Here is Toyota’s biggest consumer offering with a total of 8 variants. Up and down the line, there is a van for everyone and their families and extended families. Ranging from the pure people carriers all the way to the business class-like model.
Vastly popular with Filipino car buyers, the Hiace is a prime choice thanks to the love for the brand in the country and the large-capacity seating that the nameplate is revered for. Now with a completely new face and an updated engine, the lineup is stronger than ever, which makes choosing a variant the only conundrum buyers have to face. So let’s get into it.
This is where it all starts, the most basic variant of the Hiace. We can’t really call it that basic, because the engine in this variant is a top of the line offering for the Toyota Fortuner and Innova. The same 2.8L engine is available for the Commuter Deluxe, and it goes for only P1,634,000. With this price, you get a diesel motor that produces 174 hp with 420 Nm of torque. The seating capacity of this variant is 15, which can be found in a 3-4-4-4 configuration. Leg space is expected to be somewhat limited given the model’s dimensions.
This model comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, it’s got dual airbags up front and ABS. Only the front passengers get 3-point harnesses, while the rest of the passengers get 2-point lap belts. With the price in mind, and knowing that this variant is going to be a utility vehicle, it’s a relatively good deal if you’re willing to put up with the stick shift.
If you want better items such as a 6.8-inch infotainment system instead of the basic 2-DIN unit. You also get 6 speakers instead of 4, and there are USB charging ports in key areas of the cabin. Instead of pure fabric seats that can be found in the Commuter, the GL Grandia comes with a combination of fabric and leather. The seats also have more bolsters that allow for more support for passengers. You can also find alloy wheels in a 16-inch size, rather than the 16-inch set of steelies found one the Commuter. From here on out, all occupants get 3-point seatbelts. The seating capacity of this model is 12 in a 2-3-3-4 configuration. Passengers can get in through either side thanks to the two sliding doors while the Commuter Deluxe only had one door on one side.
A major addition to the model family once you cross into the GL trim is the automatic transmission option. Along with the transmission, you get a slight 30 Nm bump in torque over the Commuter, which won’t affect performance too much. The manual variant of the GL Grandia starts at P2,055,000, but the automatic will set you back P75,000 and bring the price up to P2,130,000. There really are only two variants, but there is a Luxury Pearl Toning option that costs P15,000.
The GL Grandia Tourer is a longer and taller variation of the GL Grandia. Most of the features are the same between variants, save for the length and height. While the normal Hiace is 5,265 mm in length, and 1,990 mm in height, the GL Grandia Tourer is 5,915 mm long and 2,280 mm tall. Ground clearance is also up by 10 mm bringing the total to 185 mm. Seating capacity for this model comes in at 14 in a 2-2-3-3-4 configuration. Compared to the smaller models, the Tourer gets 5 rows instead of only four that the standard length has. The automatic variant of the Tourer also gets a 4.2-inch multi-information display gauge cluster that is flanked by two analog gauges.
Size comes at a price and the Tourer commands a P174,000 difference over the regular GL models. The price tag is brought up to P2,229,000 for the manual variant, and an automatic transmission will cost P2,304,000, a P75,000 difference.
These next few variants are the crème de la crème, the cream of the crop, the flagship if you will. These units are what you take with you on a long journey, like what we did in our written review. It’s supremely comfortable and there are three trim levels within the Super Grandia variant family that all include 2 pairs of captains’ chairs. The seating capacity of this model comes in at 10 and is arranged in a 2-2-2-4 layout. Instead of leaf springs like the rest of the lineup, the rear suspension utilizes coil springs, which allow for a softer ride. Safety systems are fully featured, with 9 airbags in total for all models. As a bonus, the exterior has been added to immensely are filled to the brim with cuts and edges that throw out plain looks. The wheels are also larger and come in at a 17-inch size which also looks quite good on this large vehicle.
The base model for the Super Grandia comes with cloth seats, the basic set of captains’ chairs clad in fabric. One step up the variant tree will get you the Super Grandia (Leather), which is exactly as its variant name suggests. The interior of this variant has leather on all key touchpoints, like with the steering wheel, gear lever, door cards, dashboards, and the seats of course.
The top of the line variant of the Hiace Super Grandia is deserving of its name. The Elite variant is definitely elite in its delivery. Customers can opt for a light-colored interior as an option, otherwise, the standard Elite variant has a black and brown interior. The addition of brown is brought about by the wood accents that adorn everything from the doors, center console, and dashboard. The second-row captains’ chairs are also improved and feature electronic recline with ottoman. One more major piece of tech that elevates the Elite experience is the automatic doors. This is the only model in the entire lineup that has this feature, and it helps with ingress and egress. You also get Toyota Safety Sense 2, which elevates the active safety features of the entire package.
The price for the base Super Grandia variant comes in at P2,518,000, while a leather interior will set you back P90,000 and bring the price up to P2,608,000. The biggest jump happens before the Elite variant, which comes in at P2,983,000. P375,000 separates the Elite and the Leather variants, which is quite possibly a worthwhile leap.
There are a lot of variants to choose from, and since the Hiace is such a versatile vehicle, the best variant will have to depend on which delivers the best experience for its intended purpose. It is clear that the Super Grandia is geared towards comfort, while the Commuter up to the GL Tourer variants is focused more on seating capacity and outright space.
So far, the variant that is impressive in terms of its value is the Commuter Deluxe, which is a great value considering the seating capacity. As a value-oriented model, this variant is about P400,000 more affordable than the next Grandia model in the list. If you are looking for an automatic, the Tourer offers nearly the same amount of seats but has a bigger body and a price difference that’s as long as the vehicle itself. So if an automatic transmission is a priority, then the GL Grandia will do fine, as it is small enough to fit into most parking spaces considering that you have to be mindful of the 2.2M vertical clearance that the Tourer needs.
If your budget is right, then the Super Grandia is a great choice no matter what variant you get, but the best value, and our runner up, is the Super Grandia (Leather) variant. If you’re looking for something practical with more emphasis on comfort, then this model will do, but if you really want to go all-out with the VIP treatment, we don’t think the Super Grandia Elite variant is a bad choice considering it takes features from the venerable Alphard and scales them up to full size.
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