The 2019 Toyota HiAce has been revealed, the van and bus range will be the first new-generation in 15 years bringing upgrades to safety, new engines and increased levels of comfort.
Significant changes including a stiffer frame, stronger straight-line performance, greater stability and manoeuvrability and more pliant suspensions have been made possible thanks to the move to a semi-bonneted design.
Configurations available will include the HiAce van in two-seat long (LWB) and super-long wheelbase (SLWB) configurations, five-seat LWB crew vans and 12-seat SLWB Commuter buses.
This sixth-generation HiAce range will be available with two engine options. One a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel (likely from the HiLux), the other a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol. Both will be mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Of course, being a van (or bus) cargo capacity is important. The HiAce in LWB configuration offers 6.2 cubic meters whilst the SLWB offers a larger 9.3 cubic meters. Designers have increased the internal width by 215mm and added an extra 5mm of height whilst maintaining the external proportions.
There is also an assortment of flat-mount surfaces and anchor points making it easy to alter the vehicle to suit a wide range of purposes.  
It is expected that when testing is completed by ANCAP, the HiAce will be awarded the maximum five-star safety rating due to the highly rigid structure and advanced safety technologies.
A pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a rear-view camera and up to nine airbags will be standard. There is also the option of a digital rear-view mirror that provides a wide field of view unobstructed by headrests, occupants or cargo.
Practicality has also been considered with the bottom edge of the front door now lower with a wider step for easier access. Visibility is also improved with larger front-door glass and a lower belt line.
Towing capacity for the new HiAce has increased to a maximum 1900kg on key variants which represents an improvement of up to 500kg.
Handling, stability and ride comfort also benefit from newly developed MacPherson struts at the front whilst the rear gets new leaf spring suspension with a 200mm increase to the span.
Toyota also commented that new locally developed Toyota Genuine accessories will be available from launch.
The 2019 Toyota HiAce range is expected to arrive in Australia by mid-2019. Stay tuned for pricing!
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