2014 Toyota HiAce Review
Dave Conole road tests and reviews the Toyota HiAce.
It’s been around seemingly forever and while the light commercial vehicle market is probably more competitive than ever, Australian businesses still love the Toyota HiAce.
Priced from $32,990, the 2014 HiAce range incorporates both short and long wheelbase variants, there’s a high-top model and ‘Commuter’ versions too. Engine choice is 2.7 litre petrol (111kW and 241Nm) and 3.0 litre turbo-diesel unit that produces 100kW and 300Nm.
Transmission choice is five-speed manual or four-speed auto.
I was thrown the keys to a long wheelbase Toyota HiAce fitted with a diesel engine and auto transmission.
As you would expect the HiAce really is designed to do one thing – accommodate a good-sized load in the back. With a cavernous cargo area and maximum payload of 965kgs, access is via a huge lifting tail gate or the standard left hand mounted sliding door.
The trusty 3.0 litre engine does a good job of moving the Toyota HiAce around. The automatic transmission though, with only its four ratios, looks a little inferior on paper but, especially with the 300Nm of torque on tap, helps the HiAce get along pretty well.
Fuel economy though isn’t anything really to write home about. The Toyota HiAce diesel uses up to a claimed 10.5L/100kms on the urban cycle – expect that to rise if you have a load on!
Beyond that, as you might expect from a van, understeer is an issue! I was particularly disappointed in the HiAce brakes. Even without a load in the back the HiAce felt less than confidence inspiring under brakes, I can’t see this improving with nearly a tonne of cargo to be stopped too.
As far as human comfort in the HiAce you can tell pretty quickly that this is a work truck first and foremost. The HiAce has a noticeably noisy cabin (due mostly to the engine being under the front seats) and this lets the overall feel down.
While, to be fair, the HiAce of today does come with a number of standard features that were unheard of in this class of vehicle in the past.
You get steering wheel mounted audio controls, voice recognition Bluetooth, central locking, reverse camera (in the rear vision mirror) and air-conditioning!
Overall the cabin features an ergonomic and relatively pleasing layout.
The 2014 Toyota HiAce range comes with a respectable four-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; The 2014 Toyota HiAce diesel/auto does what it was designed to do – move goods and cargo and provide adequate comfort levels for human occupants.
The brakes were a letdown though and on the engineering front this thing is anything but cutting edge! An improved auto gearbox, along with better steering and better brakes would go a long way to lifting the overall feel of the HiAce.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2014 Toyota HiAce
Engine: 2.7 litre petrol producing 111kW and 241Nm or 3.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 100kW and 300Nm
Transmission: Four-speed auto or five-speed manual
Safety: Four star
Price: From $32,990
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.