Got this article from motioncars. I think this is larger than the Starex... Will this be worth considering?
Something for the entire clan:
Toyota's Hiace GL Grandia lands in the Philippines
Posted Friday, 10 June 2005 http://www.motioncars.com/
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) announces this June the launch of the all-new Hiace GL Grandia. The new Hiace is packaged with an entirely new concept that combines large cargo space for functionality, a unique styling that gives an advanced powerful look, and a driving performance, which incorporates a Direct Injection 4-stroke Common Rail Diesel Engine (D-4D). The new Hiace GL Grandia raises the standard in the van segment by providing customers with an evolution of functions: capacity, durability, reliability, economy, comfort and a higher level of Luxury.
The new Hiace was not merely designed for functionality; it was also developed to make work and operation more enjoyable. Its exterior emphasizes a square body to portray a dynamic form. The Hiace engineers pursued an innovative exterior style suitable for a vehicle that is bound to last. The dynamic front view features voluminous sweeping curves and a big masculine bumper to emphasize the advanced styling, which goes beyond the traditional image of a commercial vehicle.
Its dimensions are considerably bigger than its commuter variant which was launched last January. Its length, width, and height are 4,695 mm by 1,695 mm and 1,980 mm respectively. It is accentuated with color keyed front and rear bumpers, chrome front grille, outside view mirror, and outside door handles. Rear wiper and window defogger are also incorporated in the Hiace GL Grandia. Tires and wheels are also specified at 195/80 15 inch tires steel with full high grade caps.
The newly developed package of the Hiace offers long, wide interior space with three rows of passenger seat with the width that allows a passenger load of eleven adults to sit in comfort with ample leg space. Its height and width suit the configuration of the wide sliding doors that allow two passengers to get in and out at the same time. This is complimented by the side step for easy entry and exit of passengers, whether adult or child. In addition, mechanical lock type sliding doors make downgrade loading or unloading much easier.
The new Hiace is powered by a 2KD-FTV, 2.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine with advanced common rail fuel supply system that provides the torque that a commercial vehicle requires. Unlike conventional injection systems, the common rail system makes sure that the proper air-fuel mixture reaches each cylinder for injection, and along with turbo-charging, achieves powerful torque of 260Nm per 1,600 to 2,400 Rpm, maximum output of 102 horsepower at 3,600 rpm.
The new Hiace Grandia purses the comfort and luxury of a family van, while it offers maneuverability with the toughness needed by a hard-working vehicle. In addition, the small minimum turning radius of five meters contributes to nimble handling in tight places despite the wide body and long wheelbase.
The double wishbone front suspension uses torsion-bar springs, while the rear has leaf springs. Special attention is paid to spring hardness, the stiffness of the spring attachment points, and shock absorber action optimized for both front and rear suspensions. This results to superior handling and stability, and an overall comfortable ride. The new Hiace is available in three shades: Silver Metallic, Dark Gray Mica Metallic, and Nobel Pearl Toning. It is offered at P 1,290,000 for the monotone and P1,305,000 for the two-tone. Toyota’s latest market offering will be available for viewing for all interested customers at all authorized Toyota Dealerships nationwide starting June 13, 2005.
Took a gander today (with carlocaraddict) at a newly-landed Hiace GL Grandia, which is one step up from the unabashedly bare Hiace Commuter. Impressions:
Looks like a refrigerator, chest-type freezer, or washing machine (take your pick)...
It seems that all the designers had in designing the Hiace was a ruler. That said, the styling isn't exactly offensive and carries the cubic theme quite well. It's a reasonably good evolution from the previous, antediluvian Hiace. Inside, the dash design is a bit busy and unharmonious, but it at least tries to look modern with shiny silver paint and other details.
...But if it has to be square, at least it's usefully square
Okay, maybe it may as well carry a Kelvinator badge, but that crate affords a breathtakingly huuuuuuuge interior. Open the single sliding door to marvel at ELEVEN bucket seats. In fact, the inside of the Hiace resembles that of a Boeing 737, with full-size aircraft-style seats that recline (however, they're bolted in place and don't do any tricks like fold or tumble). Space for heads is cathedral-infinite... space for feet under those marvelous dinner chair-high seats is limitless. The high chairs translate directly to excellent thigh support and abundant legroom. There's still a considerable space for luggage at the back of the last row. This is one HUGE whopper, although don't be fooled, the outside dimensions of this one-box maxivan are actually quite modest. A Chevrolet Venture minivan is larger outside than the Hiace.
Seat configuration is iffy, particularly in the last row
There are four rows of bucket seats arranged in a 2-3-3-3 position, with a man-size aisle (in true aircraft fashion!) between seats number 2 and 3 in the second and third row. The aisle in the fourth row is a bit curious as it leads to the cargo bay; in my view, Toyota would have done better to fit a 50/50-split folding bench at the third row instead of fitting three buckets with an aisle in the middle. Also, the outboard bucket seats in that last row sit on top of the wheel well, which drastically compromises comfort in those seats. It escapes me why Toyota didn't simply remove the aisle in the back row and move the three bucket seats to all fit between the wheel wells. Versatility has taken a step back in this latest Hiace rendition with the lack of easily-removable, folding, or tumbling seats.
Good features for the price
For the base price of P1,290,000 for this GL Grandia model, you get a 2.5-liter diesel -- the same unit found in the Innova automatic -- that churns out 102 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, ABS, dual airbags, power windows, mirrors, and door locks, a third brake lamp, a 2-DIN stereo head unit, and reasonably good fabric upholstery. However, wheel covers that hide basic steel rims still come standard, and you'll have to settle for a leaf-sprung rear end.
Some good details, some cheap touches
The Hiace sports some modern touches besides the evolutionary wrapper. It's got aircon vents that close like venetian blinds (in my opinion, a classy touch), an instrument cluster that tries to go beyond basic, and round overhead cooling vents that are flush with the ceiling, to name a few. Opening the tiny hood reveals a maintenance panel like in the APV... don't look for the engine up front, its mounted between and under the front seats as before. However, there are a few goofs too... flooring the clutch or accelerator pedals results in a cheap and hollow-sounding 'clack!' as it hits the end of its travel, for example. The front doors feel unsubstantial when slammed. Only a small square section of the side windows open, and these portals look a bit awkward. As mentioned, the airplane seats don't do any fancy moves. And of course, wheel covers are definitely chintzy on a vehicle that costs 1.3 million bucks.
Tentative walkaround verdict: More room than ever before, astounding space for nine (eleven if you count the torture chairs) and their luggage, and surprisingly, a good feature set at a price that's surprisingly reasonable... this all-new bus looks like a great step forward from the previous model. Too bad the seats aren't too smart and there's still only one sliding door, and without a doubt, people would rather have a coil-sprung rear, but all in all, this new refrigerator van looks like a credible alternative to the Nissan Urvan Estate for P200,000 less.
* Kelvinator. Definitely a Kelvinator. On second thought, maybe more like a Frigidaire. * decal on rear glass announces ABS, which is rarer than a toothed chicken in this maxivan class.
* Only a single sliding door is offered. * First class seating for nine, torture-class accomodations for two more. * Boundless legroom and footroom in almost all seating positions, courtesy of high chairs.
* Poor judgment: positions of outboard seats on the last row mean that the rear wheel wells intrude into precious leg- and footroom in those spots. * Man-size aisle makes for easy access. Letter paper-size brochure provides scale reference for cargo bay space. * 5'7" tester demonstrates this bus's immense height.
the super spacious washing machine cum van now comes with twin airbags and power features. :lol:. You can even enter the van through the tailgate! Seating inside the new Grandia makes me feel that I am inside a rain cloud.....grey all around. I like the unlimited leg and head room. Seats are huge (check out the pics). The wheel well in the rear makes your seating position commuter bus like (my right or left leg is elevated).