First Generation H10 Series (1969-1977)
As part of the HIACE lineup that generally revolves around vans, the first generation HIACE COMMUTER was developed as a mini-bus and introduced in February 1969. Two types were made available-one with a riding capacity of 12 people, and another with a riding capacity of 15 people.
For this reason, the total length of the vehicle was designed to be the longest in the series, with the 12-person COMMUTER measuring at 4,310mm, and the 15-person at 4,990mm. In terms of the wheelbase as well, the 12-person COMMUTER’s measured at 2,350mm-similar to other vehicles of the series-whereas the 15-person COMMUTER’s wheelbase measured at 2,650mm, which was 300mm longer than the standard. Moreover, to reduce vertical load, wider tires were utilized.
The engines carried included the 1,350cc inline four-cylinder OHV with 65 horsepower and the 3P 1,490cc inline four-cylinder OHV with 70 horsepower.
In February 1971, the engine was changed from the 1,490cc inline four-cylinder to the 1,587cc inline four-cylinder with 80 horsepower, leading to an enhancement in power output.
Furthermore, in 1975, the 1,350cc inline four-cylinder engine was discontinued, and in its place, the 1,808cc inline four-cylinder engine with 95 horsepower was added to the lineup.
Second Generation H20/30/40 Series (1977-1985)
In 1977, the HIACE COMMUTER underwent its first model change to the H20 series. In terms of outer appearance, a key alternation was the change from the four round headlamps to two headlamps. Riding capacity remained the same; however, space was increased for both the 12-person and 15-person vehicles, improving riding comfort. A total of four body types were made available: the 12-person standard, 15-person long and 2 variations of the superlong. The wheelbase appropriate for these were: 2,340mm for the standard, 2,545mm for the long, and 2,845 for the superlong.
The engine lineup remained the same as that of the previous generation model: 1,808cc inline four-cylinder with 95 horsepower and 1,587cc inline four-cylinder with 80 horsepower. Furthermore, for the superlong only, both the 1,808cc and 1,587cc engines were available as options, whereas for the other body types, only the 1,587cc engine was available.
As for the interior, the reclining seat was employed for the driver’s seat, further improving comfort.
In terms of the minor changes implemented in 1980, the lineup was reduced to only the super long.
Third Generation H50 Series (1982-1989)
The third generation HIACE COMMUTER, which went on sale in December 1982, was available only as a 15-person superlong model. Changes on the engine and improvements regarding the suspension system led to an enhancement in fuel efficiency. Additionally, in terms of the interior, the seats and meters were greatly improved, giving the model a greater air of luxury and high quality. The GL grade was also newly introduced, with a gorgeous interior equipped with power steering and reclining seats.
The engine lineup consisted of the 2,188cc four-cylinder diesel engine with 72 horsepower and the 1,998cc four-cylinder gasoline engine with 105 horsepower.
Four variations with this combination of engines and transmissions were placed on the market.
Fourth Generation H100 Series (1989-2004)
In August 1989, the HIACE COMMUTER underwent another model change. The fourth generation model saw improvements in engine performance through an expansion of the diesel engine’s displacement, as well as significant changes in the design, which included greater incorporation of curves, leading to increased competitive power on the market.
In terms of the engine, the newly developed 1,998cc gasoline engine with 100 horsepower was added to the lineup. As for the diesel engine, in addition to the 2,400cc with 85 horsepower, the 2,779cc with 91 horsepower was included.
For the interior, texture and quality were improved through changes in the meter cluster and center console area.
In August 1993, minor changes were implemented, primarily on the exterior. The headlights were changed from shield beams to H4 halogen bulbs, improving nighttime light performance. Furthermore, the engine lineup was consolidated to just the 2,779cc engine with 91 horsepower.
The minor changes made in August 1996 involved the number of hub bolts securing the wheels. The five holes up to this point changed to six holes; therefore, the wheels that had been used prior to this change became non-reusable.
The minor changes made in 2000 led to the 2,438cc gasoline engine with 120 horsepower being added to the lineup. Additionally, in 2003, changes were made again to the gasoline engine lineup, and the 1,998cc engine with 133 horsepower was added.
Fifth Generation H200 Series (2005-)
The fifth generation model that was introduced in 2004 saw further improvements in practicality, especially due to the fact that the function and role of a wagon was explored with the Toyota Alphard series. As a result, changes were made to the engine lineup to further respond to various uses and needs. In terms of the car body as well, the measurements were expanded to a length, width, and height of 4,840mm, 1,880mm, 2,105mm respectively. For the COMMUTER’s use as a children’s school bus, improvements were made so that seats could be secured for 4 adults and 18 children. Because of the interior length being expanded to 4,250mm, and the high roof allowing for an interior height of 1,565mm, riding comfort was increased.
The engines available, in accordance with the drive system, were: for the FR, the 2,693cc four-cylinder gasoline engine with 151 horsepower and for the 4WD, the 2,494cc turbo diesel engine with 109 horsepower.
The transmission that could be combined with this was the 4-speed automatic.
In August 2007, minor changes were implemented to the interior and exterior, and the 2,982cc engine with 136 horsepower was newly added, further improving environmental and engine performance. This engine underwent an improvement in 2010, and the power output was enhanced to 144 horsepower, further improving environmental performance and adhering to the 2009 Post New Long-Term Gas Emission Standards.
The changes made in April 2012 led to the installment of vertically adjustable headrests and reclining functions to not just the GL grade, but also the DX. Furthermore, the front center seat was discontinued, and the riding capacity was changed to 14 people.
In December 2012, minor changes were implemented on the interior and exterior, and a multi-information display was installed on vehicles as standard equipment to show certain information, such as average fuel consumption.
With years of improvement, today, for the FR drive system, a lineup of diesel and gasoline engines has been made available, and for 4WD, only the gasoline engine has been made available. Furthermore, there are currently six grades on sale, according to differences in equipment, as well as GL and DX.
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