10 best vans in the Philippines

The people-mover industry has grown over the past years. More and more people are looking for vehicle alternatives to get the public moving. If you’re in the market to buy a full-size van for transport or to bring your family around, you should heed this list for some suggestions. The way each vehicle is presented on the list comes in no particular order as the prices and features each one has will vary.

Toyota Hiace GL Grandia press photo

First on the list is the Toyota Hiace. This van has been the go-to choice for families and transport providers for its versatile layout and its frugal diesel powerplant. The Toyota van comes with seating for 12-15 depending on the variant. Powering the vehicle is the familiar 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine that it shares with the Fortuner, Innova, and Hilux. The diesel powerplant is capable of producing 174 hp and 420 Nm of torque. While the engine displacement remains the same, the power figures will slightly vary from model to model. Seat materials will also vary from cloth to leather depending on the variant. It can be had with either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. Backing up the Hiace is its durability as well as reliability. Parts won’t be hard to find for this van since its engine is a shared unit. It also comes with the benefit of Toyota’s large parts and services network.

Toyota Super Grandia Elite press photo

Next on the list is the Super Grandia. It’s the more luxurious version of the Hiace and comes with a few more extra features. The top-of-the-line trim features Toyota’s Safety Sense technology. The same 2.8-liter powers it as the normal version of the Hiace. To differentiate it from the normal Hiace, the Super Grandia comes with two rows of captain’s seats. It also comes with two fabric choices for the seats. Leather and cloth are the two options. It also comes with the option of being had with a two-tone paint job.

The Super Grandia is one of the safest people haulers on the list thanks to the inclusion of Toyota’s Safety Sense technology. The safety suite of features all make the vehicle safer and take away some of the stress of driving from the driver.

Nissan NV350 standard silver

Another van with a plan is the Nissan Urvan NV350. It features a similar body to the older generation Hiace but with an updated fascia. It features flexible seating for 15-18 people. It’s powered by a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 127 hp and 356 Nm of torque. It can be had with either a 5-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. The Urvan offers an alternative option to those who want a more compact van form factor. It also comes with Nissan’s ever-growing number of service centers ready service and maintain your vehicle. 

Nissan NV350 Premium Urvan black

A step above the Urvan is its superior counterpart, the Urvan Premium. It only comes in a 15-seater configuration. The vehicle features a bubble top and a slightly longer wheelbase, making it 536mm longer than the standard Urvan. Thanks to the higher roofline, more standing room can be had for passengers, allowing for easier entry and exit. The same 2.5-liter engine that powers the standard Urvan can also be found here, the same can be said about its transmission options. The bubble top Urvan comes in at one of the more affordable vehicles that have a high-roof line. It also shares the same features as the standard Urvan.

Foton transvan press photo white

Like the Urvan, the Foton Transvan also features a boxy rectangular design. It comes with versatile seating configurations that either come in a 13 or 15 seating configuration. Powering the tube-type van is a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine. It produces 94 hp and 225 Nm of torque and is only available with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Transvan comes in with the most affordable pricing on the list. If you’re after an affordable diesel people hauler, this is it.

foton traveller XL blue press photo

If you want a longer version of the Traveller, the Traveller XL could be your best pick. It features a similar front to the standard van but includes a taller roof thanks to the addition of the bubble top. Under the hood is the same 2.8-liter turbo diesel found in the standard variant but comes with increased power. The engine variant in the vehicle produces 130 hp and 280 Nm of torque and it only comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. Thanks to its longer wheelbase, the Traveller XL can seat 19 passengers comfortably. Similar to that of the Transvan, the Traveller XL is also one of the more affordable vans on the list and boasts the biggest seating capacity.

hyundai grand starex exterior press photo

The Hyundai Grand Starex is the Korean car manufacturer’s entry into the van segment. It features two engine choices both come in a 2.5-liter turbo diesel form factor but have their own individual power outputs. The first option comes in with 98 hp and 225 Nm of torque. The second engine produces 168 hp and 441 Nm of torque. Seat configuration for the Korean van comes in a 12 seater or 18 seater configuration depending on the variant. The Hyundai Starex comes in with a comfortable cabin ready to suit almost any budget. 

Maxus V80  exterior press photo

An entry on the list from Europe is the Maxus V80. This van is available in both passenger- and cargo-hauling configurations, which can be both a workhorse for your businesses or a family vehicle. The V80 comes in three variants with different seating options per variant. The people carrier variant comes with a 13 or 18 seater configuration. Powering the vehicle is a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 134 hp and 330 Nm of torque. Among all the van options the V80 presents itself as one of the taller options on the list. This gives passengers the most headroom in the van category.

Another category you might want to consider is the mini-bus segment. These are essentially bigger and taller versions of full-size vans. They may be huge in size but they also come with big seating capacity. These offer much more room at the cost of usability. The vehicles will come in with a height of over two meters tall so you can forget about bringing them into mall multi-level parking lots.

Foton Toano black exterior press photo

First of the list is the Foton Toano. This minibus comes in an 11 or 15 seater configuration. Powering the Toano is the same 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel found in Traveller XL. The diesel fed mill only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. It features a bubble top and an automatic step ladder to make entering and exiting the vehicle much easier. The most affordable option on the list for minibusses the Toano offers a no non-sense approach to people hauling.

hyundai H350 blue exterior press photo

The Korean car manufacturer’s entry into the minibus segment is the Hyundai H350. This minibus can seat 14 passengers comfortably and features a raised roof-line. This allows passengers to easily enter and exit the vehicle. The Hyundai H350 is powered by a 2.5- liter CRDi engine that produces 170 hp and 421 Nm of torque. The only transmission option is a 6-speed manual. 

ford transit philippines front quarter exterior

Just this year, Ford Philippines joins the fray of people-hauling machines with the Ford Transit. This behemoth of a minibus measures 5,981mm long, 2,474mm wide with mirrors, and 2,517mm tall. It seats up to 15 people, each with enough space for comfortable journeys.

The Ford Transit in the Philippines is powered by 2.2L Duratorq TDCi unit – the same diesel engine found in the mid- and low-tier variants of the Ranger. As such, power delivery isn't a problem with 133 hp and 385 Nm of torque available on tap, sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.

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