24 April 2014
Bought my 2002 88bhp gs 7 yrs ago at 104,000 miles. Not one breakdown, misfire or weird problems. Did start to lose water very slowly and when I had cambelt done at 138,000 miles, garage said water pump had very slight leak. New waterpump, diff and gearbox oil change. Had shock absorbers and twin batteries changet last year. Now 150,000 miles with new discs and pads and still on original clutch even though I commute to north London. So easy to drive and pull away. Does 30 mpg or 400 miles to tank in London or 40 mpg/500 miles to south of France. I would rather pay bit more on fuel than heaps of trouble of other makes.
Thought I’d throw in a 3 year update: 4 years and now 154000 miles and it’s just passed its MoT. Apart from servicing it has consumed a set of front disc pads in 4 years and 40000 miles and that’s it! Apart from diesel and servicing which I do, running the fuel tank full rather than empty helps the ride when not loaded. It gives an average of 40mpg and is a great van that still drives nice :)
I’ve had Hiaces for 10 years. I started off with the 2.4 D then got a 2.4 D4D 2003. I’ve just covered 127K and only had a few problems, mostly due to the fact that it works hard and always weighs in at two tonnes, some times over three. It does not like snow or wet grass on standard tyres, but I have now got winter tyres and it goes anywhere. I’d just got them when we had that hard winter about 2 years ago; I was working in the Cotswolds on unclassified roads and we just drove up them as you would in the summer. We even stopped on a hill to help out a BMW as it was stuck. It may not be as posh as the new vans, but I would keep it over them.
I’m on my 4th Hiace now. I had a 95 Granvia Hiace 4WD import years ago, which was fast and comfy, but had terrible fuel consumption, plus the rear seats not coming out easily was a pain. I then got a 99 Hiace 2.4 LWB, which was slower, but I had no issues with in 2 years of ownership. I then got a 08 Hiace 120, which was fast, but a bit too snatchy around town driving, although great on long journeys, uphill and overtaking, but oddly started to rust in various places (perhaps due to a life near the sea) and insurance was a lot higher. I have just flogged that and bought a 2003 old shape Hiace with D4D 102 engine. Of the 4 I have had this seems the right balance of power, economy, insurance group and I prefer the look compared to the post ’07 ones. I had to replace the steering column gaiter on two of them, as this tends to split and makes it noisy inside. All of them seem to clonk on full lock. The dashboard light has also gone on two of them, but it is relatively easy to change. Other than that they just need regular servicing, which is easy enough to do youself. I wouldn’t buy any other type of van, although I do like the look of the Asian/Oz market models.
My son and myself have been driving a Hiace the past few years. Main problems at the beginning was the battery never keeping a charge, been checked in service, nobody really cured. Not easy to work at in general, timing belt a pain and not cheap, engine noisy all times. Biggest problem last month after full service (149k), it blew a big end just after getting of the boat heading to bonny Scotland,s o sad thing is i’ts not worth towing back home with boat costs etc. I was quoted £650 for engine including delivery to garage in Scoland, Is it worth the risk and cost of repair? Going for free to good home.
Had this van a year now bought on the strength of this site and friends experiences with other vans, covered 10,000miles, 122,000 total, well on clock anyway! Great van to drive no problems yet, not perfect, 1st and 5th gear too low, and suspension too hard for normal unloaded use, skitters on bumpy roads unloaded, seems to return about 40 mpg average which is good for a 2.5 turbo, not a fast driver though. Great bottom end and midrange power, no top end so no point in revving it. Friends problems oh dear: Peugeot - blown g/box and another one engine, VW 05 - gearbox! Transit - gearbox. Vito - fast but rustbox; and we only carry motorcycles around!<br /><br />
Responses to this review
Ian’s spot on, my 2002 2.5L is extremely reliable. Why I bought this van... 3 yrs ago I asked the boss of CB Motors in Golders green which is a garage and recovery firm in one "which is the most reliable medium size van" and his lightning quick response was "Toyota". I haven’t had a single problem since I bought it in 2007, having already covered 105,000 miles and I’ve done 22,000 miles. It starts first time, everytime, hot or cold but my only drawback is that it is so slow to warm up and defrost the screen. People say it is because it’s a diesel. I do agree that first gear is too low but it’s good for crawling in traffic jams etc, and fifth gear could be a bit higher. Top speed on 88bhp is about 95mph on red line and it will cruise at 80mph but the mpg will drop to 30/town figures.Full tank will give you 350-400 miles at best - Keith Marsland from Hertfordshire
Just changed my ’96 powervan for a ’52 plate. They are the best kept secret. Would not have any other van. Anyway, my point is have you tried a new thermostat? Put a new one in last November after two winters with a poor heater and wow, up to temp very quick - faster than my BMW - Nathan Bray from England
I am due for a new one soon, now on my forth Hiace, this one is the 300 gs. I’ve just clocked 117,000, I’ve changed the oil and filter every 6000 and serviced it myself; I am a builder so it gets a lot of stick. These vans run like clockwork, I cannot wait for the next one.
I have had this toyota 2003 model for 2 years now, have never had no problems and the only money I have ever spent on this van is servicing. A great work horse that never lets you down and great for pulling heavy loads and Very reliable. Now days when driving a van we expect what we get in a car and the new toyota does this. I am not trying to make this out to be the perfect van but if you want to go to work every day and want reliability choose a toyota hiace. Thanks.
Responses to this review
I just bought a Toyota Hiace 2003, 150,000 on the clock, no trouble with it as yet. I always go for Japanese, preferably Toyota - Jeffrey McLucas from County Antrim
Over 300,000 miles and the most expensive thing I spent over servicing has been a suspension bush Â£90, wheel bearing Â£50, and windscreen excess of Â£80! Even has original clutch. AMAZING VEHICLE that owes me nothing - in fact every morning I go down on my knees in front of it and pay homage. Unfortunately, as a taxi it has to have two doors and new UK Hiace has only one. Even asked my dealer to get one posted from Japan but they won’t/can’t do it. I look at the 3-star rating of the other makes and blanche as I have to change it by local law after 8 years. It 25 years times it will still be going - probably around the jungle in Bolivia, painted a hundred colours with no windows and chickens on the roof - but it will still be going!
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