It’s early in the New Year, and that means it’s time for the annual update to Toyota's HiAce van range.
This year, along with new variants in the line-up, the HiAce scores a revised 2.7 litre four-cylinder petrol engine that boosts power by 6.3 percent.
Power outputs for the petrol unit now measure 118kW and 243Nm - up 7kW and 2Nm respectively - and the engine is Euro 5 emissions compliant with a fuel figure as low as 9.8 l/100km.
Toyota has achieved this figure by fitting the HiAce with a new six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the four-speed auto from last year and Toyota says this now makes the auto more efficient than the manual for the first time.
The new auto models represent an average 16.7 percent improvement in fuel use on the combined cycle, and the long wheelbase van is the most economical variant.
The petrol five-speed manual model is still a considerable 12.9 percent more efficient than before, rising to 14.7 percent when the city fuel cycle is considered in isolation.
But the biggest improver for fuel use on the city cycle is the super long wheelbase van with automatic transmission, which now uses a whopping 19.9 percent less fuel than before.
The 100kW/300Nm 3.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine is still available, with a fuel figure as low as 8.0 l/100km (five-speed manual).
Toyota’s ECO lamp in the HiAce’s instrument cluster carries over from last year’s update, and safety improvements from last year have been complemented by standard electronic stability control in all HiAce models.
Two new variants join the list of available models for 2015, including a 12-seat petrol-powered Commuter bus and a diesel-powered five-seat “crew van”.
The standard Commuter bus has 14 seats, and the new 12-seat variant enables Australian driver’s licence-holders to drive it with a ‘car’ licence.
The crew van is offered exclusively in a new ‘Ink’ paint finish, and has a second sliding door along with a second-row bench seat to accommodate three passengers.
The second-row seat tilts and folds forward when not required to maximise cargo space.
Long wheelbase variants gain a window in the left-hand sliding door to improve driver visibility, and the front passenger seat is now on sliding rails in all models (previously fixed).
Price-wise, the 2015 HiAce starts from $32,990 plus on-roads. Diesel models are up to $1,000 cheaper for the new year, while the six-speed auto adds $500 to some variants.
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Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
2015 TOYOTA HIACE
- LWB van - $32,990
- SLWB van - $40,990
- Commuter bus - $53,490
- LWB van - $35,990
- LWB crew van - $37,990
- SLWB van - $44,990
- Commuter bus - $57,490
- Automatic (diesel): $2,500
- Automatic (petrol): $3,000
- Paint (other than white): $550
- Auto door (bus): $900
- 12-seat bus: No-cost option (auto petrol only)