While pickup trucks are undoubtedly one most of the most versatile car types currently available, vans are also quite useful. As such, they are quite popular here in the Philippines where they are used either as a family car, a transport and logistics solution for small to large businesses, and even as daily drivers. Or maybe even all those at the same time. Vans are just that great after all.
Modern vans can range from having no seats, basic decently comfortable seats, or something as cushy as this
But if you’re in the market for a van right now, you might be intimidated by the plethora of models available locally. So, to help you choose, we selected seven of the best vans in the Philippines.
The Toyota Hiace is one of the most popular van models in the Philippine market. As a model, it has been around since 1967 and is available in numerous countries around the world.
Currently, the Hiace that’s available locally is now in its sixth generation. It now has a hood, and it is sharper-looking than its predecessors. Propelling the Toyota-made van is a 2.8-liter inline-4 turbodiesel engine. For the six-speed automatic variants, the said four-banger can produce up to 174 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. The variants with the six-speed manual gearbox also have a 174-horsepower rating, but it makes less torque at 420 Nm. The current Hiace, like the previous fifth-gen version, is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
The Toyota Hiace Commuter variant
The Hiace Commuter variant has the most seating capacity numbering at 15. The high-end trim levels of which the Super Grandia Elite is the most luxurious. It however has a significantly lower seating capacity of 10.
For the non-Super Grandia variants of the Hiace, prices range from Php 1,649,000 for the Commuter Deluxe MT, to Php 2,319,000 for the GL Grand Tourer AT. The Super Grandia with leather seats on the other hand has a price tag of Php 2,608,000, while the top-of-the-line Super Grandia Elite AT can be had for Php 2,998,000.
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The Nissan Urvan is also a noteworthy van that’s available in the Philippine market. Like the Hiace, it is also a veteran model as its very first iteration can be traced back as far as 1965 in the form of the Nissan Caravan B640. Of note, the latest Urvan is also known as the Caravan in certain countries.
Nissan Urvan Premium
For the Philippine-spec version, the Nissan Urvan is propelled by a 2.5-liter inline-4 turbodiesel. This engine is the sole engine option for the said van, and it is either paired with a five-speed manual transmission, or a five-speed automatic transmission. At most, the said engine can deliver 127 horsepower and 356 Nm of torque, all of which are sent to its rear wheels.
Most Urvan variants save for the Cargo and Standard 18-seater, can seat up to 15 people. The Cargo has the smallest seating capacity numbering at three, as its interior is stripped of passenger seats for optimal cargo capacity.
The Nissan Urvan’s price ranges from Php 1,162,000 for the Cargo MT variant, while the top-spec Urvan Premium AT has a price tag of Php 1,866,000.
Philkotse also has plenty of Nissan Urvan 2016 and other model years for sale at a very budget-friendly price.
While the Maxus G50 is classified as a minivan and not actually a full-on van, it is large enough that it can handle van duties. At most, the Maxus-made model can seat up to eight people and it provides a lot of high-tech features for both entertainment and comfort. Fold the seats down, and the G50 also provides a lot of cargo room too.
The Maxus G50
For powertrains, the Maxus G50 uses a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine that’s paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. At most, this engine can make up to 167 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. There's also a 1.3-liter inline-4 turbocharged gasoline engine that can produce 150 horsepower and 230 Nm of torque for the entry-level Comfort trim. For this variant, it uses a six-speed manual transmission. Unlike most of the models on this list, the Maxus-made minivan is a front-wheel-drive model.
There are four variants of the Maxus G50 that can be bought locally. Its price starts at Php 948,000 for the G50 MT Comfort, to Php 1,338,000 for the G50 Premium.
Another veteran van model on this list is the Hyundai Grand Starex. While the new Staria, the Starex’s successor, is coming, Hyundai Philippines is currently selling the second-generation Starex TQ model.
The Hyundai Grand Starex
Currently, the Philippine-spec Grand Starex uses two engine options, both of which use diesel. The first one is a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated inline-4 mill that can produce up to 100 horsepower and 226 Nm of torque. The second engine option meanwhile is a 2.5-liter turbocharged (CRDi) inline-4 mill that can make up to 170 horsepower and 441 Nm of torque. All Grand Starex variants are rear-wheel-drive, although the turbocharged versions can only come with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine in turn is only available with a five-speed manual transmission.
The Grand Starex variant with the most seating capacity is the Grand Starex GL 18-seater version. The Hyundai-made model also has a seatless cargo variant, which only has space for the driver and front passenger.
Currently, the Grand Starex’s price ranges from Php 1,248,000 for the Grand Starex GL MT seatless variant, to Php 2,938,000 for the top-spec Grand Starex GLX Platinum AT. Take a look at some Hyundai Starex 2019 for sale right here on Philkotse.
Next up on the list is the Maxus V80. Unlike its minivan brother, this model is a full-on van. There are only two variants of these available in the Philippines right now, the 2-seater V80 Flex cargo van, and the 13-seater V80 Comfort.
The Maxus V80
Of note, Maxus has a long history of making vans. Before being acquired by SAIC, the said brand was based in England where it was known as the LDV Group. Maxus, under SAIC acquired the said name from the famous LDV Maxus, which itself was a van model primarily used as a commercial vehicle.
Propelling the Maxus V80 is a 2.5-liter inline-4 turbodiesel engine that can produce 134 horsepower and 330 Nm of torque. Power is sent to its rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. As of the moment, the V80 doesn’t have an automatic transmission variant.
With regards to pricing, the V80 starts at Php 1,190,000 for the V80 Flex 3-seater cargo van variant, to Php 1,570,000 for the 13-seater Comfort variant.
The Honda Odyssey is a seven-seater minivan purpose-built as a family vehicle. Despite that, one can indeed use this Honda-made model as a VIP carrier, and even as a daily due to its car-like handling characteristics.
The Honda Odyssey
For the Philippines, the Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine. The said mill can make up to 173 horsepower and 226 Nm of torque, which are then sent to its front-wheels via a continuously variable transmission.
The Honda-made minivan’s price for the Philippine market starts at Php 2,298,000 for the Odyssey EX 2.4 CVT, to Php 2,698,000 for the top-spec Odyssey EX-V Navi 2.4 CVT.
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Known as the Solati in its home country of South Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam, the said model instead takes the H350 as its name in the local market. Like most vans on this list, the Hyundai-made van was designed to function as a passenger model and as a commercial model.
The Hyundai H350
While the H350 is considered as a minibus instead of a van, this said model can likewise fulfill any duties that a van is capable of. Sure, it is larger, but for its price, the added space it provides is not something you’d want to ignore.
Propelling the Hyundai H350 for the Philippine market is a 2.5-liter inline-4 turbodiesel that can make up to 178 horsepower and 421 Nm of torque, which is then sent to its rear wheels. For both variants of the H350, it utilizes a six-speed manual transmission.
At most, the Hyundai-made minibus can seat up to 14-people with room to spare for cargo. Also, do note that as a minibus, it is more elevated than the standard van. This provides its passengers a better view of the outside, so it’ll do great as a tour vehicle.
Competing against the H350 is the Ford Transit. For those unaware, the Ford-produced minibus is one of the company’s best-selling models worldwide. It is one of the most recognizable commercial vehicles in North America and Europe as it is highly favored for the floor-space it provides. To put that into perspective, the Blue Oval managed to sell 153,868 Transits in 2019 in the US alone.
The Ford Transit
For the Philippine market, Ford is positioning the Transit as a people carrier. It can seat up to 15 passengers, and like the Hyundai H350, it provides a good view from its huge windows. Propelling the Ford-made minibus is a 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-4 engine. At maximum, it can make up to 133 horsepower and 385 Nm of torque. The model’s sole variant available locally uses a six-speed manual transmission.
Currently, the Ford Transit 2.2 MT 15-seater has a price tag of Php 2,300,000.
So, there you have it, the best van models in the Philippines right now. For more car buying tips, car maintenance guides, and general car knowledge, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.
Know more about Toyota Hiace 2021
<p>The Toyota HiAce comes with a robust look. It still holds the title as one of the Filipino’s most trusted vans. In February 2019, the Japanese manufacturer introduced the sixth-generation update of the Toyota Hiace. The model received massive changes on both its interior and exterior. The current generation features a nose that serves as the dedicated engine room. It provides more cabin space and flat fascia that’s lacking from the former under-the-driver engine design. In terms of designs, horizontal slats are present in the huge grille that accentuated the massive headlamps. Toyota Motor Philippines offers the Toyota HiAce in three variants: the 15-seater Commuter Deluxe, 12-seater GL Grandia, and 14-seater GL Grandia Tourer. The HiAce has a different interior configuration depending on the variant. The common feature in all three trims is the shift stick mounted at the dashboard. A touchscreen display is available in the GL Grandia variants. A 2.3L 1GD diesel engine lies under the hood of the Toyota HiAce – similar to that of the Toyota Fortuner. It has varying power outputs that depend on the trim-level. The Commuter Deluxe produces 176 horsepower and 420 Newton-meter of torque. The GL Grandia creates 176 horsepower and 450 Newton-meter of torque. The power output of the GL Grandia Tourer is 163 hp and 420 Nm of torque.</p>
Cesar G.B. Miguel