Auto brawl 101: Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace in the Philippines

Aug 21, 2018
  • Table of contents
  • 1. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Introduction
  • 2. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Dimensions
  • 3. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Performance
  • 4. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Safety Features
  • 5. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Interior & Comfort
  • 6. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Exterior
  • 7. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Conclusion
See which is the better commuter van between the Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace in the Philippines.

1. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Introduction

In this Auto brawl 101: Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace spec battle by Philkotse.com will pit these top commercial vehicle options against each other. These are the top options when it comes to commuter vans that are the best ones to get in the market now.

Although there are alternatives like Foton, it is not as well appointed, compared to these two top choices. These options are one of the roomiest automobiles that one can get, and they make long trips better.

Toyota and Nissan have differing philosophies when it comes to commuter vans, and this is reflected in the different layouts of each. One thing though is that Toyota has upped its game and it is reflected in their design.

The two car manufacturers of Japan still have the box-design, but made some changes to make it sleeker than previous versions. The Hiace seems to dominate, but the Urvan still have some tricks in its sleeve that evens it out.

nissan urvan nv350 vs toyota commuter

Nissan Urvan vs Toyota Hiace: Both are the top options when it comes to commuter vans in PH

Before the specs bang away at each other, let's introduce the commuter vans that will be featured. Nothing is ever equal and expect it to be a close call for some specs!

1.1. Toyota Hiace (Grandia)

One of the better options that have been around a long time and one of the go-to choices for many families. Many large families opt for this commuter van because of its spaciousness, and it uses cheaper diesel. With the Grandia variant, it became apparent that commuter vans aren't barebacked options anymore.

1.2. Nissan Urvan (Premium)

The Nissan Urvan came a bit late to the commuter van market but quickly made headway. Next, to the Hiace this became a favorite for FX operators because it is spacious as well. One plus of the Urvan is the AC that as one of the AC systems that are very cold! Nissan seems to be the second-stringer but is a better second option and much cheaper.

Before wading into this head-to-head comparison, it would be better to have a look at our comprehensive reviews of these two models for a broad understanding about them.

2. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Dimensions

Any commuter van needs to be big and have more than enough room for up to ten people. Look over the dimension, and you notice its substantial when compared to SUVs as well.

2.1. Toyota Hiace

The Hiace is bigger over-all in all dimensions of length, width, and height that makes it roomier by +415 millimeters. This is significant and provides more room than the Urvan for more room inside. Because of this and that makes it the biggest commuter van but with a “nice” price.

2.2. Nissan Urvan

Not a slouch either is the Urvan because it has a better front and rear cabin than simple FX passenger options. The Urvan loses by -415 millimeters in terms of space but can seat about fifteen inside. A second stringer but still a better option than the Foton variant which ranks third.

Nissan Urvan vs Toyota Hiace: dimensions

Nissan Urvan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Dimension comparison

In this car comparison review dimensions count because it means that it’s a big commuter van. The Hiace wins out by a large +415 millimeters, but the Urvan still can seat five more, due to the seat layout.

Nissan Urvan NV350 vs Toyota Commuter: Dimensions
  Toyota Hiace Grandia  Nissan Urvan Premium
Length (mm) 4,840 4,695
Width (mm) 1,880 1,695
Height (mm) 2,105 1,990

3. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Performance

This NV350 vs Hiace battle is not complete; unless the main battle of the better and most efficient specs fought out. One thing to note; is that size is important, but it must have the numbers to back it up. The last thing anybody wants is a lumbering brick of a commuter van.

3.1. Toyota Hiace

Specification wise, the Hiace has good numbers that are better than the Urvan. Although it shares some similar suspension and brake equipment with some slight variations. Only if the rear suspension was a better than a rigid axle, but its far better than rigid leaf springs of the Urvan. An AT transmission is an option, and that’s quite good compared to MT transmission of the Urvan.

The best goodie; is the 3.0 Liter with similar displacement which is greater than the Urvan's. One spec that the Hiace loses out is in torque but is better at horsepower compared to the Urvan. Overall, the Hiace wins out in performance but only by a hair!

toyota hiace engine

An AT transmission is an option, and that’s quite good compared to MT transmission of the Urvan

3.2. Nissan Urvan

The specs of the Urvan is better only in the number of passengers and its torque. It's displacement and engine stats which could have made it a draw but did not pan out. Lacking AT transmission and its tires need a size upgrade soon is an issue. Low numbers may not be a decisive factor, but performance does demand bigger numbers. This is a big box that can haul fifteen people courtesy of its acceptable specifications.

nissan urvan premium engine

It's displacement and engine stats which could have made it a draw but did not pan out

Nissan NV350: A powerful public utility van in the Philippines!

Nissan Urvan vs Toyota Hiace: Engine & Performance
  Toyota Hiace Grandia  Nissan Urvan Premium
Engine 3.0 Diesel A/T YD25 DDTi
Displacement 2,982 cc 2,488 cc
Horsepower (hp) 136 129
Torque (Nm) 300 356
Transmission 4-Speed Automatic 5-Speed Manual
Brakes

Front: Ventilated Discs

Rear: Drum

Front: Ventilated Discs

Rear: n/a

Suspension

Front: Double Wishbone with Stabilizer Bar

Rear: Rigid Axle, Leaf Spring

Front: Torsion Bar with Front Stabilizer

Rear: Leaf Spring

Passengers 10 15
Fuel Diesel Diesel
Tires 225 / 70 R15 195 / 80 R15LT
Power Steering Yes Yes

The spec numbers were won by the Hiace only by only a small margin. In this comparison, performance is tricky, and the numbers will make a difference. This round goes to the Hiace by a smidge or two but lets' move on.

4. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Safety Features

Among safety features that should be standard like ABS, EBD, and BA because most motor vehicles have it. The Hiace has ABS; unlike the Urvan which has a Load Sensing Valve.

4.1. Toyota Hiace

Nothing special about the Hiace Grandia which has ABS installed but lacks EBD and BA. This is odd for the price it costs when it should have a better layout. Additional features like 3rd brake light and airbags barely cut it in the safety department.

4.2. Nissan Urvan

The Urvan does not fare any better than the Hiace, but it has a Load Sensing Valve which adjusts the brakes. It is a bit on the ill-equipped side; it doesn’t have ABS, EBD, and BA that is regretful. Basically, a simple layout but lacks any serious features.

In this section, it only shows how both options can be improved a lot. Safety features need a desperate upgrade for both, but the basic safeties will do for now, but it can be better!

Nissan Urvan NV350 vs Toyota Commuter: Safety Features
  Nissan Urvan Premium Toyota Hiace Grandia
Seatbelts Yes Yes
ABS n/a Yes
EBD n/a No
BA n/a No
Third brake light Yes Yes
Airbags Yes Yes
Load sensing valve Yes n/a

5. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Interior & Comfort

Performance and safety mean nothing; should it lack a nice riding cabin. The options have the standard comfort, with interior features but one does better! Adding a simple feature or two can make big difference, and that is evident why one won out handily.

5.1. Toyota Hiace

The Toyota Hiace is obviously a roomy ride. This option won because it has two features that make a great difference over the Urvan. The use of leather for seat fabric, and two captain seats that is great for luxury and comfort.

It can be argued that the standard options count, but both have the same ones. This negates the argument; use of leather and the addition of captain seats will make the price more bearable.

5.2. Nissan Urvan

The Urvan has all the standard features, but leather seats and captain seats are better. The Hiace has more luxurious accents; if an ordinary commuter van is okay then get this. Better be ridden by non-discriminating commuters, but picky buyers may dodge the Urvan outright.

toyota hiace 2018 interiorNissan Urvan 2018 interior

The Urvan has all the standard features, but the Hiace has more luxurious accents​

Picky car buyers love small luxurious touches but for many this would do. If only the Urvan upped its game, but the Hiace won out again.

NV350 vs Hiace: Interior & Comfort
  Toyota Hiace Grandia  Nissan Urvan Premium
Seat material Leather Fabric
AC Yes Yes
Touchscreen Yes None
Rear AC Yes Yes
Captain seat Yes (2) n/a
Bench seats Yes n/a
Vents Yes Yes
Rear AC control Yes n/a
Cup holders Yes Yes
Cabin lights Yes Yes
Power features Yes n/a
Numbers of sliding doors 2 2
Folding rear seats Yes Yes

H2H #24 Toyota HIACE vs Nissan NV 350 (Diesel 2.5 Liter version)

6. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Exterior

It won’t count if any option in our comparison review doesn’t have the looks or the equipment outside for a better drive. Looks do count, especially if it has a backing cam and anything that helps the driver and the passengers.

6.1. Toyota Hiace

Once again, the Hiace rocks it and does better than the Urvan by a mile. It has a reverse cam that the Urvan lacks but it has a rear sensor that helps. The Hiace wins by smidge again, and the Urvan is trailing behind.

toyota hiace 2018 philippines

The Hiace wins by smidge again, and the Urvan is trailing behind

6.2. Nissan Urvan

It lacks a rear cam that could have tied it up, but it doesn’t. Another chance lost for the Urvan to be preferred, but no dice again. Trumped again by a single feature, which could have been added to make it worth the money. The Urvan got clobbered in the specs again. This shows how options can go wrong in Auto brawl 101: Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace and how a minor detail changes everything.

nissan urvan 2018 exterior

Another chance lost for the Urvan to be preferred, but no dice again

Hiace vs Urvan: Exterior
  Toyota Hiace Grandia  Nissan Urvan Premium
Power side-view mirror Yes Yes
Reverse camera Yes n/a
Luggage rack n/a n/a
Lighted steps Yes Yes
Rear sensor Yes Yes​

7. Nissan NV350 vs Toyota Hiace: Conclusion

Both the Nissan Urvan and Toyota Hiace are great vans for Filipino families, but the better option is the Toyota Hiace Grandia; it outperformed the Urvan Premium thoroughly. Maybe the emphasis of the Urvan is an affordable people commuter, but the Foton commuter van is a similar option that is much cheaper.

Between a just price-right van and slightly higher priced van, the one with extras will win! It’s a win for the Hiae with goodies to match the price!

Nissan Urvan NV350 vs Toyota Commuter: Distinct Features
   Toyota Hiace Nissan Urvan
SRP P2,686,000 P1,836,000
Performance Winner Loser
Dimensions Winner Loser
Safety Features Winner Loser
Interior & Comfort Winner Loser
Exterior Winner Loser

nissan urvan nv350 vs toyota hiace

Nissan NV350 vs Hiace​: What’s the better commuter van?

Eventually, do not forget to visit Philkotse.com for more in-depth car reviews by experienced experts and the latest updates in automotive industry.

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas

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