Without a doubt, the Toyota Hiace -in its many variants and permutations- has become the top selling van in the Philippines. The Commuter is popular amongst the commercial crowd, the larger GL Grandia is being used by families and as executive shuttles, while the more luxurious Super Grandia versions became a staple in posh, gated communities.
Now Toyota has launched a newer, more luxurious version of the Hiace: the much larger and much roomier Super Grandia LXV.
Design-wise, the Super Grandia LXV still looks very similar to the recently facelifted Grandia line with the boxy body, the chrome grille and other details. There’s not really much to talk about because it’s really a straightforward van, but the changes are quite clear over the standard Super Grandia. One peculiar feature is the use of all-terrain tires, odd given that this is meant for on-road cruising.
For starters, the Super Grandia LXV is longer than the Grandia. The width is the same, but the wheelbase has been stretched from 2570mm up to 3110mm: an increase of 540mm. The longer wheelbase makes for a longer car, and as such, the LXV measures a gargantuan 5380mm long. The major difference is the roof, which has been raised by 180mm, bringing the LXV to a total height of 2285mm.
Open the lone sliding door on the passenger side and there are seats for 10 people in the main cabin. There are two pairs of stand-alone seats in the middle, followed by a 4-seater bench in the back.
The thing with the LXV is that the high roof configuration allows average height individuals to move about the cabin without having to crouch. In the Super Grandia, the main attraction has always been the pair of captain’s seats in the middle, but the LXV goes beyond that by having two pairs of captain’s seats with armrests and spring-loaded ottomans for comfortable cruising. Both pairs can slide forward and sideways, and even have folding tray tables with cupholders between them.
Powering the Hiace Super Grandia LXV is the same 2.5L turbo diesel engine found in the other Hiace models. In this version, it makes 102 PS at 3600 rpm and 260 Nm of torque from 1600 to 2400 rpm and comes matched with a 4-speed automatic gearbox. It doesn’t sound like much, but the Hiace was never designed for speed and acceleration anyway.
For features, the LXV comes with a DVD navigation system from AVT, but customers will have to opt for a separate headrest or drop-down monitor to be able to watch any movies in the back. The AC is the dual manual type but very powerful, easily cooling down the cabin in minutes.
Driving the LXV around town, it’s clear that you have to be very much aware of its length. Negotiating 90-degree city streets means having to give yourself a wide berth. Power is good and so is the economy; there wasn’t a fuel eco meter, but a quick trip to the station yielded a consumption of 9.8 km/l in city conditions.
Of course a vehicle like this will never really be enjoyed by the driver, so it’s best to really have someone else do the driving for you. Riding in the back with the ottoman up is a relaxing experience as opposed to driving it, but I do wish Toyota put in a bit more sound padding around the cabin and heat insulation for the engine bay under the front seats. Lastly, the rear suspension needs a significant upgrade to something more sophisticated as leaf springs just wouldn’t offer the ride comfort befitting its status and clientele.
It needs a significant upgrade in ride comfort, nevertheless the 2015 Toyota Hiace Super Grandia LXV is priced very well at PhP 2,420,000, considering that it can carry 10 people inside with plenty of space and legroom to spare.
Engine: Inline-4, 2494 cc, dohc 16V, Turbo, 4-Speed AT
Max Power: (bhp @ rpm)102 bhp @ 3,600 rpm
Max Torque: (lb/ft @ rpm)192 lb/ft @ 1,600 – 2,400 rpm
0-100 km/h [or 0-62 mph](sec): 24.1 sec.
Top Speed (km/h): 145 km/h (90 mph)
Fuel Milage (km/L): 12.1 km/L Overall
Price as Tested (PhP): PhP 2,405,000.00
+ Massive space, average person can almost stand inside
– Ride is too bumpy for its purposeful
C! Rating: 8.5/10