Which variant of the Toyota Hiace should you buy? [Philkotse Guide]

Jul 03, 2020 | Same topic: Which Car Variant to Buy?
Read this to learn the differences between the Hiace variants

Now in its sixth-generation, the Toyota Hiace has always been a stable of the Philippine automotive market. From its first ever version launched in 1967 to the current one, it has always been the vehicle of choice for Filipino families, business people, and transportation providers. The van model has become a popular vehicle in the local market, which prompted Toyota to hold the global debut of the all-new Hiace in the Philippines last 2019.  

Now the Hiace or the Grandia has a lot of variants, each of which belong to four main trim levels. The Commuter Deluxe, which is the entry level trim, the GL Grandia, the GL Grand Tourer, and the Super Grandia as the model’s top-of-the-line trim. So, which Toyota Hiace should one buy? How are these variants different from each other? Let’s find out.

A picture of the TMP Hiace variant lineup

Which Hiace variant is the best for you? Let's find out.

Toyota Hiace Variants: Exterior

When it comes to exterior styling, the Commuter Deluxe is the simplest, most utilitarian looking. The wheels of the Commuter Deluxe are 16-inch steelies with a hubcap, and it doesn’t have daytime running lamps (DRL). The Commuter Deluxe’s front rear bumper, and door handles are finished in black, while its grille does not have chrome, as well as the absence of the hood moulding present on the GL trims.  

A picture of the Commuter Deluxe Hiace

It's simple looking compared to the Super Grandia, buy boy does it look better than the old one

Compare that with the GL Grandia Tourer, and the GL Grandia, which both come with LED DRLs, LED clearance lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, body colored front and rear bumpers, and a chromed out rear license plate holder.

Also common between the Commuter Deluxe and the GL Trims is the short pole antenna, as well as the bi-beam multi-reflector halogen headlamps with integrated turn signal lamps. Both the Commuter Deluxe, and the GL trims have fog lamps.

A picture of the GL Hiace

The middle trim is the GL which definitely looks more appealing than the Commuter Deluxe

The most striking, best equipped Hiace trim is of course the Super Grandia, which is equipped with a pair of auto-leveling Bi-beam LED headlights with integrated turn signal lamps, rain sensing wipers, LED taillamps, an LED clearance lamp, LED fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a different looking chrome grille, and front bumper.

A picture of the Super Grandia

And finally, the Super Grandia, the Hiace that's fit for a king

>>> Related: 5 people-hauler alternatives to the Toyota Hiace

Toyota Hiace Variants: Interior

Inside, the top-of-the-line Super Grandia can fit ten passengers, which is five less than the Commuter Deluxe. It does however have power-adjustable captain seats for the second-row, third row captain seats, all of which are definitely more comfortable than the bench type ones found on the GL trim and the Commuter Deluxe.

Note also that all of the seats, the steering wheel, and the dashboard of the Super Grandia, specifically the Super Grandia Elite, are covered in leather. The leather however, is option on the Super Grandia, otherwise, it has fabric seats, as well as a urethane dashboard and steering wheel.

A picture of the interior of the Super Grandia

Just look at all those soft touch surfaces.

If what you’re after is seating capacity, then the Commuter Deluxe is your choice as it can carry 15 passengers with its simpler set of bench type seats. These seats however do not have a reclining function. On the GL trim, the second row does have individual recline, but these can fit one less than the Commuter Deluxe.

Both the fourth row seats of the GL and the entry level Hiace do have a 50:50 split to extend the cargo space. And yes, the top level Hiace trim doesn’t have a fourth row, but its third row can also have a 50:50 split.

It also has the best air-conditioning, which is an automatic climate control system. The GL trims has a dual zone manual with a 2-tier rear vent, while the Commuter Deluxe has a far simpler dual-zone manual AC.

A picture of the interior of the Commuter Deluxe highlighting the dashboard

It's simpler looking inside the Commuter Deluxe, but it's still rather comfy looking isn't it?

As for on-board tech, both the GL, and the Super Grandia comes with a display audio system with CD/DVD/MP3 FLAC, and it can also connect via USB, Aux jack, Bluetooth, T-Link, and it also has K2 Technology.

The Commuter Deluxe on the other hand, has a 2-DIN with a CD player, radio, MP3, an Aux jack, USB, and Bluetooth. In terms of audio speakers, the Super Grandia, the Super Grandia, and the GL Grandia Touring has six, while the Commuter Deluxe has four.

>>> Related: Toyota Hiace 2020 Philippines Review: Piloting The Great Filipino Commuter

A picture of the interior of the Super Grandia focusing on the seats

The Super Grandia has two rows of captain seats

The driver is also most comfortable aboard the Super Grandia Elite with its six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, as well as the manual tilt, the Optitron speedometer, and telescopic adjustable steering wheel. Both the Super Grandia and the GL Trims have steering wheel mounted controls for the telephone, and cruise control, whereas the Commuter Deluxe’s steering wheel is bare.

The Super Grandia, and the GL Grandia Tourer also has a 4-inch TFT multi-information display, while the ones aboard the GL Grandia, and the Commuter Deluxe’s are a bit smaller.

Toyota Hiace Variants: Engine and Performance

When it comes to what propels the sixth-gen Hiace, there’s only one engine for the job, the Euro 4 compliant 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV inline-4 DOHC diesel. Aboard the Commuter Deluxe, and the GL Grandia six-speed manual variant, the said engine can make 173 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm, and 420 Nm of torque from 1,400 rpm to 2,600 rpm.

Strangely enough, the 1GD-FTV makes a bit less horsepower on the GL Grandia Tourer at 163 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque. Do note also that the variants with the six-speed automatic (except the GL Grandia Tourer) like the GL Grandia 2.8 Diesel AT, GL Grandia AT, and the Super Grandia trims make a bit more torque at 450 Nm.

A picture of the 1GD-FTV

The 1GD-FTV is powerful enough for the size of the Hiace, but its actual highlight is its reliability

The Commuter Deluxe, as well as the GL Grandia, and the GL Grandia Tourer rides on a McPherson Strut type suspension for the front, and a very simple but robust rigid axle, leaf spring for the rear. This is necessary for these variants because of their high passenger count.

On the Super Grandia however, the basic rear suspension is replaced with a much softer 4-link suspension with coil springs. And lastly, the Super Grandia, and the GL Trims have disc brakes all around, while the Commuter Deluxe has front disc brakes, and rear drum brakes.

SPECS
Super Grandia
GL Grandia Tourer AT
GL Grandia Tourer MT
GL Grandia AT
GL Grandia MT
Commuter Deluxe
Engine
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
2.8 liter 1GD-FTV
Horsepower
173
160
160
173
173
173
Torque
450
420
420
450
420
420
Transmission
Six-speed automatic
Six-speed automatic
Six-speed manual
Six-speed automatic
Six-speed manual
Six-speed manual

Toyota Hiace Variants: Safety

When it comes to safety, the Super Grandia Elite is the best equipped Hiace. It comes with the Toyota Safety Sense technologies like pre-collision system, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

All Super Grandia and GL trims come with the basics like anti-lock braking, vehicle stability control, side impact beams, and hill-start assist. The Commuter Deluxe does have ABS, and the side impact beams, but it lacks stability control and hill start assist.

As for airbags, the Commuter Deluxe, as well as the GL trims only have dual front airbags. Compare that to the Super Grandia trims which are equipped with dual front airbags, knee airbags for the driver, as well as side, and curtain shield airbags.

And lastly, the GL, as well as the Super Grandia trims have clearance and rear sonar, while the Commuter Deluxe doesn’t.

Toyota Hiace Variants: Pricing

Toyota Hiace Variants
Price
Hiace 2.8 Commuter Deluxe MT
Php 1,634,000
Hiace 2.8 GL Grandia MT
Php 2,055,000
Hiace 2.8 GL Grandia AT
Php 2,130,000
Hiace GL Grandia Tourer MT
Php 2,229,000
Hiace GL Grandia Tourer AT
Php 2,304,000
Hiace Super Grandia Fabric
Php 2,518,000
Hiace Super Grandia Fabric 2-Tone
Php 2,533,000
Hiace Super Grandia Leather
Php 2,608,000
Hiace Super Grandia Leather 2-Tone
Php 2,623,000
Hiace Super Grandia Elite
Php 2,983,000
Hiace Super Grandia Elite 2-Tone
Php 2,998,000

>>> Go to our Toyota car guide to get the hottest information about all Toyota cars

*** Note:

  • Luxury Pearl White variants for the Hiace non-Super Grandia variants will cost an additional Php 15,000
  • 2-Tone refers to the Luxury Pearl White toning because it provides a different color for the lower portions of the Super Grandia providing this two-tone look.

Toyota Hiace Variants: Conclusion

From the get go, it’s actually very clear cut as to which variant of the Hiace is catered to whom. The Commuter Deluxe is affordable and simple, thus it is suited for transport providers, as well as a transportation solution for businesses.

The GL trim is more comfortable so it might be more suitable as a middle-class family mobile if you have a particularly large family. Although, it can also be used as a more premium means of commercial transport.

A picture of the Super Grandia Hiace on the highway

If you're the type who wants the best for his/her passengers, then go for the Super Grandia

And lastly, if you want a luxurious, and reliable ride that still won’t break the bank that much, then the Super Grandia is for you. Do note though that if you or your business is in the market for a no holds barred luxury van that’s fit even for the most discerning VIPs, then Toyota also has the Toyota Alphard.

That being said, the Super Grandia’s top variant is still Php 912,000 cheaper than the entry level Alphard, which starts at Php 3,910,000.

For more car buying guides like this, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.

Author

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar learned how to drive a car years before he got his license. Today, he's still looking for that perfect '90s Japanese coupe to drive into the sunset while listening to Crazy Little Love by Nuage. Also has a thing for badass off-road vehicles and weird engine swaps.