Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and its local subsidiary Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) jointly unveiled the new generation Toyota Hi-Ace during its world premiere held at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City on Monday, February 18.
By hosting the all-new Hi-Ace’s worldwide launch in the country, TMP said it has further asserted the position of the Philippines as a primary market for Toyota’s range of iconic vans.
Previous generations of the Hi-Ace have also become a common fixture in providing mobility services to both public and private sectors, helping promote education, tourism, healthcare, and more.
“We, at Toyota Motor Philippines, are honored to host the world premiere of the all-new Toyota Hi-Ace. For the first time, the world’s eyes are on the Philippines to witness the unveiling of the full model change Hi-Ace, never before exhibited elsewhere,” said Satoru Suzuki, president of TMP.
TMC and TMP officially introduced three variants of the all-new Hi-Ace: the GL Grandia Tourer, the GL Grandia, and the Commuter Deluxe.
Both the Commuter Deluxe and the GL Grandia will be available for retail in all Toyota dealerships nationwide starting March 5, 2019. The GL Grandia Tourer will be available in early April.
According to Toyota, there are two key inspirations in the design and engineering of the all-new Hi-Ace: the first is to create a vehicle that increases productivity, while the second is to provide safe, comfortable, and reliable transport for people everywhere.
The all-new Hi-Ace has been revamped inside-out to address these goals. At the literal forefront of the refreshed modern look is the new semi-bonnet design, which means the engine is no longer mounted atop the front wheel axle.
By changing the engine’s position, both driver and passenger can experience better ergonomics, without the heat and vibration emanating underneath their seats. This also results in better serviceability, as the engine becomes easier to access compared to the previous make.
Paired with a highly rigid body, the all-new Hi-Ace offers better riding and driving pleasure that is worth beyond its price point.
Hailing from Toyota’s prominent commercial vehicle (CV) heritage, bold but clean character lines sweep through the Hi-Ace horizontally, creating a strong and stable image.
For the GL Grandia Tourer variant, the head lamps are complemented by vertical LED Daytime Running Lights and fog lamps in the bumper, while chamfered rear combination lamps add to its three-dimensional presence.
A powerful and fuel-efficient 1GD-FTV 2.8L engine ensures that the vehicle can traverse any road while carrying any load.
A number of improvements have also been adopted by the sixth generation Hi-Ace for easier ingress and egress. There is a noticeably bigger legroom, providing a riding experience enhanced by wider door steps, strategically-positioned assist grips, and illuminated entry system.
The plush headrests are making a comeback on the GL variants for their passengers to relax on, while the entire line-up prevents its daily passengers from suffering the usual discomforts of long-haul travels by improving overall suspension.
The GL Grandia Tourer, GL Grandia, and Commuter Deluxe comfortably fit a maximum of 14, 12, and 15 people, respectively.
The all-new Hi-Ace is powered by a new 1GD-FTV 2.8 L engine that has a high-boost turbocharger, 176 horsepower, intercooler system, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), and Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) that leads to reduced cabin noise by absorbing engine vibrations.
It also offers better handling with variable power steering, lighter gear shifting, and a MacPherson strut front suspension system with leaf spring rear suspension.
Considered a Toyota hallmark feature regardless of vehicle segment, the all-new Hi-Ace is equipped with advanced safety features. The transition from a cab-over design to semi-bonnet additionally increases collision safety.
Toyota is also the first manufacturer to include a center seat airbag on a utility van for its front center passengers, for a total of 3 Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags for the Commuter Deluxe and 2 SRS airbags for the GL Grandia and GL Grandia Tourer variants.
The all-new Hi-Ace’s GL Grandia and GL Grandia Tourer variants come with Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Anti-Lock Brake System, and Emergency Brake Signals. The Commuter Deluxe also has Anti-Lock Brake System and Emergency Brake Signals.
The Hi-Ace was first introduced on Philippine shores in 1994 and since then has sold more than 135,650 units. It is the leading model of the utility van segment with a 55.6% total market share last 2018.