1995 Toyota Hiace Super Custom 4WD 3.0L turbo


A great van with enough oomph to go just about anywhere


The timing belt hadn't been changed, and caught that just in time at 135,000 km just after purchase.

The metal connection between the upper hose and the radiator was leaking and had to be changed.

Apart from that, a rear left window was shattered on a cut section of a tree whilst driving around a corner, which cost a fortune to replace even second hand... imports!?

General Comments:

The van's great. I've always wanted a van like this. Plenty in New Zealand when I was living there, but not as many in Australia. Not sure why, but maybe because of wanting more 4WD clearance, as the Super Custom (non modified) is a little limited. I haven't had too many problems though, and managed some flood water, soft sand beaches and some good sized rocks up in some steep hilly country near here.

Generally very happy, and can fit 7-8 folk or 4 with full camping stuff and no trailer required. Generally runs very well (with the help of a great mechanic with Russian army mechanical background here on the central coast, who seems to like the van a lot).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2013

2012 Toyota Hiace KDH 201 MY12 3.0 turbo diesel


Great commercial van, just a bit bumpy


Nothing. Just a dent and a scratch from someone not willing to own up.

General Comments:

Fantastic commercial van, mainly for its reliability and performance. It's got plenty of power to haul a big load up the hill, and easily sits on the freeway speed limits up big hills.

It's got plenty of space in the back, and with the cargo barrier, I can fit lengths of stuff up to 2.8m I think. The cabin is spacious enough for what you need to do, and with the cargo barrier, there is enough room behind the seats to put stuff and a small Esky.

Only have 8000kms on it so far, so can't comment on long-term reliability, but it's going great for me so far.

This is my first commercial van, so take that into consideration while I mention the following.

I find the ride to be bumpy, but the front seats are directly over the front wheels. And you have to go really slow over speed humps, unless you want a couple of big jolts.

Getting in and out is a bit awkward. I find the iLoad easier to get in and out of.

Without anything in the back, i.e no carpet, equipment etc, it is a little noisy, but that's what you get with a diesel.

I get a small clunk from the rear suspension when turning into some driveways up a slope. Had that since day one, but it has never affected anything.

Knee room in the cabin for the driver and anyone tall in the passenger seat is next to nil. I'm 182cm, and wouldn't want to be any taller, but I do fit. Would definitely suit a small Japanese guy better.

It has a reversing camera, which is absolutely fantastic. I love it, and it lets me reverse really close to other cars/objects, and has saved me from reversing into a couple of things already. I do have a technician's step on it, so that would be the first thing to take the brunt anyways.

Overall it's a great van. Performance is good, steering is good, ABS works a treat, but it's a little reactive on bumpy surfaces, and I get about 10.6L/100kms.

Things they could improve on are cabin room for the legs, and making it a more comfortable drive.

24/11/13 Update:

The van is still going well, done over 30,000kms on it. Some things do annoy me a lot though. The steering wheel is too far forward, and there's definitely not enough leg room!

Also the open diff is extremely bad. You have to be really careful what driveways you go down and what angles they are on, because you can get stuck easily! Get on a bad angle and the right wheel will just spin and spin and spin. And that's in the dry!

It's too light in the back along with the stupid live rear axle. If you drive it off the road, seriously think about putting an LSD of some sort in it. And no cruise control bugs me too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2013

21st Apr 2015, 21:41

Have you thought of installing an Eaton Truetrac Ltd? I've been thinking about solutions for our RWD Holden Commodore, and look back on our old Hiace with great fondness. It was very easy to lose traction going up gravel hills etc. Have read good stuff on them and they are quite affordable (based on eBay prices); the helical design is apparently super low maintenance and noise.

It sounds silly now saying it, what tyres are you running? Our Commodore is running a brand that gets terrible reviews called an Austyre. I know that often the tyres fitted to vans are not the best and would consider changing the tyres first now. The VW Caddy Maxi I have came with cheap Bridgestone (rate terribly in the wet and dry traction), Hankooks are better, but not by much, and Continentals were amazing by comparison. Do some research for yourself, but I replaced the fronts first because on the Caddy they are the driving wheels, then the rears. I wonder if Continental or other quality brands make a tyre fit for purpose. Cheap van tyres are scary, but I reckon they got these because they know buyers are thinking of other things when they buy a van. In my limited experience, it is worth paying a little more for more traction. The Continental tyres have made the ride a lot smoother and the traction heaps better.