2013 Toyota HiAce Review

The Toyota HiAce is a light commercial van that is manufactured by Toyota and sold in various markets around the world. It's a multipurpose vehicle that is highly configurable for diverse applications such as public transport, cargo transport and executive transport. In Kenya, it's widely used as a public transport vehicle popularly known as the Matatu and other roles such as tour operations.

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Detailed Review

The Toyota HiAce has been in production from 1967 to present and there have been five generations in that period. Similar to the Land Cruiser pickup, the HiAce has undergone fewer iterations and has stuck to its winning formula. The current generation known as the H200 has been in production from 2004 and is radically different from previous generations. It features changes such as a bigger body, larger windows and a gear knob on the dashboard.

The 2013 Toyota HiAce is offered with 3 engine options. These are; the 2.0L 1TR-FE petrol engine, the 2.7L 2TR-FE Petrol engine and the 3.0L 1KD-FTV turbo diesel engine. These are linked to either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission and available in both 2WD and 4WD

2013 Toyota HiAce Grades

  1. Toyota HiAce DX – This is the base grade that is offered in two versions, the HiAce Van for cargo transport and the Commuter Wagon for passenger transport. It comes with vinyl seats, plastic carpet and steel rims.
  2. Toyota HiAce Super GL – This is the premium grade that is offered in two versions, the HiAce Van for cargo transport and the Commuter Wagon for passenger transport. It comes with clothe seats, fabric carpet and alloy rims.

2013 Toyota HiAce Configurations
The Toyota HiAce is available in the following configurations; by length (Standard and Super Long), by width (Standard and Wide) by Roof Shape (Standard, Medium and High Roof) by Floor Shape (standard, Low and Very Low) by number of Doors (4 Door and 5 Door)

Legroom & Space
The Toyota HiAce is a utility vehicle that is built more for function than form. At the front, both the driver and passenger are afforded mildly comfortable quarters. The GL grade comes with extra padded seats that offer a firmer back support and better cushioning. The legroom at the front is sufficient for both the driver and passenger. The seats offer minimum lateral movement and can be uncomfortable at long distance.Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments at the front that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. There are 4 cup-holders, door panel storage, a 2 compartment glovebox and a center-box.

2013 Toyota HiAce Carrying Capacity
The Toyota HiAce can carry payload of up to 1250Kg depending on the configuration

Other Extras: DVD Player, Navigation, AUX Power, Cooler BoxSafety Features: SRS Airbags, ABS, Retractable steering on impact, WIL(Whiplash Injury Lessening), Rearview Camera

The Toyota HiAce is a tall angular vehicle that can best be described as boxy. The GL grade comes with 15-Inch alloy rims, fog lights and chrome trim.

2013 Toyota HiAce Fuel Consumption
2013 Toyota HiAce 3.0L Diesel Consumes 14.0 Km/L
2013 Toyota HiAce 2.7L Petrol Consumes 8.6 Km/L
2013 Toyota HiAce 2.0L Petrol Consumes 10.4 Km/L
Note: The above figures are for the Manual Transmission, 2WD options

2013 Toyota HiAce Acceleration
2013 Toyota HiAce 3.0L Diesel accelerates from 0-100km/h in 13.0 sec
2013 Toyota HiAce 2.7L Petrol accelerates from 0-100km/h in 11.8 sec
2013 Toyota HiAce 2.0L Petrol accelerates from 0-100km/h in 14.8 sec

2013 Toyota HiAce Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 Litres

2013 Toyota Hiace Ground Clearance
The 2013 Toyota HiAce has a ground clearance of 7.7 Inches(195mm). This is above the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads and it will clear speed bumps without a problem. However, observe the proper loading capacity as the per Owner’s Manual.

2013 Toyota HiAce Stability and Handling
If you haven’t driven a vehicle with front wheels right below the driver, then the HiAce needs a bit of getting used to. But once you master the turning angles, the rest becomes easy. The diesel is the most exciting to drive with loads of torque and pulling power. The 2.0L petrol engine is very subdued and I would not recommend it for any heavy lifting. Around corners, the HiAce has a noticeable body roll and caution is advised.

Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 10,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 15,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Spare parts for the Toyota HiAce are widely available in Kenya and at reasonable prices. Most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops in this link

2013 Toyota HiAce Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The petrol engines on the Toyota HiAce are much more reliable and have fewer problems. The 1KD-FTV diesel engine can be very problematic if not properly maintained. Below are some common issues that affect the engine.
1. Injector Problems – This is a very common problem that is mainly caused by bad quality diesel.
2. Turbo Failure – This is caused by poor maintenance and use of bad quality engine oil.
3. Engine Knock – Caused by poor maintenance and use of bad quality engine oil.
4. Automatic Transmission failure – Caused by excess loading and poor maintenance.

With proper maintenance as per the owners manual, most of this issues can be avoided. To download the 2013 Toyota HiAce Owner’s Manual, click here.

Resale Value: Good

Toyota HiAce Competitors: Nissan Caravan

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: Starting from Ksh.1, 850,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 129,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 20,000/- for 4 Tyres
See latest Toyota Hiace Prices here

What we like about the 2013 Toyota HiAce
1. A simple and functional design
2. Available in many configurations for various applications
3. Affordable to maintain

What we don’t
1. The diesel engine is sensitive and prone to failure
2. The 2.0L petrol engine is underpowered.

When it comes to light transport, nothing beats the Toyota HiAce. It is one of the most common public transport vehicles in Kenya today. Though it has lost some of its original toughness thanks to a sensitive diesel engine and a mushy automatic transmission, it is still a formidable workhorse.

Where to Buy the 2013 Toyota Hiace in Kenya
If you are looking to either import or buy the Toyota Hiace locally, we can help you with this process. Over the years, we have developed a network of trusted dealers both in Kenya and Japan who supply us with exceptional cars. Simply call us or send us a message through our contacts below and we’ll get you the right car at the right price.


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