The new Toyota Hiace range was released a few months ago to not much fanfare outside of those people in the industry. Spanning commercial vans all the way up to buses, this is a whole new model for a Toyota that is loved by community groups and tradespeople across Australia.
The new Toyota Hiace range has a completely different design with a semi bonneted front end, given more cabin space and safety for the front occupants. A lower and wider front doorstep allows for easier front cab access while the new 2.8L diesel engine (petrol is still available on the outside of the commuter buses) gives a lot more torque (450Nm vs the old 300Nm) for heavier loads. Increased safety is brought in with the introduction of a pre-collision safety system, road sign assist (to detect changing speed limits) and lane departure warning plus digital rear view mirror (on the Commuter GL and Crew variants) and rear park assist.
One of the most modified vehicles in the disability sector is the commuter bus which now comes in standard Commuter bus and Commuter GL, but only with the diesel variant. The difference with the GL is predominantly cosmetic and comfort, with painted bumpers and door handles, automatic sliding doors, alloy wheels, synthetic leather seats, rear USB charging points and digital rear view mirror.
The new commuter bus range now removes the 14 seat option, with the option of 12 seats only – meaning vehicles now no longer have to have two seats removed to be driven on a car license here in Australia. While the new commuter is longer than the old one (5915mm v 5380mm) this is predominantly due to the new semi bonneted design and where the removal of the 2 rear seats in the old 14 seater gave more rear storage, to do so in the new model means you would reduce the seating capacity down to 10 to get the same level of storage; this is an important factor for community transport organisations that used commuter buses with rear cargo areas for wheelchairs and walkers etc.
With all these changes, pricing has gone up too with recommended retail pricing (RRP) on the standard Commuter at $67,140 v $63,030 in the old Commuter. The added extra’s on the GL Commuter see the RRP at $70,140.
Complete wheelchair modifications are now available across the country for the Commuter bus following extensive testing to ensure they meet Australian standards.
Contact one of our Fleet Consultants on Ph: 1300 273 359 today to discuss your accessible transport needs and the benefits of the newest Toyota Hiace Commuter bus model.