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TOYOTA HIACE VAN: Which Version Do You Like for Used Car?

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This year marks the 47th year since the birth of the HIACE VAN, whose past successive models have all proudly gained mass popularity. That the HIACE VAN has storage capabilities and durability that do not betray its practical appearance is a characteristic that has received much positive reviews. Here, we wish to describe in further detail the changes and modifications that past successive models have undergone.

First Generation Model (1967 - 1977)

The first generation HIACE VAN was first sold as a three-person van with a maximum load capacity of 850 kilograms. The side door opened forward. The next year, the six-person delivery van model with a sliding door on the left side was added. This six-person model contained three seats in the front, and the second row had a riding capacity of three people. Accordingly, the maximum load capacity was reduced to 500 kilograms. The engine was a 1,350cc inline four-cylinder OHV 3P type with 56 horsepower.
In 1971, a commuter type of the same series and a long van with the same wheel base were added. Accordingly, the maximum load capacity increased to 1,000 kilograms.
In 1975, a super long van with a wheelbase extended by 380mm was added. To achieve the extension of the wheelbase, the space between the front door and the slide door was enlarged, similar to a stretch limousine.
Through various alternations and minor changes, in the end, the lineup of the first generation HIACE was: 3-person with 4 doors (sliding door on one side) and 5 doors (sliding doors on both sides); 6-person with 4 doors and 5 doors; 9-person with 4 doors. As a long van, the lineup was: 3-person with 4 doors; 6-person with 4 doors; 9-person, which was available as a long van and super long van.
The engine lineup also changed to consist of 1,587cc with 80 horsepower and 1,808cc with 95 horsepower.

Second Generation Model (1977 - 1985)

In 1977, the HIACE experienced a model change for the first time to transition to the 20 series. In terms of appearance, a big change was that the four round headlamps of the first generation model changed to two headlamps. The wheelbase of the second generation model was lined up from the beginning of its sale as 2,340mm for the standard, 2,545mm for the long, and 2,845mm for the super long.
The engine at the start of sales, just as with the first generation, was gasoline only, with three types available: 1,968cc and 100 horsepower, 1,808cc and 95 horsepower, and 1,587cc and 80 horsepower.
From the aspect of functionality, improvements were made to the load capacity and the doors. For the standard version, complying with the riding capacity, the load capacity was expanded to 850 kilograms/600 kilograms, and with the 9-person van, it became possible to allow for a load capacity of 750 kilograms when the third row seats were folded up.
This was also when the seat arrange feature was introduced. With the sliding door as well, the opening was enlarged to 980mm. Additionally, the back door was modified so that not only did it open up, but the upper link that connects the back door to the body was made so that it could also slide forward as it opens, allowing for greater usability in tighter spaces.
The riding capacity, body type, and door count, the lineup were based on those of the first generation model.

Third Generation Model (1982 - 1989)

The third generation model further improved practicality by implementing several essential improvements. In terms of the drive system, for the first time, the 4WD was added to the lineup, improving the usability of the vehicle in colder regions and inclement weather.
The rear tires were reduced from the standard 14-inch to 12-inch, and the Just Low series with a flat trunk floor was added to the lineup as well. Additionally, High Roof was added, and in terms of the riding capacity, 3-person, 6-person, and 9-person were added; together with the options of 4WD, High Roof, and the Just Low series, there emerged 38 grade variations to choose from. The Super GL, which continues to be popular today, was also first introduced into the lineup at this time.
In terms of the engine lineup, there was the 2,400cc diesel, as well as 1,800cc and 2,000cc gasoline engines.

Fourth Generation Model (1989 - 2004)

In 1989, the fourth generation was introduced. This model, which reflected the booming economy of the times, saw grand improvements in engine displacement as well the interior and exterior. In terms of the body size, the lineup was expanded to include 3 number size wide body that went beyond the 5-number frame of previous models. The automatic car settings were expanded, and front moon roofs and sun roofs were installed, with the aim to show that even vans can have luxury and comfort.
In terms of the Just Low series, a change was made to install super flat single tires, with the aim to reduce maintenance fees that were required for the previous double tires.
In addition, the focus on consistently improving practicality and usability remained during this round of changes as well; the opening of the sliding doors was enlarged, and the trunk width was expanded by 10mm by changing where the battery was stored.
In terms of the engine, the newly developed 2,000cc gasoline engine was used, and in terms of diesel engines, in addition to the 2,400cc engine of the past, the new 2,800cc engine was added to the lineup.

Fifth Generation Model (2004 - )

A long period of 15 years passed before the model was changed to introduce the fifth generation model in 2004. This generation saw further improvements in practicality as well, especially due to the fact that the function and role of a wagon was explored with the TOYOTA Alphard series. Aspects of these improvements include: body variations that became further specialized in various uses and purposes, the expansion of the interior space, improvements in crash safety, improvements in the engine’s environmental performance, and so on.
For the body type, the standard lineup was taken away. In terms of the length, there is the long and super long; for the body width, there is standard and wide; for the roof, there is standard and high roof. Additionally, there is an option of 4-door or 5-door, and 2WD or 4WD, making it a 9-grade lineup. In terms of the interior, because of the expansion of the body width, when compared with the fourth generation model, it is 190mm wider.
Inside, we incorporated consumer requests and built in storage space for business tools in different places. With the Super GL Grade, the wide multi-AV station was installed, and the option to include GPS functions and back monitors was introduced.
The lineup for the engine consists of the 2,000cc and 2,700cc gasoline engines, and the 3,000cc diesel engine. For the transmission, in addition to the 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual, for gasoline-run vehicles, the 6-speed automatic was also included in the lineup.
In terms of the doors, an electric power sliding function was installed on the sliding side door, and the easy closer function was added to the back door, which allows for the door to automatically close, even when it is only halfway shut.
To improve anti-theft strategies, the immobilizer system was installed, which prevents keys without a specific ID code on it from starting the vehicle.
Another characteristic of the fifth generation model is that in comparison to the previous generation models’ focus on business or commercial goals, the fifth generation model is focused on responding to the various needs of our times today. Because of this shift in focus, and using its loading capacity, the fifth generation model has been used to carry camp equipment and outdoor gear, further increasing its popularity.

Despite having a history of close to 50 years, the HIACE VAN has only had five generations of models made. The reason behind this is not that it was unpopular and so the model could not be changed; instead, part of the reason was that the focus was on preserving the high-level basic performance, while tweaking and installing minor improvements even within the same model to respond to consumers’ needs. This can also mean that this is a characteristic of the HIACE VAN - that from the very beginning, high practicality was incorporated into the early designs, and anticipating a long life cycle, a basic design that would be able to withstand changes and alterations was implemented. The fifth generation model will also presumably follow and continue this trend.
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