You most likely see the Toyota HiAce, the JDM van, each day in your commute to work or college and marvel why somebody would purchase it. If there’s a van that may do all of it, it’s the Toyota HiAce. Effectively, it’s not that frequent within the US, however you may simply purchase or import one. It’s because People don’t like full-cab over-engine vans, however via this information, we’d make you stroll right into a JDM automotive dealership and purchase one.

JDM automobiles are cheaper and have low operating prices even in international markets, together with the US. Possibly a Kei van is simply too small for you, and a mid-sized van just like the Mitsubishi Delica or Mazda Bongo may not fit your ever-growing wants sooner or later. That is the place the Toyota HiAce is available in. 

However is it higher than its US opponents, such because the Ford Transit or Chevrolet categorical? In case you are a JDM fan, you’ll routinely go for the HiAce and possibly use it to haul elements in your different JDM automobiles. The probabilities of proudly owning a Toyota HiAce are limitless. You should purchase one and let it sit as you consider one thing to do with it. Modifications are potential, particularly if you wish to enhance the aesthetics of the boxy physique. 

Manufacturing of the Toyota HiAce started in 1967, and it’s among the many automobiles produced throughout Toyota’s golden years alongside the Toyota Century, Corolla, and Crown. Nonetheless, it confronted competitors from Nissan Homy, which had already entered the Japanese market in 1965. 

Earlier generations have been made as vans or vans, however this modified over time as Toyota discontinued the HiAce vans. Newer trims such because the Touring and Grand HiAce have been launched to cowl as a lot market share as potential. In Japan, the HiAce isn’t just your common van. Some trims are even utilized by authorities officers and high-ranking members of society. Toyota additionally made camper and ambulance variations of the Toyota HiAce. 

Professionals and Cons

Toyota HiAce


Narrower Than Most US-Made Vans 

The Toyota HiAce was made as a metropolis van on account of Japan’s congested metropolis and city roads. No matter its measurement, it’s nonetheless smaller than most US vans. Even the high-roof and camper variants are slender sufficient to navigate metropolis roads. You’ll not have to interrupt your neck checking if the rear bumper or tail lights scrap on a wall or one other automotive. 

However its slender measurement and brief wheelbase don’t imply it has restricted loading and cabin area. You don’t have to fret about metropolis parking areas if you happen to run a meals or grocery supply enterprise. You may as well flip one right into a passenger van if you happen to please. A base mannequin HiAce, which is the narrowest, can match 14 passenger seats. 


$9,000 isn’t that low-cost for a 2006 Toyota HiAce base mannequin. However when in comparison with its competitors, it’s a cut price. For instance, a well-maintained Ford Transit will value you double that worth. So, why not purchase an additional Toyota HiAce or increase what you are promoting with the change? 

Luxurious trims and camper fashions go for roughly $12,000. This isn’t dangerous because the solely different possibility you’ve got at that worth is an previous camper trailer. Should you don’t have a automotive to drag the camper trailer with then, you’ll have so as to add one to the price range when getting the trailer. 

Small Operating and Upkeep Prices 

When shopping for a automotive, there’s a saying that if you happen to can’t afford it twice, don’t purchase it. You’ll need to account for operating and upkeep prices which typically would possibly surpass the automotive’s precise worth. However this isn’t one thing you’ll have to fret about when shopping for a Toyota HiAce. In any case, it’s one other bulletproof Toyota. 

Like another automotive, the Toyota HiAce has its share of issues that some inspection and repairs can clear up earlier than you begin utilizing it. If you do this, you’ll have probably the most dependable van you may ever personal. Gas consumption is at round 23mpg, even for older fashions. 

Upkeep prices shouldn’t be a hassle as OEM elements are available. You might need to ship some from Japan or purchase them from eBay, however they’re cheap. A Toyota HiAce will final roughly 350,000 miles or extra if maintained nicely. 


The primary benefit of getting a van is that you need to use it for any objective, and the Toyota HiAce is not any exception. Most will purchase one with out the rear passenger seats and use it to ferry round stuff till they consider what to do with it. Should you love touring across the nation, the load area is sufficient to accommodate one or two individuals. Nonetheless, you’ll have extra room if you happen to purchase a excessive roof mannequin wider than a flat roof mannequin. 

To some, MPVs are barely old style, and a luxurious van is a greater possibility. However if you happen to can’t afford a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, there are cheaper choices to contemplate. Customizing a Toyota HiAce shouldn’t be tough, particularly if you happen to get one with out the rear seats. 

Some older fashions, badged as HiAce Tremendous Lengthy or Tremendous Customized, include rear reclining seats. The inside is plusher than the bottom fashions, so if you happen to desire old-school luxurious, you may decide up one among these. Different trims such because the Touring and Grand HiAce even have such options. 

Toyota HiAce Wagon

You may as well flip a Toyota HiAce right into a device van in your drift automotive. Or in case your drift automotive is below 3500 kilos, you’ll by no means want a tow truck or have an uncomfortable journey house after exhausting laps on the observe. All you must do is get a trailer and mount it to your HiAce. 


Outdated Construct High quality 

Effectively, this isn’t new to you in case you have been round a number of Toyotas. Whatever the 12 months of manufacture, Toyota all the time appears to be behind by way of construct high quality. Aside from the Toyota Century, after all.

The outside on a Toyota HiAce seems as blunt as blunt may be. As if the plastic within the inside isn’t sufficient, the entrance and rear bumper are manufactured from unpainted plastic that fades over time. The aspect mirrors, too, are manufactured from unpainted plastic. It’s a working van, however shopping for a Toyota HiAce would possibly require some beauty modifications. 

Within the inside, you get the obvious plastic door trims, dashboard, and middle console which is likely to be discolored relying on earlier ownerships. The seats will want some upholstery if you happen to use the van usually, because the delicate cloth will put on out very quickly. 

Physique Roll Danger

Vans usually are not speed-friendly, particularly for enthusiastic drivers who love placing the pedal to the metallic. The Toyota HiAce’s top places it vulnerable to rolling over at excessive speeds or when cornering. It might need a handbook transmission however shouldn’t be pushed like a Toyota Supra or Celica. 

Widespread Points

Turbo Failure on Diesel Engines

Toyota engines is likely to be bulletproof however put on out like another engine. Nonetheless, the problems usually are not as denting as they’re certain to occur. You don’t get up in the future, and immediately the engine doesn’t begin, or the transmission received’t go to reverse or slip gears. 

One of many predominant points you’d count on is turbo failure on diesel engines akin to the three.0-liter 1KD-FTV and the two.4-liter 2L-TE. The Toyota HiAce is a dependable workhorse, however this doesn’t imply that it’s best to skip upkeep schedules. Should you purchase a used one, it’s best to have it inspected, particularly across the head gasket and turbocharger. 

Additionally, verify if the air filter has been not too long ago changed. A unclean air filter signifies contaminants have been moving into the turbocharger after contaminating the oil. Mud and small rock particles clog the turbocharger, ensuing within the exhaust’s lack of energy and white smoke. 

If oil is leaking via the pinnacle gasket, the turbocharger is oil starved, which could additionally result in engine failure. Verify the oil strains and likewise the enhance strains. The turbocharger is likely to be in good situation however is disadvantaged of airflow on account of clogged or leaking enhance piping. 

Cracks and Chips on Paint (Rust)

Such as you’d count on with another van, the construct high quality isn’t pretty much as good as a flagship sedan or MPV. One in all HiAce’s main weaknesses is poor high quality paint on the outside and inside. The paint will peel off at one time or one other, and rust will accumulate with out noticing. 

Toyota HiAce
through carguide

You must also verify beneath and behind the entrance and rear bumpers. Disassembling each bumpers shouldn’t be exhausting since they’re manufactured from plastics. You don’t have to repaint the realm if you happen to plan to make use of your HiAce as a load van. Rust proofing is sufficient because the paint will get scraped off over time. 

Noisy Transmission

It is a frequent problem in older fashions, primarily related to the transmission bearing. The transmission bearing wears out faster than anticipated when a automotive is in fixed use. Early indicators of transmission bearing failure on a Toyota HiAce embody rumbling and growling when decelerating from excessive speeds. The noise will progressively improve, and also you’ll hear it when decelerating from speeds as little as 12mph. 

One other signal of a failing transmission bearing is tiny bits of metallic within the transmission oil. A typical hack is passing a magnet near the oil when draining it. You may as well throw it into previous oil after draining, then fish it out after a couple of minutes. Oil fillings point out transmission put on and tear on account of inadequate lubrication. Should you change the oil and this persists, you’ll want the transmission checked earlier than it turns into too defective for an overhaul or substitute. 

Defective Clutch

One other transmission-related problem within the Toyota HiAce is clutch failure. Nonetheless, it is a user-related fault since most homeowners are likely to skip upkeep schedules. A day misplaced at a storage is a greenback misplaced. Should you imported your HiAce from Japan, there’s an opportunity it has the OEM clutch, which has seen higher days. 

HiAce vans in Japan ferry fish from seaports and contemporary produce from farms to busy metropolis markets. Such trades will put on out the clutch faster, particularly in items with a handbook transmission. The best choice is changing the clutch, which must be finished earlier than you think about another upgrades or modifications. 

Airbag Sensor Failure

Relying on the 12 months of manufacture, you’ll discover numerous security options. Older fashions solely have primary security options akin to ABS and traction controls. Newer fashions have superior security options akin to lane preserve help, stability management, and a pre-collision warning system. Some options akin to twin entrance SRS and curtain airbags are commonplace in most fashions. 

Resulting from previous age, sensors controlling these security options would possibly fail in case of a crash, or they weren’t changed after a collision. However the airbag sensor is understood to fail even in newer fashions.

Toyota HiAce homeowners have complained of airbags not deploying after a crash or deploying too late. Some have additionally reported airbags deploying even when the van has not been concerned in a collision. A number of Toyota models have been recalled for front driver and/or front passenger airbag inflators that were manufactured by Takata Corporation.

Earlier than buying a Toyota HiAce, checking if the airbag sensor is purposeful utilizing an OBD scanner is safer. Changing the wiring harnesses on older fashions can be beneficial, however provided that the battery terminals are disconnected. 

Common Costs

Toyota HiAce
through performancedrive

If you need a Toyota HiAce, the best choice is the fifth-gen (H200) constructed from 2004 to 2019. Costs begin at roughly $6,000, which is a stable cut price. Older fashions promote on the identical worth; if a more moderen mannequin is healthier, it’s not value shopping for an older one. 

Camper, ex-ambulance, and ex-government items promote for extra primarily due to their engines. Toyota fitted these with extra highly effective V6 and V8 engines.

View Toyota HiAce Ads for sale

Comparable Alternate options

Fashions and Specs

1967-1977 Toyota HiAce (H10)

Toyota HiAce

Nineteen Sixties automobiles just like the H10 HiAce are exhausting to come back by. It belongs to a class of automobiles that revolutionized the transportation sector in Japan. The primary-gen HiAce was constructed to fulfill the excessive demand for transportation in Japan, providing extra passenger and cargo area than the Toyota Crown pickup and wagon. 

First manufacturing items have been constructed as 8-seater passenger vans after the Nissan Homy, which was launched in 1965. In a while, Toyota made truck and camper variations sharing the identical 4-cylinder engine choices and 4-speed handbook transmission with the HiAce van. 

1977-1982 Toyota HiAce (H11/H20/H30/H40)

Toyota HiAce

Passenger capability was elevated to fifteen within the second-gen HiAce produce from 1977 to 1982. Nonetheless, on account of Japanese street tax laws, Toyota made a smaller model of the Toyota LiteAce. The LiteAce has comparable dimensions to the H10 HiAce however with a facelifted entrance finish from the second-gen HiAce. 

Just like the bast gen HiAce, the second-gen was made as a van, pickup, and camper configuration. The camper van has a decrease journey top than different fashions and was bought because the Toyota HiAce residing saloon. You get the second-gen HiAce with quite a lot of 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed handbook transmission. The pickup and the camper van additionally include part-time 4WD. 

1982-1989 Toyota HiAce (H50/H60/H70/H80/H90)

Toyota HiAce

Manufacturing of the third-gen Toyota HiAce started in 1982 with the HiAce van first. Then the pickup joined the manufacturing line later in 1985. Nonetheless, the pickup was constructed in a different way, in contrast to in earlier generations, the place it shared a entrance finish with the HiAce van. 

New trims have been launched for the HiAce van, from Ambulances to wagons and minibusses, however all shared the identical platform. The HiAce camper van was rebadged to the Toyota Cell lounge produced below a special manufacturing line. It’s based mostly on the HiAce high-roof from which the HiAce ambulance was additionally constructed. 

Toyota additionally launched a brand new 5-speed handbook and a 4-speed automated transmission as additional choices alongside the 4-speed handbook transmission used within the earlier two generations. You get the third-gen HiAce with a 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter, and a couple of.2-liter petrol engine or a 2.0-liter and a couple of.4-liter petrol engine. The pickup and camper fashions have been the one fashions bought with part-time 4WD. In South Africa, the third-gen HiAce was produced even after the H200 was unveiled in 2004. 

1989-2004 Toyota HiAce (H100)

Toyota HiAce

The HiAce H100 was launched in 1989 in additional markets than its predecessors. Other than China and Japan, it was additionally bought in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Europe, the UK, and the Philippines. There’s additionally a badge engineered Chinese language make badged because the Jinbei Haise. 

Toyota diversified trims within the fourth era greater than in earlier generations. Some trims have the brief wheelbase platform, whereas others have the prolonged wheelbase platform. Each have been bought with a normal flat roof, raised roof, or a excessive curved roof resembling a loaf of bread. 

Engine choices have been elevated as 13 engines, six petrol engines, and 7 diesel engines have been provided within the HiAce H100. JDM variants primarily include 2.0-liter petrol or 2.8-liter diesel engines. A 3.4-liter V6 and 4.0-liter V8 engine have been utilized in custom-made authorities and healthcare (Ambulance) items. Others akin to the three.0-liter 1KZ and 5L have been utilized in export markets solely on account of Japanese street tax laws affecting automobiles with massive engines. Luxurious trims such because the Regius Ace, Touring HiAce, and Grand HiAce produced individually even have the identical engines. All trims have been bought with a 4-speed automated or 5-speed handbook transmission. 

2004-2019 Toyota HiAce (H200)

Toyota HiAce

Should you plan on shopping for a JDM van, the fifth-gen HiAce is your most fascinating possibility as soon as it’s authorized to import in your nation. (2029 within the USA) It makes use of an extended and wider platform than its predecessors. It has easy flowing physique strains, which make the boxy look appear much less box-like. 

Solely two petrol engines, 2.0-liter and a couple of.7-liter, have been used within the HiAce H200 in comparison with the 5 diesel engine variants. Nonetheless, the 2KD (2.5-liter diesel engine) and 1KD (3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine) have been primarily utilized in items exported to the Philippines. The three.0-liter GL, 3.0-liter 1KZ, and a couple of.8-liter turbocharged 1GD have been the principle engines provided in JDM items. Transmission choices stay much like these within the HiAce H100 however with the addition of a 6-speed automated. 

The fifth-gen HiAce can include 10 or 14 passenger seats, whereas excessive roof fashions can seat 18 passengers as a result of prolonged size and width. Different minor modifications embody the repositioned gear lever to the dashboard to ease motion when shifting gears and the addition of AC for the rear passengers. 

Toyota HiAce

Toyota hasn’t but discontinued the HiAce in Japan, but it surely was discontinued within the Philippines in 2019. The Philippines is one among Toyota’s greatest export markets for the Toyota HiAce, intently adopted by Thailand and different African international locations akin to Egypt and South Africa, amongst different African international locations. After discontinuation, the HiAce H200 was changed by the H300 solely within the Philippines. 

2019-Current Toyota HiAce (H300)

Toyota HiAce
through carguide

The HiAce H300 was unveiled within the Philippines in early 2019 to exchange the not too long ago discontinued H200. Not like the H200, the bottom mannequin has a protruding hood. You will get it with a 2.8-liter turbocharged 1GD much like the one used within the H200 and a 3.5-liter V6. Later in the identical 12 months, the H300 was launched in Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, and Thailand. 


Which is a Higher Choice, a Petrol or Diesel Engine Toyota HiAce?

It is dependent upon how you’re going to use the van. A Toyota HiAce with a diesel engine is healthier from a enterprise perspective or if you happen to plan on being on the street longer than you’re at house. However, a HiAce with a petroleum engine fits small companies and drivers who need a low-maintenance and dependable van.

Is a Toyota HiAce Dependable?

Whatever the engine used, the Toyota HiAce is likely one of the most dependable vans ever made. Gas consumption is above common, and upkeep prices are much like these of a Toyota Yaris. Generally you’ll not even discover once you skip a upkeep schedule since most drive like new, even these 30 years previous. 

The place Can I Purchase a Toyota HiAce within the US?

Most homeowners are reluctant to promote theirs, and moreover, the very best place to purchase a JDM automotive is from JDM automotive dealerships. Should you can’t get a HiAce on the market regionally, importing one is as simple as a cake chew, particularly if Import brokers do the shopping for, delivery, and clearing course of for you. 

Is a Toyota HiAce Costly?

The Toyota HiAce isn’t as low-cost or costly as you thought. It’s cheaper than most US-made vans and dearer than most JDM vans.

Which is Higher, a Toyota HiAce or a Nissan Caravan?

Each vans are nice, and all of it comes right down to producer choice. Nonetheless, from a impartial standpoint, the Toyota HiAce is extra dependable and can last more than a Nissan Caravan. Should you evaluate older fashions of each, an older HiAce seems to be and drives higher than an older Nissan Caravan.

Is a Toyota HiAce Quick?

Vans just like the Toyota HiAce aren’t meant to be pushed quick, however older fashions prime at round 90mph whereas newer fashions have a most pace of 120mph.

Learn how to Import a Toyota HiAce

Learn our Final Information on How to Import a Car from Japan.

  • Sources
    • wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_HiAce
    • carused.jp/weblog/car-maintenance/the-common-issues-you-will-encounter-on-your-toyota-hi-ace-van/
    • motorandwheels.com/most-common-problems-toyota-hiace/
    • https://www.vanlifenorthwest.com/1994-toyota-hiace-super-custom
Christopher Weydert
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