1990 Toyota Hiace Review

1990 Toyota Hiace 2.5 diesel from Netherlands

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 kilometres
Most recent distance390000 kilometres
Previous carFord Sierra


Twice as strong, twice as cheap


Diesel engine break-down after 11 years at 320000 km because he lost cooling water and I didn't notice. My fault.

After 8 years the body gets rusty.

Driver seat wears out after 8 years.

He looses cooling water via the valve of the expansion tank. I have to check cooling water level monthly.

The plastic covering over the headlights need to be fastened with a wire, otherwise they blow away with the wind.

General Comments:

I never had such a reliable car than this Toyota Hi-ace van. I use it as a family car the past twelve years for private purposes and holydays and to go to my job. I also used it to build my entire house.

The Toyota Hi-ace is twice as strong as a family car at half the costs. I have four times financial advantage compared with a regular family car. Instead of 6 years I drove twelve years with it and the road taxes and insurance fee was half.

The Toyota Hi-ace keeps its value. About three times a year I find a notice between the windscreen wipers if I want to sell the car. I never had that before.

I revised the engine myself with parts of a second engine. At eleven years of age there was not one bolt I couldn't loosen with normal household tools. After the revision I drove from Amsterdam to Athens in Greece and back, 7000 km without any failure. I don't think that is solely because of my skill, because I am an architect, not a mechanic. It is so easy to do all the maintenance myself, I had no need to go to the garage. I saved a lot of money.

During holidays it was not a problem at all to sleep in the van with my wife. With a small cooking device we could go anywhere. I saved a lot of money on hotels and campings.

Except the engine break-down at 11 years of age, the Toyota Hi-ace never failed me during driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2003

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 1 review