Toyota has unveiled the completely redesigned Hiace, which now enters its sixth generation, and will first go on sale in Philippines before being gradually introduced in other countries.

According to the company, the new Hiace is built on a platform specially developed for the model, with a semi-bonnet design that allows for new engines to be fitted. The van also offers a higher level of body rigidity compared to the outgoing model, along with an improved ride, Toyota says.

In terms of what goes under the bonnet, the Hiace is powered by either a 1GD 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel or a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine. No output figures were provided, but they should be similar to what you’ll get with the Hilux and Land Cruiser. A six-speed manual and automatic are the available transmissions.

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The Hiace comes in two body types – Normal/Standard Roof and Long/High Roof – both with larger dimensions than what you’ll get with the fifth-generation model. The Normal/Standard Roof variant measures 5,265 mm long (+570 mm), 1,950 mm wide (+255 mm), 1,990 mm tall (+10 mm); with a 3,210 mm wheelbase (+640 mm).

Meanwhile, the Long/High Roof version is 5,915 mm long (+535 mm), 1,950 mm wide (+70 mm), 2,280 mm tall (-5 mm); with 3,860 mm wheelbase (+750 mm). A variety of seating layouts are available (29 in total as listed by Toyota), divided into three distinct categories – Van, Tourism and Commuter – the last of the three can carry up to 17 people.

The new packaging, particularly the semi-bonnet, results in a more pointed front-end compared to the previous Hiace, and is more aligned to other vans like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Vito. Other highlights of the new face are a larger front bumper with grated intakes, along with more angular headlamps.

Along the sides, you’ll spot another consequence of the new packaging, as the front doors have a larger aperture and are no longer over the front wheels, while the cabin is pushed further back.

The rest of the body is like what you’ll find on other panel/windowed vans, with different door arrangements depending on the selected seating layout. Around back, you’ll find a larger hatch due to the vehicle’s dimensions, plus more prominent taillights.

As for the cabin, there’s a new dashboard layout and is made to look more upmarket. The air-conditioning controls are now placed closer to the media head unit, relieving more space beside the high-position gear lever. A new steering wheel and instrument cluster are also part of the update.

Toyota is aiming for a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating with the new Hiace, and states that the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance systems will be part of the equipment list.