As of now, the Toyota Hiace will be available only in 14-seater configuration with automatic transmission
Toyota has been mulling the launch of Hiace in India for years now but the plan never materialized until now. The people carrier has finally been introduced at INR 55 lakh (ex-showroom) but there is a catch. The official launch is yet to happen and what we are getting is the previous generation model which was replaced internationally in 2019.
Toyota Hiace for India
Launched globally in 2004, the previous generation Toyota Hiace is now obsolete. It is being reported that the Hiace will be a limited import model and Toyota has already imported an initial batch of 50 units. As of now, only one variant is on offer in either white or silver exterior colour options.
The India-spec Toyota Hiace is powered by powered by the familiar 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine which also caters to the Fortuner. However, on board the MPV, the oil burner exists in a lower state of tune. Power and torque figures stand at 151 hp and 300 Nm of torque.
As of now, only 6-speed automatic transmission is available but Toyota may offer a manual transmission in the future. The Toyota Hiace will be sold in GL trim with a seating capacity of 14. The last row of seats can be folded to accommodate extra luggage.
Being in existence since 2004, the previous generation Hiace has become obsolete, and this is true especially when it comes to its interior. The dashboard design and material quality are utilitarian and basic for a vehicle that commands an ex-showroom price of over INR 50 lakh. On the positive side, the cabin in spacious and offers several practical storage spaces for the passengers.
The India Hiace MPV makes do with a 2-DIN audio system with a CD player and USB connectivity when touchscreen infotainment system has become a norm even in much lower price segments. In terms of safety, the people carrier is equipped with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, electric windows, defogger for rear windshield, powered sliding doors, reclining seats, AC vents for each row and so on.
The Toyota Hiace, with its spacious cabin, makes for a good premium MPV for the hospitality and tourism sector. With a high price tag and limited equipment, it would be challenging for Toyota to pitch it as a private vehicle for a large affluent family. There are much more luxurious options for that in the market. However, the brand’s solid reputation for reliability and Hiace’s international track record for being a dependable workhorse makes it a good choice for tour operators and hotels.
Bringing the old version looks like a low-risk way of testing the market. The company could launch the current generation model down the line if the old model manages to generate enough response.