The 'superhero' of Toyota vans

The 'superhero' of Toyota vans

The Toyota Hiace is classified as a light commercial vehicle (LCV) that is extremely versatile and can be configured into a number of forms including an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), an office shuttle, and even an ambulance.

It has served its purpose so well that Toyota saw no reason to change its overall body shape from the first-generation unit all the way up to the fifth-generation model – although the latter is still produced until today but only marketed in Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

For the sixth-generation model, a major redesign was in order and as the Philippines is one of the biggest markets of the Hiace anywhere in the world, with more than 136,000 units in sales and cornering 55.6% of the segment, the global premiere was held in the country.

With the addition of a new semi-bonnet body type, which we will detail later on, the Hiace now comes with a lot more trims to offer, from the Commuter all the way to the top-of-the-line Super Grandia.

And that’s the one that’s caught everyone’s eye, the van that has all the “bells and whistles” and then some.

Super loaded and brimming with amenities and features, we take a closer look at this hero of vans, the Toyota GL Super Grandia.

Distinguishing itself from the rest, it has a different set of dimensions compared to the two other body sizes of the Hiace. It is shorter than most in the lineup at 5,300 mm in length, but it is wider at 1,970 mm, and it is  only as tall as the Commuter Deluxe at 1,990 mm. It doesn’t even have the biggest wheelbase at just 3,210 mm. But don’t, for a second, underestimate it.

The Super Grandia comes in an extra three trims, the Super Grandia Elite, the Super Grandia (leather), and the Super Grandia (fabric).

Seats of the Elite and leather trims are naturally leather. The driver’s seat of the Elite is six-way power adjustable while the leather and fabric are only six-way manually adjustable. The front passenger seat for all trims are only four-way manually adjustable.

The second row of the Elite has two captain’s seats with quilted leather that has an ottoman and is four-way power adjustable. Row three also has two captain’s seats with quilted leather while row four has a 2+2 bench-type seat with 50:50 Space-Up feature.

Steering is also different per trim. The Elite gets a combo of leather and wood with a chrome logo and switches for audio, telephone, adaptive cruise control, pre-Collision system, the MID, and lane departure assist.

The Leather trim gets a leather steering wheel with chrome logo while the Fabric trim has a urethane steering wheel with chrome logo. Both only have switches for audio, telephone, cruise control, and MID.

The shift lever knob of the Elite and the Leather trim is leather bound and dashboard mounted while the Fabric trim is made of urethane.

Interior illumination is available for all trims but the Elite comes with adjustable color and brightness while the other two trims only have adjustable brightness.

Door trim of the Elite is leather and wood with plating while the two other trims have leather with piano black accents.

The Elite has 21 cup holders and bottle holders while the other two trims only have 19 in all.

Standard cabin features include a speedometer with Optitron feature, a 4.2-inch MID (multi-information display), a display audio with CD + DVD = MP3 + FLAC +  Aux-in + USB + Bluetooth + T-Link (for Apple and Android) and K2 Technology, six speakers, automatic climate control system. two 12V outlets, a USB port in front and six at the rear, manual tilt and telescopic steering column, and an electrochromic rearview mirror with back monitor.

Only the Elite trim comes with Nano-E technology, which is a special air purification system that keeps you and your skin feeling refreshed and less fatigued after hours on the road.

Other cabin features include power windows with driver and passenger auto Up/Down feature, speed-sensing door locks, power adjustable and power retractable outside rearview mirrors, Toyota’s Smart Entry System where you’ll just need to have the key in your pocket or bag when you reach for the handle to unlock the doors, and an Auto Easy Closer features on both dual sliding doors and the back door.

The exterior comes with a body color front bumper, chrome grille with hood molding, bi-beam LED (light-emitting diode) halogen headlamps with integrated turn lamps and auto levelling feature, LED front clearance lamps, LED front fog lamps, headlamps cleaner, rain sensing and intermittent windshield wipers with mist (front and back), rear window defogger with timer, and a rear roof spoiler.

On the chassis are MacPherson strut front suspensions and four-link coil spring rear suspensions, ventilated discs brakes front and rear, variable power steering, 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/60 R17 tires.

Powering this lineup is Toyota’s 1GD-FTV engine with a 2.8-liter displacement. It is a straight-four common rail diesel banger with a variable nozzle turbocharger (VNT), chain drive and intercooler. It sends 174hp and 450Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Hiace was first Toyota model to ever bring in the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). It is only available in the Elite and features Pre-Collision System (using an integrated camera and radar system to help reduce the likelihood of colliding with a preceding car or pedestrian), Lane Departure Alert (using a camera on the windshield to help avoid the consequences of unintended lane departure by alerting the driver when it senses that the vehicle has veered from its lane), Adaptive Cruise Control (using radar plus a camera to adjust and help maintain a preset distance from the car in front), and Automatic High Beam (using a built-in camera to detect the headlights of oncoming traffic and the tail lamps of vehicles in front. If the camera sensor detects a change, such as the presence of streetlights, headlights or tail lights ahead, it may shift from high to low beam to help you maintain safe and considerate driving).

Other safety features include driver + passenger + driver knee + front side + curtain shield SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with BA (Brake Assist), VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), Traction Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, two three-point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts in front, and eight three-point ELR seatbelts spread across the rear seats, ISOFIX and tether anchors, Toyota Vehicle Security System with self-power siren and immobilizer, a back monitor, and clearance and back sonar (two in front and four at the rear).

The GL Super Grandia body comes in four colors, Black, Gray Metallic, Luxury Pearl Toning, and White Pearl.

Price of the Toyota GL Super Grandia 2.8 AT (fabric) starts at P2.533 million, while the Toyota GL Super Grandia 2.8 AT (leather) starts at P2.623 million. The Toyota GL Super Grandia 2.8 AT Elite starts at P2.983 million.

Photo from Toyota Motor Philippines

 

Eric Tipan

Eric Tipan

Eric is a morning person who hates waking up at 5AM. A radio personality since ’93 and a TV sportscaster for almost two decades, he also writes for Manila Bulletin and Esquire Philippines and co-hosts the radio talk show Gear Box on Radyo Pilipinas 738 kHz. It’s crazy but he sometimes wishes he could do more. Follow him on Twitter | Instagram: @eric_tipan

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Seating 3
3
3
13
2
Automatic Climate Control No
No
No
No
No
Rear A/C Vents No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Anti-Lock Braking System Yes
Yes
-
Yes
-
Driver Airbag Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Seat Belt Warning Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Rear Seat Belts No
No
No
Yes
-
Side Impact Beams Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ebd -
Yes
-
Yes
No
Multi-function Steering Wheel -
-
No
-
No
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