The Toyota Hiace has become a ubiquitous shape in our local motoring landscape. So much so that we sometimes forget that the popular van is more than a decade old. Now, it seems like a new one is on the horizon, and it looks like it will be its most dramatic redesign to date.
Our friends from Headlightmag acquired an issue of Japanese magazine Mag-X, and they have the spy shots of the next-generation model. Aside from that, Autoblog Argentina also got photos of the said van, sent in by one of their readers.
While the van is still mostly covered, most noticeable on the all-new Hiace is the addition of a hood. It appears that it will ditch the traditional cab-over design, a Hiace signature since the 1960's, for a hood. This is perhaps due to safety regulations wherein crash tests have have been showing one particular weakness of cab-over designs, which is a small crumple zone area. If this is indeed the all-new Hiace, it is now similar to other vans such as the Hyundai Starex, Mercedes-Benz V-Class, and Ford Transit.
As for the rest of the van, it's still the same slab-sided, boxy, and upright look which has been around since 2004. The windshield and driver's door appear more rakish, but the rear windows look larger than before. In fact, the whole van seems wider than the model it will soon replace. That, or it could be the wide-body version like the Super Grandia. By the looks of things, the dual sliding doors have been retained.
For now, the engine line-up is also a mystery. But given Toyota has a wide variety of turbodiesels in their pick-ups and SUVs, it is likely that one or two of them could make its way under the Hiace's hood. The likely candidates are the 2.4-liter diesel from the 4x2 versions of the Hilux and Fortuner, or a detuned version the 2.8-liter diesel, just like the Innova.
There is no definite launch date for the next-generation Hiace just yet. If the spy shots are anything to go by, it is possible that it will be launched by late 2019 or sometime in 2020.