What Toyota Hiace Should I Buy?

Hey everyone!
So I’ve been doing lots of research on what kind of car I want and I’ve come to the conclusion on buying a Toyota hiace commuter to go travelling around Australia in.

Problem is I have no idea what year model is the best. I much prefer the older models (2003 and below) as to me they come with less complications and would be much easier to repair and much cheaper if I would need to get something fixed. Plus I feel as if they’d almost be more reliable than the newer models as they come with fewer complications.

the newer models seem to have a bit more of a modern look but my guess is they’d have a bit more of a complicated system such As being computerised and having a bunch of sensors etc.

Only reason I prefer the older models is because I’ve had a bad experience with a Mercedes sprinter having dozens of sensors needing to be replaced.

Just wanted a second opinion to know what you guys think would be the way to go! My price range is between 15 - 23k.



    Only reason I prefer the older models is because I’ve had a bad experience with a Mercedes sprinter

    You are comparing the simplest car from the most reliable brand, to the most complicated German brand. My employer owns many Sprinters and prices for repairs are abhorrent - and this is the povo pack with one of the smaller engines.

    Hiaces are very simple, for pure reliability buy the newest you can afford! Pretty much every mid size town has a Toyota dealer.


      Yeah good point, All I’m looking for is reliability and I’ve just heard from people around me that the older models will go forever and are considerably cheaper to fix if anything does happen to it.

      So you’d say the newer models are probably more reliable than the older ones?


        Have you ever heard anyone complain about Toyota reliability?


          Yeah you’re not wrong haha, I just want to be as sure as possible that I’m buying something that’s not going to shit itself, I guess I’m just a bit paranoid from past experiences


    One thing to remember with that model HiAce and other like it (cab over engine), frontal impacts are very detrimental to your legs.


      Hi brendanm,
      What is a suitable alternative in this case?


        Anything with the engine in the front rather than under you.

  • +1 vote

    Just get the newest low on one you can afford. It’s a Toyota. Even 2003 models will have electronics, probably not a lot less than current ones. If you don’t want electronics you’ll need to go back to the early 90s.


    We are already on our third hiace van
    -late 90s petrol hiace (4th gen)
    -~2004 petrol hiace (4th gen facelift)
    -2011 petrol hiace (5th gen)

    The late 90s/early 00s facelift model would be the pick of the bunch. These versions (petrol and diesel) came with fuel injection which makes them easier to start, with better fuel economy. Therese minimal electronics. It doesn't even powered windows. Just be weary of the odometer. Ours facelift model stopped for a while. When we traded it in with 3xx,000km it was probably closer towards 4xx,000 on the odometer. With the LPG conversion, it was cheap as chips to run for courier duties. We only upgraded van as the LPG system was starting to get temperamental.

    My mate had a sprinter. Had little annoying electrical issues. Didn't stop him from delivery duties; but annoyed the hell out of him. Hiace generally works; however does cost abit more upfront.