Hiace is used for daily commercial applications, the well-being of the driver is important and Toyota’s designers have ensured that his ‘office’ is ergonomically laid out with easy-to-read meters, comfortable seating and even power windows on the front doors (with a one-touch up/down facility on the driver’s side). The gearlever is conveniently located next to the steering column, freeing space below the dashboard. To make long journeys less boring, an audio system with AM/FM tuner and CD-player are provided as standard.
The two engine choices available are mated to durable 5-speed manual transmissions. The petrol option is the Toyota 2TR-FE 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine which has VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent). This 2694 cc engine produces 111 kW/151 ps and 241 Nm of torque. The diesel engine is the Toyota 2KD-FTV 4-cylinder 16-valve unit, turbocharged and using Direct Injection Common Rail fuel delivery. High-pressure fuel delivery enhances output and enables the engine to develop as much as 75 kW/102 ps and 260 Nm of torque from as low as 1600 rpm (and maintaining that peak torque up to 2400 rpm).
As with all models sold by UMW Toyota Motor, the latest Hiace comes with a 3-year/100,000 kms (whichever occurs earlier after first registration) warranty. Prices in Peninsular Malaysia range from RM82,990 to RM104,490 (for company registration).
To know more about the Hiace, visit any Toyota showroom nationwide, call the Toyota Freephone 1-800-8-TOYOTA (1-800-8-869682) or visit www.toyota.com.my
|The Hiace assembled at UMW Toyota Motor’s plant in Shah Alam, Selangor, is also exported to Thailand
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