Toyota Hiace Series

We see them drive past every single day of your lives. They transport people to their place of work, to school and in some unfortunate scenarios to a hospital.

Toyota Hiace Range
If there is one automobile that has played a huge role in our lives, it has to be the Toyota Hiace. Even our beloved institution owns one. Past models were available in various versions. Some were known as Regius Ace, others were known as Super GL but the favourite version was the Shark. Before the Michuki rules, it was probably the fastest Matatu on offer, thanks to its powerful engine, amazing handling capabilities and the unique front design.

TRH Hiace

It rose to popularity when the third generation model was introduced in Kenya. It won hearts thanks to its efficiently cooled engine that made it reliable in the transportation of people over long distances.

Avaliable as a high roof or normal roof versions

It nearest rival the Caravan, which was at the time the reigning king, had a simple fault; an engine that could over heat easily.
Refreshed front Cockpit of the KDH
This left people stranded at roadsides as the driver and conductor hurriedly poured water into the radiator to cool the old king.

Huge and roomy KDH side view

Well just like the many Matatu Sacco’s it has help to grow over the years, the Hiace is now all grown up. It’s much prettier than the previous model and in many ways quite different from any van in its range.

KDH Hiace

To begin with, it’s now available with three design options. There is the KDH (AC) or air condition model which basically has a high roof, comfortable factory fitted seats and working air conditioning for the whole van. The other is the KDH model which lacks the AC system and in some scenarios the factory fitted seats.

KDH AC Hiace

The other version is the TRH 203 model also known as the darling of the Matatu industry. The TRH model is considerably small compared to it bigger KDH sister. However it’s also available as a high roof version.

Darling of the Matatu industry the TRH

Under the ‘front seats’ are a choice of two engines. There is a 3.0 litre D4-D (Direct Injection 4 stroke) turbo diesel engine with a total out put of 107 hp. It only uses 6.2 litres for every 100 km covered.
Rear view of the KDH AC Hiace
The other dish on the menu is a 2.7 litre VVTi (Variable Valve Time) petrol engine. It uses the same turbo system found in the Toyota Hilux. It gives out 160 hp but it has a higher fuel consumption of 11.6 litres for every 100 kilometres covered.
Rear of the TRH Hiace

Connected to both engines is a 5 speed manual gear box or a 4 speed automatic. Thanks to its front double wish bone suspension and rear leaf spring suspension, goods and passengers can be transported in comfort over any road surface. 

Enough sitting space in the KDH AC Hiace

ABS is on hand to ensure the wheels don’t lock up as one brakes. There are also two air bags for the driver and the front passengers.

Rear view of the KDH Hiace

Unlike normal vans where the front seat has to be lifted up to access the engine, with the new Hiace things are a little bit different.
Restyled cockpit
It now has a bonnet at the front where one can easily refill important vehicle components like the oil, brake fluid and the windscreen washers.
Lovely flat bed for transport of goods
Inside there is enough room in the front for three individual seats. For the KDH models the middle, front passenger seat has a head rest just like the other two front seats. The gear selector has been moved closer to the driver.
Practical as always
Not only is it easier for the driver to reach but it frees up space for the middle front passenger to enjoy the ride.
Move things with ease
The back flat bed provides enough room for nine to 14 seats. It also comes with AC for the front occupants as standard.
Room for even tall items
Entertainment is taken care of by a single CD/AM/FM four speaker system in the TRH model and a six speaker system in the KDH model.