25 May 2013
I have 5 Hiaces at the moment, all forward control Japanese versions. The oldest is a 4x4 1990 and the newest is 2009. All are diesels and all have high mileage, the lowest being the oldest with 220,000km and the highest with 787,000 km. They have had no engine or transmission work except for cam belts and a water pump at 600,000km. The oldest has had a very hard life, but is always serviced and starts and runs as it did when new. I don’t buy anything but Toyotas! I do wonder how long the d4d engines will go for with their injector issues? I have just bought 2 new Hilux’s and they seem to like fleecing me at the Toyota dealer with servicing! You can’t beat the old L series 2.4 and 2.8 non turbo engines, they just won’t die.
I have owned my Hiace for over ten years and it has been exemplary for reliability - apart from a fondness for batteries (every two years) and lots of rear light bulbs. The front suspension has creaked loudly on full lock ever since I had it. It also needs driving with care in the wet if you don’t want the back end to step out. This petrol version is rare but fuel consumption has been about 28mpg over the years so not too bad - its also a lively van and surprisingly quick. However its wonderful run of reliability came to a sudden shuddering stop last week when the prop shaft broke. I was driving at about 30mph when it snapped, dug into the road, lifted the rear wheels off the road and spun the van around in a spectacular and scary fashion. Fortunately the road was empty of other vehicles. The breakdown driver was amazed. he said he never gets to pick up Hiaces as they are so reliable and he has never seen a snapped main propshaft before. So now it has gone to the scrapyard and been replaced by a Nissan Primastar.
I manage a small air conditioning company (contemporary air conditioning) and service all of Queensland. I purchased 5 Hiace vans with delivery 2006 and I have had all the servicing done. I found that after about 150,000 kms the water pump seals started to leak just a little bit, so I replaced all the water pumps with new seals and they have done over 200,000 kms. The roads we travel on are less than comfortable between Toowoomba-moura-Rockhampton-Biloela-Nebo-Collinsville, actually some are so bad, 80 kms long goat track between Nebo and Collinsville, you wonder if you’re going to make it! However, not a problem (with the exception of a skipping CD as my head hits the roof and my tools play musical chairs) lol. The point is BUY A TOYOTA! They are fantastic vehicles!
Mine is 5 years old. I’ve had to buy tyres and pay for a service. It’s slow, old looking, with limited seat adjustment, poor side mirror vision and all that said - I absolutly love it! 40mpg max down to 20mpg if fully loaded and on the motorway. I’ve not even had a so much as a bulb fail. Going to keep mine forever.
Bought our 05 plate Hi Ace after reading the reviews on this site. Brilliant van, tough as old boots. It has just turned 100k and still feels like a new van to drive. Failed its MOT on a blown number plate bulb! Don’t bother looking at anything else if you want 100% reliability.
I’m in the roofing business, so I need a van that is tough. They do not come tougher than this. I had Transits for many years which were ok, when a friend said to look at the Hiace when it was time to change. I could not believe how brilliant it was and did 13000 miles in it before selling it to another friend in demolition who still runs it now (six years later)all over the country; he tells me his men always argue over who gets the Hiace rather than his other vans, which are newer. I bought a Vauxall inbetween because I liked the look of them and the engine blew up at 27000m and cost £2,000 to put right. I sold it the day after I got it back and bought my latest Hiace, which is just fantastic. I’ve had it five years now and would not swap it for any of the new fancy vans. A proper work horse!
I have had my lwb 18 months now. The MoT found a break pipe and handbrake needed freeing off. I also had a Zafira for the same time, 18 months, which I was running for leisure use, but this cost me £3000 in repairs over this period. I have just sold it and kept the old basic van over this because of the running costs. I think my van is totally brilliant.
Have had a fleet of six of theses for getting on 10 years. We tried most other brands, Ford, Renault, VW, Vauxhall, Citreon, but nothing comes close to the Toyotas. Vehicles achive 250K+ miles with no problems and are always loaded, I Won’t buy anything else now! My own personal vehicle was a Toyota Land cruiser and at 18 years old had still not one major component replacement. It never broke down. I replaced it with a new Discovery 3 commercial 4 years ago. It’s now at 28K miles and is having to have a £2.7K turbo replacement! I wish I’d kept my Toyota!
Purchased my van about 10 years ago. Quite simply the best vehicle I have owned. Only problem being faulty rear internal light bulb (90p) Halfords. 100% reliable now done 122,000 miles. Not the fastest or the biggest, but most certainly the best. Just buy!
I had a few Mitsubishi l300 vans which were great, but you will not get a better van than a Toyota Hiace Powervan. Mine is a non-turbo 2.4 D so it’s not the fastest thing on the road but reliability is A1. I sometimes wonder why people even bother with Ford Transits, Renaults etc?
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’ve had my Hiace since 05, from new, and in that period I have had only to change the diff at the rear and front discs and pads. Mileage is at around 249,000 to date. The van itsself is great in that it is 2.5 litre with enough pull to just about pull above its weight. I have the highest regard for this van. I have found other vans at the price I bought this Hiace at can’t pull the same weight or they are front wheel drive, which if you pull trailers is useless on soft ground and when the trailer is loaded. I would recommend this van for any young professional trades-person as it won’t let you down.
A very slow van. I am not able to keep up with the speed of the road. I can get it to about 50mph until I reach a hill, which takes it right down to 30mph again, which is very frustrating! It is also bad on fuel because I’m hammering it all the time trying to keep it going!
I have had this van from new and it has never let me down. It now had 140,000 on the clock and I’ve only had to change the diff bar and shock absorbers. I was going to buy a smaller van to get better mpg, but I have decided to stick with my Toyota, at least then I know I won’t have expensive repair bills.
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Cheap to buy, comfortable and with good fuel economy. I have only needed to replace one tail light bulb after seven years fom new. Buy one!
I’ve had my Hiace 2.4d for about 7 years and it’s just failed mot for the first time, needing two front shocks and anti roll bar link arms, costing £200 plus vat to get these sorted. Its done 93000 miles as a landscapers van, lugging 1 ton bags of aggregates around on a regular basis. It’s the best van I’ve ever had, apart from the Toyota Hilux pick up I had previously and the only reason I got rid of it was due to it being petrol and a bit thirsty. The Ford p100 I had was absolutely rubbish and the Maestro van was like driving about in a hard tyred wheel barrow. I had a vw golf car for the same time as the Hiace and that cost me a fortune (gearbox, springs, suspension, suspension, suspension, brakes, brakes) so when the water pump went, I fixed it then got rid and bought a Toyota Corrola (made in Japan) and it’s far better to drive than the golf and it is proving equally as reliable as the van. I just wish Toyota would make a slightly smaller van.
I had an R reg Hiace up to a few years ago and it was simply a great van, tough and totally reliable. It had a hard life and looked pretty ragged and had 198,000 on the clock when I sold it, but it had always been reliable and everything still worked, electric windows, central locking etc. The one and only thing that had failed was the remote fuel filler cap release and that’s it.
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.
I bought my van 18 months old with 43k miles from a Toyota dealer who had used it from new as their parts delivery van. I had it lined and insulated to soundproof it and then shelved it myself. I am a self employed builder and have only driven it 8,000m in 2 years but I love it. I bought it after reading other reviews here at the time and poor reviews on Transits, Vivaro’s and VW etc. I also spoke to several owners who all had much praise for their vans. I have only had one problem which was a sticking brake cylinder due to water ingress/corrosion which my brother fixed for me. Yes they are basic but I believe they are the best van on the road. I need the long wheelbase and can get in 8’ x 4’ sheets of ply & plasterboard etc, 3m lengths of pipe & timber on an angle and even my 2.5m triple extension ladders (The SWB wont do that). The 95hp engine is plenty powerful enough and I have a 1.3 GVW trailer it tows easily. Fuel consumption averages 27/28 mpg. The best I got was 33mpg when empty and before I had it lined and insulated etc. and the worst mpg was 23 in winter but short journeys and some towing etc. I always have it full of tools and equipment. The biggest fault is it doesn’t like the snow. I couldn’t move in the deep snow the last couple of winters. However, I am very pleased and intend to keep the van for many years to come.
I’m now on my third Hiace. I get 40mpg and it drives and handles like a car. My previous Hiace was a 1997 2.4d with 280k on the clock, which was scrapped because it needed new parts that would have cost £250. I got £350 from the scrappy! The engine was still pulling at 90mph. Having tried the lot I would bet £100million that no country can beat the Japanese in build quality.
My 2006 9 seater Hiace bus has 603,000 kms on the clock. There have been no real problems. It is serviced every 20,000km and the oil is changed every 10,000km. Go Toyota Go !! I love it :-)
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Can you tell me what the distance on the wheels between hole to hole? Is it about 2 or 3 inches - Stuart Prentice from England
I bought this van a year ago when it was 10 years old with only 80,000 miles on the clock. It needed a new wishbone and bushes for the MOT and now needs the glow plugs replacing, but as for a robust and reliable van, I couldn’t have done better.
Do not let anyone kid you, if you’re looking for reliability at sensible money you shouldn’t look at anything else. Simply put this is the best van in its category. I’ve just picked mine up from the dealer having had it on order for 4.5 months (Japanese earth quake etc), but it was definitely worth the wait. I own and run a small MoT and garage business and I just know from experience that this van will last forever. Ok so it doesn’t have fancy gismos and electrics, but who wants them? That’s the very thing that makes this van reliable! When toyota get something right they don’t change things just for the sake of it. The day after I picked it up I did a 250 mile round trip, the van was smooth, quick, quiet and returned 40 mpg. The Toyota was £14,500 + vat (the equialent VW was over £20,000 + vat and read their reviews - terrible) Excellent van!
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I’m self employed, I drive a 2006 1-9D Expert van no electrics, the van carries all my Power-washing gear and is very reliable. I must admit it’s not fast but I am getting about 40mpg which is good. My question is, how do I know which Toyota Hiace was made in Japan? I agree with everyone that the Hiace is the best van BY FAR but are they still made in Japan? I’m looking for a 2006 Hiace lwb with no electrics or frills. If anyone would be kind enough to reply, please give year of vans which are made in Japan i.e. 2006, 2007 etc as I live in Belfast and don’t have letters like R Reg. Cheers! - Michael Dickinson from County Antrim
Have a look at the aluminum chassis tag under the engine cover on forward control or under the bonnet on normal control vans and it will tell you the plant it was built in - Patrick from New Zealand
I have had many new vans provided by employers over the years and the Hiace is my favorite. I am a mobile engineer and it would be my first choice if I went self employed and had to buy a van myself. It has the legendary Toyota reliability and the gearstick from the floor area, which I prefer. It’s easy to maintain and is a good size of van for town use. I love the tinny sounding sliding side door. I currently have a Vivaro just now, which I am sick of as the trim falls off all the time, e.g door handles wing mirror, bits of dash, window winder etc. I’m wanting another hiace again after carrying out some maintenance on a friend’s and I had to take it on a wee test drive. The common problems I’ve found over the years with the hiace (but keep on top of them and they will be like new), are: Steering column gaiter through bulkhead wearing and letting excess roadnoise into cabin at speed; Anti roll bar droplink bushes wearing circa 30k-40k miles- under £40 (dingbro) for both sides for complete droplinks, no need to remove wheels to fit, this dramatically reduces roll and makes everything seem a lot tighter at the front. I have had a few sets of ovaled brake drums, d4d engines EGR valve coking up; I disable the EGR on all my diesels to stop the inevitable. On the 2.4d had a run of worn crankpulleys and they caused wear on crankshaft; the pattern was that they had been to the dealers within a few miles for timing belts so probably had not been torqued correctly. Keep the batteries topped up and the terminals greased along with the regular (10k) servicing. The ignition barrel/key wear can make the steering lock difficult to release on circa 130k vans, but if you keep rotating keys and applying a small bit of grease every now and again this should not be as much of an issue. The cons are: The usual plain dash compared to all others, whole bland interior for that matter, but on my transits etc the more cubby holes = more rubbish in them; Small wing mirrors and poor rear visibility means most of these vans have rear door and quarter damage due to reversing into things; The long wheelbase Hiace has a terrible turning axis and is poorer to drive. I didn’t like the facelift on the last one I had, but it grew on me so the conclusion is that I like a van to be a van and not try to be a car with these dash mounted gear sticks that need constant adjustment and crazy power outputs and low reliability. Transits have constant EGR valve and electrical problems together with fuel pump leaks, gear selectors dropping out of place and general VW engine management issues. The Vivaro has been reliable but sheds some plastic.
The Hiace Commuter is a top van, and everything is good. Note I have given it four stars, the fifth star will be reserved for when, (and I admit I am very picky but I am in the professional passenger transport business and own and drive daily a 2011 Toyota Commuter) 1. The interior noise from the road is lowered. And 2. The suspension is made more comfortable for the passenger. Currently the ride is jarry and bumpy. It should be smooth, noiseless and comfortable for passenger transport; I can’t help but feel that there was little thought to this aspect and the suspension is the same as the commercial van. I transport wheelchair passengers and they need a smoother ride. I am not an expert but the suspension design needs some work for passenger transport.
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I can agree with the suspension issues. The passengers complain a lot about the bumps. This is really annoying - Graeme Wallis from Australia
I’ve had my Hiace about 11 years from new. Done 230 000 miles and only replaced tyres and break discs/pads. Best van out there by far. Have to replace it now though because of the low emmisions zone. Boo!
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Your Hiace is nice, I want to review them - Govern Kwaramba from London
Can’t believe the LEZ! I love my Hiace van but like you have to get a new van, but looking at a 2003 Hiace that passes. But money I don’t need to spend - Peter from Sussex
I’ve had my Hiace since 2005 and have covered 288k miles. It’s been regularly serviced I’ve only needed to change the clutch. I also have a 1998 Hiace, which has covered 327k miles and again I’ve only changed the clutch, plus a radiator. It’s still running on the manufacture exhaust and has just past its MoT with flying colours.
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Hello. Well I think I would like this but first I want to know how much you want to sell this bus before we proceed. I await your reply at firstname.lastname@example.org - robinson chinedu from Nigeria
Still going strong 168,000 miles, I just look at it and it starts in the morning. There is bit of rust but nothing compared to the Merc vans I have seen on the road. I have one complaint though, the travelling community always want to buy it off me and the police always stop me thinking I’m part of he travelling community. Best van I have ever had; oil flush once a year is the secret and always check the oil and water before any long distance. I don’t know a van that is any good in the snow especially with a bit of weight in it.
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I am the owner of a 1992 Mark 3 and am interested in the possible purchase of your van. I would like to discuss it further with you. Would it be possible for you to provide a contact number and/or arrange a viewing? - Liam Mooney from County Antrim
Bought second Toyota, low mileage at only 150k, two years later not one single problem. Bullet proof motor, no rust, forgotten what its like to visit the garage! First hi ace was a 96 model, 198k off a market trader, sold it to my brother who has took it to 289k so far, again not a hint of trouble. Nothing to touch one of these if you want a good reliable workhorse, tow very well being rear wheel drive, great vans.
Owned a Toyota 2.4 compact for 14 years best van I’ve had so I purchased a new one 09. It’s quality, it’s fast, it’s reliable, but I would prefere the model they sell in Japan; after all the Japanese don’t want the English model over there because the English model is too long with the engine up front too wide and with less room in the back and its harder to get in and out. Saying that it is still a good van, power steering very nice, steering wheel uses more diesel as it’s turbo and don’t like having a bulkhead as you can’t get long items inside and gets stuffy in the cab.
Third Hiace I’ve had, the dogs for me. Ok basic, but all you need. Starts every time, minus 15 last year, no problem. I had a petrol Hiace 1989 , sold it with 189000 on clock, met chap who bought it some years later (about 4 years) it had 253000 on the clock and was still running well. Really, no bull! VW Merc and the rest don’t compare.
Have had the van from 2003, very, very reliable!!! Only problem so far was the batteries failed but they were 9 years old! It starts first time every time and carries a load brilliantly which helps as I carry all types of flooring including carpet and contract vinyl. They are a bit basic but who cares? Less to breakdown. Have friends who drive other makes and constantly complain of high costs for parts and labour. My van on average costs around £300 to service including parts.
I’ve had a Hiace van for 16 years. So far still going stong, the best van I’ve had, just wish Toyota would import the new Hiace to the UK.
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Hi, are you selling your Toyota Hiace? - Saqib A from Yorkshire
Hi, I have an ’89 diesel Hiace for sale - one owner, 86k miles. Call 0780 298 9137 - Imran Haq from Lancashire
What can I say so far, other than what have I been missing all of these years?! The price, the build, the spec, the drive, mpg, are all second to none with this van!! And over the years I’ve owned quite a few vans, why aren’t these vans the market leader? Wake up Britain!
Having read the reports on this site about the problems with rusty Mercs, the new Transits, and the problems the rest of the vans that you all have reported; I have bought a 08 just in waranty Toyota Hiace. Took it to main dealer for free 2hr check up before it turns 60K and 3yrs. Came out with glowing colours. I drive like the old man that I am and it returns 42mpg !!!! That’s tank top up to top up. No motorways or long journeys not loaded up. Will report any problems But thanks you all for your comments helped me decide.
Bought van July 2010, extras inc alloys, front fogs, rear parking, metallic, wind deflectors. Pushed price up quite a bit, (looks much better though) no probs with van, but niggles, needs another gear, very poor in snow, noisy on the motorway, old fashioned switchgear etc. But to be fair build quality is excellent, and I just know this van will last a long time. I traded in my transit (56 plate) 65000miles, a much nicer drive than Hiace, but nothing but trouble, back at ford 8 times, letting in water, egr valve, riddled with rust, remote locking, etc. The Hiace has its faults, but its still way better built than any of the competition.
Bought new Hiace swb in September, really pleased with it. Use mine mainly as a car so had to pay the dreaded vat. Still good value though and if you shop around you can get for £10,995 plus vat. Great build quality and hopefully will prove reliable. Was going to buy new transporter but prices ridiculous and poor reveiws so opted for Hiace. Tows my caravan well, fuel consumption not fantastic but reasonable for a van. used mine in all the snow recently and with it being rear wheel drive didn’t like going up hill too much. If you’re looking for a good reliable work horse with electric windows, mirrors, abs and aircon for the price definitely buy a Hiace.
Had it from new, now 158,000 miles, passed every mot and has cost me only tyres brake pads. Serviced reg, what a great van! About to get a new one, I hope it’s as good as the last.
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Hi, Just wondered if you got the new van? Did you sell the old one? If not, I may be interested. Please call me - 07766 171213. Cheers - Stewart Holt from Cheshire
My last van was a VW t4 and cost £5,500. It was all a bit too posh and sophisticated for me, so I sold it and got my powervan 8 months ago for £1,500 and I love it! It’s done 165,000 miles. Good points: Instant starter even in -15c, fantastic build quality, no rust, can legally carry 1210kg and handles well under a full load, I get 35 mpg, great to drive and feels totally solid and reliable, basic and easy to maintain, low geared so plenty of torque. Bad points: The low gearing makes it unsuitable for those who want to cruise at 80 mph (which is fine for me..I think we should all chill out and slow down a bit!) Overall, I’m happier with this van compared to all the others I’ve had. It’ll last me many years, I wont be selling it. You can keep yer over-priced Transporters and rusty Vitos etc. The Toyota powervan is built to last!
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I am looking for this car here in South Africa, I am in the eastern cape province east london - Pumzile Elvis Komanisi from South Africa
Owned the van from new and have covered 153k miles. Only the batteries let me down once, replaced them both and no trouble since. Replaced clutch at 83k miles, had started slipping but this was my fault according to mechanic for not using 1st gear to set off! original exhaust, brake discs etc. I have a full service every 12k. I try to limit my cargo, I am a gas engineer so occasionally carry max weight but generally only about 300kg load. I can easy achieve 440 miles off a 60 litre tank which is 33mpg. with galv full length roof rack achieved 400 miles per tank, 30mpg and with cat ladders and triple ladders on rack would only get 360 miles-27mpg. When driving as carefully as possible to achieve max mileage per tank I managed 487miles-36.5mpg. Would not attempt 500 miles per tank takes forever to get anywhere! Very sluggish compared to Renault, Nissan, Vauxhall Vivaro variants but so reliable, I have absolutely no intention of replacing and I don’t doubt that it will be a great servant for another 8 years.
Hi, I have just purchased my second Toyota Hiace Lwb 300 I just wish that I had done it years ago. The only down side I would say is the fuel economy could be a little better, but just make sure the tyres are well pumped up and drive carefully problem solved. Over all it beats the Vauxhalls, Renaults, Citroens even the VWs that we all know suffer terribly with gearbox problems etc, etc, etc, and will cost you an absolute fortune to maintain. If you read this and are stuck what to buy do yourself a favour buy a Toyota Hiace it will be stress free driving from here on without the worry of breaking down and costing loads of money. I have noticed a couple of complaints from other people on here but everyone likes to moan about something from time to time.
I bought my Toyota van 4 years ago with 130,000 miles on the clock, it now has 202,000 and performs brilliantly. Always starts first time, no mechanical problems at all and a good handling vehicle. Can carry a good load and is quite nippy in traffic. Yes, they are pretty basic vans, but if you want reliability and a well engineered engine then look no further than Toyota.
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.
Done 17000 miles in mine good van keep tyres up to 55 at least for good mpg also run snow tyres in winter they work well had a 50 mph head on smash, van was a right off but I walked away with a sore leg. Great van, buying another one, had vw transporters for 15 years what I have missed out on! Well better late than never. PS Would like 6 gears, even better mpg if they did one, the 120 bhp is the best I think. Well hope this helps you decide when you buy a van, cheap to maintain as well compaired to VW I had.
I’m writing about a mates experiences with SurfAce, TownAce and HiAce day-vans (or picnic wagons as I call them) VERY BAD although the vehicles were all about ten years old. The automatic gearboxes gave a lot of trouble refusing to change up into top gear until they were hot (old fluid and clogged filters?) Head gaskets blew as the vehicles were apt to boil on steep hills. After one repair the mechanic (not me!) made the gaffe of fitting a new oil filter without noticing that the old rubber ring was still stuck to the block. It was a pitch black night, no moon, no stars and no street lamps where the Ace spewed out its oil. I was called out to tow the beastie back but I don’t think this helped the transmission which was pretty knackered anyway. (Not many transmissions have a second hydraulic pump on the output shaft these days but the old Borg-Warner 35s from the 1960s could be towed OK) On that night all our torches mobile phones and cigarette lighters chose to fail and as those Toyotas are hard enough to work on in daylight over a pit, fixing it in the dark, cold and filth wasn’t really possible. The van survived for a few more months but rolled-over on a bend when the driver over-corrected after nodding off. According to the AA man these Aces are top of his list for roll-over incidents as the track width is so narrow compared to the height. (Japan taxes vehicles on width). There are also no Haynes manuals for these vehicles. Hopefully newer models are better but my impressions of Japanese machinery are that spares are extremely costly and back-up is difficult to obtain.
Only owned the van just over a month. fantastic van very well made. looked at VW, decided not to due to owning an Audi which has given many expensive problems, in comparison the Toyota is simple and that’s the gem. The van is comfortable and roomy inside the cabin. Everything works every time no computer bleeps. If you’re in the market for a medium van consider your options carefully. I based my choice on many reviews and the Toyota was always rated well. Hope this helps anyone wanting to buy a Hiace. 10 out of 10 and that’s genuine.
Well, I’m just selling my old 96 model as I’m lucky enough to have a nice shiny 10 plate on the drive. I didn’t even contemplate another van, nor will I. The only breakdown was the diff went, but the van worked hard over the 8 years I have owned it, pulling around 600kg’s daily. I’m just hoping that the new one performs as good as the old one has.
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Hi, I need a Toyota Hiace. Anyone selling one? - Saqib A from Yorkshire
The Toyota Hiace van is simply the greatest van ever built. I bought my first one in 2002, the start of the d4d models and it never once failed to start, in hail rain or snow. I put 230,000 miles on her and she was as sweet as a nut when she left my yard to a new owner. I’m a plumber by trade and the Hiace was ideal for my line of work. With great low down torque it would pull two ton no problem. When my mates where buying the likes of transporters and reno masters and vivaros, they were shelling out big money on the likes of floating fly wheel problems (VW) knackered diesel injectors (Renos)and electrical problems (Opel & Vauxhall) I was motoring away like a mouses heart. To sum it all up I’ve built my business on the strenght of reliability thanks to the Toyota and that’s why I always drive one.
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Loved the write up! ESP motoring away like a mouse’s heart - Nick from Hampshire
Well, I bought one of these after reading reviews on this site! I must say that if anyone else gets one of these after not having driven a vehicle with solenoid actuated injectors is that they’re a lot noisier than you’ll be used to. I actually took mine to a diesel injection specialist after I could hear an odd tappety rattle which changed tone depending on accelerator position! Turned out to be just the way they sound. It’s been reliable, smaller than a transit, brilliant turning circle and built like a tank. I like the drivers seat and driving position (I’m 6’4) and find it comfortable. It is not the fastest van in the world and if you try to drive it fast you can expect 20mpg, however I drive like an old man and get 35 mpg combined so not too bad. Also, they don’t rust like transits. Vivaros are equally long lived in the bodywork department and faster but cost almost twice as much.
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Quick update: I thought I’d check the tyre pressures... they were all about 30 psi! Blew em up to the recommended max psi (65) and hey presto 45mpg on a run at 60 mph. I’m well chuffed and recommend taking 2 mins to check yours - Ben Lord from England
Mine was 2 years old when I bought it, apart from a regular service and normal wear and tear, I only had the glow plugs change and 2 new batteries. The AA man said when the batteries went ’we don’t come out to many of these’!!! It was easy and comfortable to drive on long and short trips, plenty of room for all my junk!! and a couple of mates. It had done 121,000 miles but unfortuneately some idiot decided to do a u-turn in the road in front of me and the van was written off (I was very glad to be driving a tank cause although I was injured it could have been a lot worse in a less robust vehicle). Now trying to replace it and seems people never get rid of them!!!! Anyone selling in Bristol or surrounding area????
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Hi Carol. Just read your review as I am thinking of buying another Hiace. You’ve probably got one by now but it’s worth mentioning mine may be for sale, 2000 year 95k, owned from new by our family, full history, genuine and straight. Respond to this website if you want - Andrew from Cornwall
I purchased my 2009 Hiace last April after owning a 1996 Hiace for over 5 years finishing with over 200miles on the clock, (the engine was still good, no smoke or oil burn). I was so impressed with the reliability, never had 1 brake down during ownership. The new shape vans are awesome (in my opinion) good mpg 35 round town. the new shape is a huge improvement, delivering much better power and handling is good. Be aware in wet conditions , unladen it is easy to slide the rear end. I bought this van with intention of keeping it for at least 5 years, knowing that resale prices are good! I paid 10K and i reckon i can get 4-5k in 5 years! not bad for trouble free motoring! Defo recommend to anyone!
Owned for 10 years, bought pair of new batteries, 1 set of tyres, 1 bulb, 1 set of wipers. Definitely has the X factor.
Great van, power d4d, little more econ than pre 2002. No major faults like other manufatures. Toyota engineering design and assembley 100%. Bit basic cabin and you would know you’re driving a van compared to some of the Trafics, Vivaros, I’ve driven, but Toyota spend their budget on reliablity rather than looks !!!!
Toyota Hiace 2.0 1RZ I dont know how many owners my Hiace had before me because I imported it from japan. Down here in Zimbabwe and most other African countries we use it as public transport, carrying a minimum of 15 up to 22 adults with either luggage in tow or on the roof. It’s anybody’s guess how much tonage the vehicle carries everyday. It starts the day as early as 4am up until around 2200hours 24/7. The Toyota Hiace is amazing, with good regular service the Hiace can go forever. To me its more than a vehicle it’s part of my family. I have done over 300k miles without any major problem using it as above. I wish I could have more of these, but hey cash in a dead economy (Zimbabwe) is not easy to come by.
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You cannot beat the Toyota brother. You made the right choice son. Nice choice - Ezra Jibunoh from London
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!
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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
Had all types of vans, new and used over the last 22 years, but the Toyota I have now is the best of the lot! Bought 2 1/2yrs ago with 125,000 and new cam belt, been all over France twice and use it every day for work; I’m a builder. Does everything I ask of it and more,with an average of 35mpg, worst was 30mpg running down France FULLY loaded at 85mph; the best has been an average of 45mpg. Yes, I said 45mpg and that is no made-up figure! Would I buy another? The answer is a big YES, but I think I might have to wait some time until this one goes to the big scrap heap in the sky!
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What PSI do you run your tyres at? - Nick Mills from Hampshire
Just read response ; 60psi Front and Rear. Just came back from France again , 180,000 on the clock now , got 32mpg at 70mph(gps) up and back, but 38mpg running around whilst there. Needed serious welding on O/S this MOT , but that was all. Looking for a LWB NOW !! ANYONE ?????????? - Mark Golledge from Gloucestershire
I have had my van for 5 years and until this year the most I have have ever spent at mot time is about £50 . These are amazing vans get in every morning and it starts without fail very very reliable can’t recommend it high enough. My Mechanic reckons it still has its original exhaust not bad for 135,000 miles. I am now thinking of changing as the Cornish salt air is starting to get to the bodywork ,but after looking around at more stylish vans I have realised that if I want reliability over style it’s got to be another Hiace. I said to a friend, they have not changed much as they have got newer, he said thats because they don’t need to -if something works why change it? Thats why I will be getting another Hiace soon.
What can I say? If you want van that just keeps going, it has to be the Hiace. Ours was just written off but in the 14 years we’ve owned it, apart from regular servicing and general wear and tear such as tires and bulbs, we have only had to change that problematic ball joint on the front suspension (not a requirement with our MOT garage, but it does make it clunky when on rough roads). 475,000 miles and the clutch was just on the verge of needing to be changed. Now, alright, we used it as a car 50 weeks out of the year and only towed any real weight, even then only about a ton, on the occasional weekends but still how many cars go for 475,000 miles? Let alone have the original clutch in it. MPG seems to stick at 30MPG whether its being hammered at 80-85mph up the motorway (one thing I’ve noticed is that most Hiace’s speedos read 10% higher than actual speed) or doing a comfortable 50 on long straight country roads. Even on the basic model power isn’t an issue because you have bags of torque thanks to the low gearing and you’ll find yourself overtaking in some places where a car wouldn’t, though this does make high speed runs damn noisy. In fact, in all honesty, the only negative thing about this van is that it lacks a 7th and a 6th gear, driving in 5th is like having a 3 speed car with overdrive. i.e. 3500 RPM for 65 mph. But the new Hiace (up to 08) has a higher ratio box anyway.
What can I say, if you want a van that just keeps going it has to be the Hiace. Ours was just written off but in the 14 years we’ve owned it, apart from regular servicing and general wear and tear such as tyres and bulbs, we have only had to change that problematic ball joint on the front suspension (not a requirement with our MOT garage, but it does make it clunky when on rough roads). 475,000 miles and the clutch was just on the verge of needing to be changed, now alright we used it as a car 50 weeks out of the year and only towed any real weight, even then only about a ton, on the occasional weekends but still how many cars go for 475,000 miles? let alone have the original clutch in it. MPG seems to stick at 30MPG whether its being hammered at 80-85mph up the motorway (one thing I’ve noticed is that most Hiace’s speedo’s read 10% higher than actual speed) or doing a comfortable 50 on long straight country roads. Even on the basic model power isn’t an issue because you have bags of torque thanks to the low gearing and you’ll find yourself overtaking in some places where a car wouldn’t, though this does make high speed runs damn noisy. In fact in all honesty the only negative things about this van is that it lacks a 7th and a 6th gear, driving in 5th is like having a 3 speed car with overdrive. i.e. 3500 RPM for 65 mph. But the new Hiace (up to 08) has a higher ratio box anyway.
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Hi, could you tell me from what year to get the ratios for gearing changed? I have a 98 Hiace but looking to replace but want something that will cruise at 70 down the motorway quietly - Dan R from England
Have to concur with the under reading speedo, picked up my Hiace SWB 288 GS 88 yesterday, running at an indicated 70, sat nav said 64 - Nick from Hampshire
I have had 5 Toyota vans, the new shape is the worst van I have ever had. I was nearly killed by carbon momoxide fumes in my cab, but toyota kept denying it. I took the chief mechanic for a drive and being a combustion engineer took my test analyser, it red between 3-6 parts of co2, lethal. The tyres regularly wear out on the steering, with outer wear on one side. The £1200 ac has packed up twice, now at 70000 out of warranty in 30 degrees. I am pi***d off. Last service was at an independent and he reckons the rear brake have never been checked. At least it stops now! The a/c a waste of money as it came with reverse sensers, that was the package. only trouble is they are in the rear of the van and with a bulk head cannot be heard. My next van I need an auto, so much driving my knees are destroyed, but Toyota doesn’t even offer one so back to the euro market that Toyota has tried so hard to imitate; get the market then imitate it in construction.
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I almost passed out passing a lorry on the A1 the other day in my landcruiser lc5 d4d...had to get my Mrs to pick me up and she said she could smell something like fumes (a bit like some sweaty feet) coming out of mostly rhs air vent. I’ve been to the doctor and I’m fine but I could have killed someone and myself. This also happened again today so I’ve booked it in for a check, also the aircon has packed up so I’m not sure it has anything to do with that or not...but very scary!!! - Jim High from Nottinghamshire
Did you resolve this problem at all? I have a similar issue so would be very interested to know outcome - 0783 662 9106 - Ian Gray from Staffordshire
Since day 1 the clutch has been too aggresive, unless my gear changes are spot on it slips or grabs badly. I have done 62,000 km now and find I have to feather out the clutch or I have the rear of the van hopping down the road. l have driven for over 35 years and have never experienced anything like that. Reversing is a waste of time, any slight incline and the clutch starts burning, that has happened from day 1. I have reported it several times to my dealership and have been told that it is fine. I don’t bother now, the time I spent with the van in to be fixed cost me more than replacing the clutch. The ride is too rough, the Sydney roads are not the best, but at the end of the day I can’t wait to get out of it. I have the petrol motor, great power at high revs, hopeless at low revs. I carry a few hunrded kilos and with a hill start it is struggling. I try keeping it in a straight line at 100 kph with a slight side wind, no way. With wind gusts it is dangerous, being blown all over the road. The rear diff puts all the power to one wheel too readily. Going around a roundabout in wet weather you have to crawl otherwise the rear wheel is spinning; you guessed it. I think this is a poor vehicle, well made but dreadful to drive. l have had Land Cruisers and earlier Hiace’s but this current bodied Hiace is rubbish.
I’ve had this van for 6 months now and not stopped smiling yet. Thrown every thing at it and it’s not missed a beat. I’ve tried many other used vans, good ones and bad ones, but with the Hiace you know its going to do the job. One down side to the van is that it seems to run out of power on hills.
I went to the local auction and paid £2400 for a white Toyota Hiace with 130k on clock over 8 years ago (P reg). Taken van around France for 4 months and used as a work horse ever since and at times it works very hard fully loaded. I change the oil every MoT. The only things I have had to replace is one ball joint, one bulb and tyres. Everytime I go to my van it starts and never lets me down. I believe if I keep the van for another 8 years it would not let me down. When I do replace the van it will it would be for another Toyota. Anybody out there thinking of buying a new van buy Toyota because they are simply the BEST!
Okay, 6 Toyota Hiace’s later, with a mix of Short, Long, 95HP or 120HP, they have never let us down. One went to over 500,000 miles before we got rid and it’s still running with the new owner, the next oldest on a 53 plate just topped 260,000 miles before being written off in an accident. These vans are essentially bullet proof. That said the time has come to look elsewhere. New prices are ridiculous when compared to other manufacturers spec/size. 10K servicing is also a bind on high mileage users like us, and fuel economy isn’t great. Off to try a Citroen having read the shocking reviews of the Trafic/Vivaro/Primastar.
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Good luck with your new make of van, you will be back to Toyota. Search the net, brand new Toyota vans for £10995. That’s cheaper than anything I have seen - Robby Norfolk from Norfolk
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’ve had this van three years and when I bought it, it was a bit shook up. Thinking if I got the year out of it I’d be doing well but that wasn’t the case. There is no killing this machine. It will go forever. There is nothing it can’t pull or carry. If it doesn’t fit inside the van it will go on top on the roof rack. I have carried tons of timber on the roof rack. It has a good pickup for speed. I can’t fault the Hiace. When I’m not working with the van I’m driving the Toyota Avensis on evenings and weekends. Toyota all round is by far the best built car in the world.
I have had this van since 2007 it has done a very hard 117000 miles since being with me and it has never missed a beat. It has been serviced every 10,000 miles and has not broken down once. The engine is very strong it doesn’t do too bad with mpg either. Now for the bits I find let the van down a little: The noise from the outside when travelling at motorway speeds is quite loud and I sometimes find it difficult to hear the hands free for my mobile phone unless i slow down to 55 mph; The seats get little bit uncomfortable if on a very long journey as I liked to have my legs stretched and the rear of the seat tipped quite far back. If you don’t have any weight in the back when the roads are snowy or icy it tends to get a bit frisky or will struggle to manage even the slightest incline, which can be very frustrating. And finally I think it could do with a larger fuel tank as they only have a 60l capacity. All in all This has been a very reliable strong workhorse and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone (With a set of snow chains handy). If maintained and serviced regulary you will end up with a very reliable van.
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Any rear wheel drive will struggle empty on slippery surfaces. The fuel tank should be 75 as mine - Ian Munter from Cornwall
Can you get sheets of 8x4 ply in this van? - Jay from Surrey
I bought this van 8 years ago new and have had no problems whatsoever. I’ve done 100,000 miles and it’s as good now as the day it was made. I personally would not buy any other type of van. PERFECT.
I’ve had my powervan nearly 8 years - easy to service myself. The bodywork is unmarked, you won’t find many other vans as strong. The van in front is definailey a Toyota.
I owned two Vaxuhalls and have had no end of problems with them, then after a lot of reseach I decided to buy a Toyota Hiace. After nearly three years and 45,000 miles it has been faultless. Since buying mine I have met someone who has done 125,000 miles in his and he has never had a single problem, I dont understand why Hiaces aren’t more popular?
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.
I bought this van in July 2005, had been on the dealers forecourt for 6 months as a pre-registered vehicle since December 2004. I had never had a van before, so nothing to compare it against. My views are this: In 94,000 miles from new until I part exchanged it in March this year, it was serviced on schedule, and nothing, and I mean nothing, ever went wrong with it, not even a blown light-bulb!! The only modification I made to it was to supplement the horrible tinny speakers with some nice after-market boxed ones I placed under the seats. This was the GS-Extra version, so had aircon, but not heated mirrors etc. Fuel consumption was probably average only 25/27 mpg, but I don’t like to dawdle so could possibly achieve 30+ Possibly being in the market for a new van again, I have been looking at the reveiws/forums etc for other models. Certainly better looking models with higher spec are available, but this ugly duckling was a fantastic workhorse ! No, I have no connection with Toyota whatsoever, but my research has lead me to the conclusion that for reliability, there is no other choice than a Toyota Van, hope this helps some of you to make up your mind.
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I think it has sir, thanks - Steve Wilson from Essex
Over 300,000 miles and the most expensive thing I spent over servicing has been a suspension bush £90, wheel bearing £50, and windscreen excess of £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!
I am the 3rd owner, bought it with 78k miles 8yrs ago. It now has 180k. I do basic servicing every year (filters, lubes and belts) when due. The only mechanical parts I’ve had to change are: glow plugs, water pump and starter motor... Wow what can I say? It’s been an absolute dream... however my dilema is that I need a bigger van... Toyota don’t do the size i require... so, can anyone help? Which manufacturer do I switch to? Gutted to leave toyota :(
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Get yourself a Renault Master. They are bullet proof. Comfortable and reliable - Shane Gallagher from Northern Ireland
Keep it, get a tow-bar - Paul Rugman from Gloucestershire
No, you should never buy a Renault or Opel van. I’ve just got rid of my Opel Vivaro. It was great to drive, had the perfect interior but very unreliable with tons of problems: Generator, breaks, turbo, steering, and only after 100,000 miles the whole gear shift needed to be changed costing me 1500 euros by replacing with used parts from ebay, new pars would have cost 4000 the dealer said. That is why I am thinking of buying Toyota. Reviews about Ford Transit are also pretty bad unfortunately. That’s my story - Alpar Benko from England
I would like to buy your old Toyota - Evans Onyeagwara from London
Hi, I am actually in Adelaide South Australia and put Ireland because Id like to go there one day... Anyway, I have had 2 Toyota Hiace Commuters, an 89 and a 95 model, total owning time about 8 years, the 89 model had 166,000 km and the only repair was a starter motor and normal services that I had done once each year... the 95 model had done 760,000 km and same story except no repairs just the yearly services, both vans NEVER broke down and I have now changed to a Mercedes Vito and it has broken down 3 times in 18 months, done about 260,000 km and cost me about 5000 dollars in repairs. I must be lucky but I am definitely changing back to a Toyota as soon as I can. Why wasn’t someone there to stop me from making this very expensive mistake buying a non Toyota van? It didn’t help being ripped off by the dealer when we bought the Vito, It was even from an Australian Mercedes van dealer and they were real F#%*@ so and so’s. Go Toyota!
I have been driving the Toyota Hiace since 1987 and this is my 5th one. I have travelled over 500,000 miles, not one of my vans has ever been in the garage other than for its regular service. The fuel consumption may be a bit higher than others but this is a small price to pay.
The Toyota Hiace is a great van. In 8 years of ownership no repairs other than normal maintenance have been needed. The only thing it falls down on is the front suspension ball joints which seem to wear very quickly. However, some MOT inspectors will fail on this and some will not because the weight of the van takes up the play.
Had this van new from 2001. Very reliable van, no problems at all. Made much better than Fords,Vauxhall etc... Engine inside this van is made to last, same engine as used in the Hilux pick up truck they tried to destroy in Top Gear but couldn’t. Also this van is massive in Africa and Asia as it just keeps on going. Buy a Hiace if you want a super workhorse.
Always had Mercedes, but went over to Toyota. Brilliant van, comfortable and economical (25 -29mpg fully loaded). I actually like the basic simplicity of the van, as a mobile mechanic it is very easy to keep interior clean with out the worry of damaging electrics. Also the van is robust and it’s rear wheel drive!! If you carry heavy loads, you’ve got to own a rear wheel drive van. Another little feature is the 2 position tail gate struts, allows you to raise the tailgate out of the way, which you can’t do on a Vito. Brilliant, no-nonsense van.
Had to use one occasionally at my old place of work. Very dated looking van inside and out, but it had 180,000 miles on it and performed perfectly, it was very comfortable and had enough power in it (d-4d model), unlike many of the newer diesels it had a good amount of torque at idle like the old transits, if the newer shape/facelift model has a new interior too its well worth a look. Just read about the faults with the equivalent transit, Vivaro, Transporter etc.
What a motor. Having always been a Volvo driver I was dubious at buying this as a campervan version. I imported it from Japan and, with 19,000 miles on the clock at 14 years old, with no rust it was a steal of a bargain. The 2.8 diesel automatic is as smooth as silk, though quite sluggish. There is a turbo model available and worth the extra expense. Fuel economy is rather poor at 22mpg overall. Then again the campervan version weighs over 2 ton so not bad I suppose. The ride comfort is superb, like riding in an armchair. The position is good, high up, though I would have lied more in front of me. The handling is smooth and positive. Parts are readily available despite it being an import and quite old. Maximum waiting time is 2 days for all major bits. This is a vehicle that you change your driving habits with. You have to notch yourself down a peg and enjoy the ride.
I’ve worked in the Toyota dealer network for over 10 years now, recently coming away from that to try other things, I’ve run and worked on many of these vans, some with more miles than the enterprise, more hits than the Beatles but still they keep going!! in 10 years I’ve seen one gearbox bearing fail, 2 injection pumps fail, a handful of water pumps, a few vacuum hoses, one coil spring and one exhaust silencer bracket break. most of these failed under warranty. the Hiace can sometimes be a bit sluggish when loaded up, and fuel economy isn’t great. one bad point on these vans is the top arms, the upper ball joint wears, and depending on where the MOT is done it will fail, repair bill is about £600 quid, but only usually needs done once in around 130k miles, a remarkably van, tried and tested and just as tough as a Hilux!
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Hi Marc, what kind of milage would you see such wear and how would you check for this? jack her up? I’m thinking of buying a 2004 with 77k on clock, Regards - Alex Mac from Aberdeenshire
Fantastic, reliable van with good fuel consumption and great dealer backup.
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