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Toyota Hiace might offer new full-size van options

by Ben Hsu

The van finally grows a hood.

Photos of what appears to be the next-generation Toyota Hiace full-size van have been leaked. The images show a marked departure from the Hiace's traditional shape, which could also mean that the van is finally coming to the US.

Since its inception in 1967, the Toyota Hiace has been a cab-over platform (think mid-1980s Toyota box van). For decades, it has been a staple cargo carrier and delivery van for much of Asia, though the current Hiace is also sold in Mexico and various South American countries.

However, if these images leaked on Thai site Autodeft are accurate, the next-generation could now adopt a semi-bonnet design. That would put its profile somewhere between vehicles like the Mercedes Metris and Nissan NV3500. That would make the design more palatable for US and European markets, and should provide more protection for passengers in crash tests.

Engine options for world markets could include an inline-four diesels of 2.4- and 2.8-liter displacements, as well as a gasoline 3.5-liter V6. The latter would likely be the only engine available if the van does make it to the US.

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