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 Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace

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trans2hi
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PostSubject: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:52 am

Thankyou in advance for any advice. It would be really appreciated.

I made a mistake back in 2011 and bought a new LWB 2.0 diesel 6spd manual VW. It is beautiful to drive, fuel economy is great, I have it fitted out just as I need it and it is perfect for what I do. While I never expected VW parts to be cheap, I have been surprised with just how unreliable they can be, which compounds the parts price issue. It also seems euro vehicles are not built to last.
The van is for my business - but I had hoped to keep it into retirement - so was looking at a 20-30 years investment. But with a fairly meagre retirement income, I would never be able to afford to run the VW. I've also fallen out of love with it - both for the few problems I have had - and the many more that I now keep waiting to happen. I had also wanted to experiment with bio-diesel down the track but I would never dare with a VW knowing what I now know.
I've also got an older Mazda MX5 that has never had a problem. And my previous car was a 3cyl 1.0ltr Daihatsu Charade that did 370,000km with no repairs and I'd still have it except it went with the wife Smile
That's what I would like to find in a van. Reliability and low cost maintenance. And it seems to me I will only find that if it's made in japan.

However having difficulty finding good information about Hiaces. Traditionally they are regarded as bullet proof. But I seem to hear whispers that the current H200 may not be as reliable or as built to last? Especially the common rail diesels?
So it seemed like a 5 speed manual petrol would be my wisest choice?
I am prepared for the poorer fuel economy, a less comfortable ride and the more difficult access and seating position (I am fairly tall).

Ideally, I would be looking for the latest model I can get for under 20k exc gst - so possibly up to a 2012 model?
But then I look at a new one that I can get for just under 30k exc gst on the road with a 3 year warranty and fixed price servicing - it's just that I can't expense that in the 2017 year - and would need to do so over at least 5 years - which is way less attractive - but I do like the thought of having the very last of the H200 model - you would have to think that would have the most flaws ironed out?
But if the H100 series is a better and more durable vehicle than the H200, should I search hard for the best condition one I can find and pay 10-13k exc gst?

I have been tossing this up for more than a year now. But as I put in my VW for yet another premature repair of a known model fault, the Hiace name keeps tempting me Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:39 pm

Unfortunately, the VW's arent that good. I live in Europe where VW is much more popular, and they are thought to be reliable. But I have no clue why.
My cousin works in a garage, they had a VW T5 model, diesel with 4-Motion (probably a bit older than 2011). Most people would consider that an attractive van over here, but that thing needed over 8000 Euro's of repair cost. The owner still did it, because trading it in wouldn't be cheap either, and this way he knew what he had.
As far as I'm concerned, such a high cost is totally unacceptable. But, seeing how unreliable they can be (there are also a lot of happy owners!) I'm not surprised.
Even if you got lucky and have a good one, I think they are to complicated to keep running for 30 years. You can do that with an old Volkswagen van, because it will be easier to fix.
Also, looking back on older Transporter vans, they have had quite some issues with cooling. I would see, given historical data, that the hot Australian climate is also more exhausting for the vans.

Speaking more general, there are other things to think about. Such as environmental rules in future, that won't allow you into your city any more. You can't predict that.
Also, when you retire, at some point you may need an automatic?
VW automatics drive nice but can have quite some (expensive) issues. But even if it is a Toyota one, I would say the auotmatics don't have the life of a manual. But a manual may not be driveable for you in 20 years?

We cannot even get the new Hiace over here, they don't sell it in Europe. So obviously I cannot comment on it, other than suggesting to check reliability reports.

Biodiesel works best on the old nineties diesels I would say.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:45 pm

Thanks very much for taking the time to provide all that information. I'll keep chipping away at this. I've still got 4 months before I have to make the change, if I decide to. There is a generous tax concession that ends 30th June here for instant depreciation of assets under 20k.
Yes the poor emission standards of the current Hiaces is something the new VW car salespeople here love to mention if you suggest moving to Toyota. Although Australia is extremely backward when it comes to environmental legislation - we'll wait until it's too late - saying that anything we do won't make much difference on a world scale - so I've probably got 30 years Smile Also not being able to drive in the city is probably not that big a concern for me - I don't really do it now - it's covering the large distances with poor or no public transport - and holidays - and I'll be living semi rural by then.
I can see what you mean about eventually not being able to drive a manual - I do everything I reasonably can to prolong the inevitable - but even just approaching 60 I am amazed at how fragile I am becoming - so I have been considering an auto - but I do and have always loved driving manuals - so maybe I'll have to add that to my check list of things that will decide the time has come for the peaceful pill Smile

One further question I forgot to ask, is if the Australian Hiace always made in Australia?
The Toyota salespersons tell my the current ones are - but that gives me no confidence.
I see they are also made in South Africa, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Portugal.

And I do love the look of those Super Customs. I didn't realise they existed. Probably impossible to find a good diesel one now? And how would getting parts for them be now? Would most just be the same as an H100 Hiace?
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:16 pm

Ive never had a transporter but having not had a hiace for a few years am back to searching for a good one.. My previous was the most reliable car I have had..

P.S. You are member 2500... cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:02 pm

Hiaces appear to be a Japan-only phenomena, cab forward seems not to be allowed in Europe.

I'm not a great fan of VWs, but I like the air-cooled models for what they are.
The stories of rust and breakdowns on the newer ones, combined with the ugly looks puts me off the middle aged ones.
Then there are the new ones, I'm sure they are nice, but several thousand more than Ford and Renault.

If you want a new, trouble free van I'd seriously look at these two:

Ford Tourneo Custom.

Nissan RV300 Combi. Here, p13: https://www.nissan-cdn.net/content/dam/Nissan/gb/brochures/Nissan_NV300_tech_specs.pdf

The Nissan is the same as the Renault Trafic - so excellent MPG, but with 5 years warranty on everything. Personally I'd get the Nissan for the features, efficiency and versatility.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:16 pm

Hahaha VW sales people telling about bad Toyota emissions? That is hilarious. After the whole diesel emissions scandal, no VW sales person would talk about another brand like that. Especially about Toyota which have the much cleaner hybrids.
But then again, the Hiaces aren't the most efficient ones.

The Hiace H200 is one of the few vans (in small category, not like Sprinter or anything) that sticked with mid engine and rear wheel drive. Quite extraordinary, since every brand with small vans moved to front engine front wheel drive (They all got it from the good old Citroen HY)
However, driving it empty means less traction, which may be a problem for you on bad roads?

About the automatic, I'm not sure if you need it. You probably don't need it now, or in a few years, but you were mentioning 20 to 30 years. That means the age of 80 to 90...

That brings me to another thought. Where do you need the van for? Is it going to be like a camper van (perhaps in future)?
If it's not camping, then what is it? I mean, once you retire, you don't need the van for work right?
If you just like the space, you could do with a big MPV like car, like Toyota Previa or other. Sure, it's not the same as a van, but I think it will drive better with better mpg.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:46 pm

Admin wrote:
Ive never had a transporter but having not had a hiace for a few years am back to searching for a good one.. My previous was the most reliable car I have had..
P.S. You are member 2500... cheers

Very Happy

Well if I do end up buying one, hopefully I honour that with many worthwhile contributions over a long period of time !
Especially regarding keeping it going for the lowest overall cost over a long period of time Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:07 pm

I won't load up the thread with me saying thankyou to everyone all the time, but just wanted to note how much the suggestions are appreciated.

GPW wrote:
If you want a new, trouble free van I'd seriously look at these two:
Ford Tourneo Custom. Nissan RV300 Combi.

Thanks for the suggestions but neither of those is being sold in Australia.

Here the new pricing is all about the same depending on options and a deal for a demonstrator.
If the Ford Tourneo is based on the Transit, are you saying the Transit (which is available) is also now a more reliable and efficient vehicle?
Interesting about the Renault Traffic. I had ignored them as it seemed I was just moving from one euro van to another...so why do it. Although I have noticed on my local VW forum that a couple of the most long term posters have indicated their disgust with the further lack of options now on local Transporters and both have mentioned moving to Renault vans.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:47 pm

Hiace4wd wrote:
That brings me to another thought. Where do you need the van for? Is it going to be like a camper van (perhaps in future)?

I've never had a van before, had always wanted one though, have now had the Transporter for over 6 years and it has been fantastic. Vans are just so versatile.

It's a business vehicle and I have it fitted out for being a mobile tech. However it is extremely useful for so many other things (not that I would do that yet with it being a business vehicle Smile With the Transporter being so nice to drive it also means you don't feel the need to have a car as well (even thought I currently have one). Into retirement I will also be using it for camping, chucking the kayak in the back, renovating and maybe even some rural work. Not to mention all the calls from friends and relatives Smile
It's got a remote power system and I've got a set of 2/1 removable seats and behind that some removable cabinetry sourced from Drifta up in Gloucester NSW. So if I need the van for say moving a customers equipment, in about 30 minutes I can strip it back to empty.

Being a commercial vehicle makes it much easier to justify tax wise.
I also can't go smaller than the LWB size - need a second row of seats seat up and room to sleep behind them for night jobs.
The Transporter and Hiace H200 LWB are very similar internal sizes. That the Hiace packs this into a smaller footprint and lower height is good. However it also has less internal head room and less width meaning I can look at reusing my 2/1 removable seats which is a shame. It is a bit longer internally though.
Maybe if I spent a little on the H200 suspension that might improve the ride when not loaded?
The driving position, banging my head when I try to get in, not being able to get to the back from the front, and the fule economy I will just have to live with. The tradeoff for reliability and being able to afford to keep it running (I hope).

I must say though, the more I look at them, the more I like the diesel Super Customs, if I can find a well looked after one.
They are based on the H100 Hiace? I'll just need to better understand what parts availability will be like now and in the future?
Should I be worried about so many gadgets that can possibly fail?
Something like this in an H200 would be ideal.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:51 pm

The Super Customs are all KZH100- models, but there are a few similar around that always are the 1XX series.

Hadn't realised you were in Oz.

I think the options are:

1) New van with warranties
2) Cheaper older van that you'll need to source stuff for.

Is that right?

In Oz you have the advantage of cheap shipping from Japan so you have a wide choice, this is where I got mine from:
https://carfromjapan.com/en/used-cars?keywords=Hiace+super

which has stuff like this unmolested example here
https://carfromjapan.com/en/car/582d4108a1e6b701000bf61e-toyota-hiace-van-2003

Sometimes they run free shipping offers.

It all depends upon what you want, there is no 'ideal' I think but a well looked after Toyota should be pretty solid.

The only drawback to the Hiace I've found is that of getting parts - for instance I needed new headlights but they have about 4 different front grille/lamp arrangements and no one supported mine so I'm having to fit the similar Transit Mk5 lamps instead.
Running gear is more common as it's shared amongst a number of vehicles, it'll be trim bits etc that will be challenging.

BTW I'm planning on moving my 'between seats' console switches to the dash (standard on some models anyway) so I can lose the centre console entirely. This will allow me to move between the front and back fairly easily I hope. This means rainy stops for coffee by the roadside don't require getting out and then back in - because that would be crazy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:01 pm

Sorry I didn't put my country in my profile.

I think my options are 3;
1 - New H200 demo 2016 - 6 year extended warranty & 3 year fixed price servicing - petrol 31k or diesel 36k exc gst - common rail d4d - but at least I'll know the service history
2 - Used H200 - price up to 20k around 2010 to 2012 - petrol or diesel - common rail d4d - can't necessarily be sure of service history - can expense 20k in good income year in last year of govt tax incentive
3 - Used H100 - price around 10-13k - as close to 2004 as possible - petrol or diesel - 1kz before common rail - most reliable and lowest cost to repair and best for biodiesel if after 96 - can be a Super Custom - very hard if not impossible to find one with low km and good service history - more mechanical issues as older? but simpler and with lower cost parts? if they continue to be available - probably not as nice to drive - another trade off

Interestingly those import prices are probably about the same as I can purchase those equivalent vehicles here in Australia. Although finding a Super Custom is the issue. There's a guy advertising close to me atm with 2 for sale he has imported

Can't seem to get the hyperlink to work?
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:32 pm

trans2hi wrote:
Sorry I didn't put my country in my profile.

I think my options are 3;

Can't seem to get the hyperlink to work?

If you can afford it I'd be tempted by the new H200 - but get it waxoyl/anti rust injected when new, I've seen some rusty ones. Well one anyway, with a rusty step into the side. Rust is very expensive to fix.

Diesels D4-D gave a good MPG boost, also politicians are finally realising - 30 years after everyone else - that diesels are far worse for air pollution than petrols, so expect to see city driving restrictions for Diesel in the future. Already I'm not allowed to drive mine into London.

So I'd go for petrol if it was a new one.

As for the links - there's some kind of anti-spam thing that stops new members from immediately posting links, it'll be in the instructions somewhere, just wait and keep posting for a bit so that goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:28 pm

GPW wrote:
...so I can lose the centre console entirely. This will allow me to move between the front and back fairly easily I hope. This means rainy stops for coffee by the roadside don't require getting out and then back in - because that would be crazy Very Happy

Yes I have that with the Transporter and it is great. Around this time last year I had almost signed on the dotted line for a new petrol manual H200 when I realised I could no longer get from the front to the back easily (the hips just don't seem to get any less stiffer) and it was enough for me to put it on hold...for another year.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:24 pm

Oh I see, i didn't realise the H200 stops that completely.

It's a must for me, even at the expense of the storage box - else I may as well be on a scooter with a tent (as I have been Wink).

Without that box there on the SuperCustom it look fairly easy to move about, there's still a dip in the headlining at that point for the fans and A/C but it's manageable.

One day I may remove the headlining, the central AC (for the rear passengers) and the rear heater and bin them all (lightening and simplifying the van in the process) and put in a new headlining and side panels for my own camper purposes. Only when I can get to an A/C specialist to empty the A/C fluid and close of those pipes though LOL.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:34 pm

GPW wrote:
Oh I see, i didn't realise the H200 stops that completely.

Sorry to be misleading.
You can get through, but t's just that you have to get over the engine, which is not as easy as just strolling through from the front to the back.
I haven't looked in an H100 yet to see what the difference might be.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:37 pm

trans2hi wrote:
GPW wrote:
Oh I see, i didn't realise the H200 stops that completely.

Sorry to be misleading.
You can get through, but t's just that you have to get over the engine, which is not as easy as just strolling through from the front to the back.
I haven't looked in an H100 yet to see what the difference might be.

Yes, the engine's to be clambered over in the H100 too!
It's common to all cab-forward designs, vans with bonnets - however short - usually don't have that issue.

Edited to add:
Except for rear engined vans of course!!
One idea is to put a Subaru flat 4 engine into the van and then get a bodywork company to lower the engine bulge in the cab and fit swivel seats!


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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:38 am

Do they have this body type Hiace in Australia?



They can also look like this, Japanese import. That is even possible in all the luxury you may want, and possibly with a 3.4 V6 if you want. (190hp)
And Japanese import is usually in good condition.

They are then called Toyota Granvia, but it is the same as the European Hiace 4 body type





No problem for you to go around into the back I think?

Here is an example, but the price was high since it was a new conversion so don't look at the price:

http://www.motorhomesoz.com.au/motorhomes-view/toyota-granvia-campervan-1854d-285

I think this second hand Granvia, possibly imported from Japan, may be your best option.
You don't want to climb over the engine anymore.
And to be honest, the Super Custom with 3 liter diesel (1KZ engine) is really nice but not perfect. So when you really want to have it for 20 years, and you start out with one from the nineties, I think it will develop some issues over time. However, all is fixable.

Looking at petrol engines, you can see that the 150hp 2.7 liter 4 cilinder engine is also shipped in some of them. That is the 3RZ engine. That one has much more torque (much like a diesel!)
I think that engine has the best chance to outlast all engines.


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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:46 am

GPW wrote:
So I'd go for petrol if it was a new one.

Yes I think I have decided on petrol too - just gets more complex with diesels - whether d4d or the older 1kz - instead of biodiesel I could always brew my own ethanol instead Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:00 am

I may not have been so clear above, but I ment: If you get one of those Hiaces or Granvia of beginning of the century, you could probably buy it at a reasonable price and it should be pretty easy on maintenance. So that should save you a lot of money.

Also, I have seen at least the 2.7 petrol engines here once, converted to run on gas (I think it was LPG gas). That is by far the cleanest that you can drive, although it is not renewable.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:09 am

These should be some examples of vans that should save you a lot of purchasing money and should be very simple to keep on the road, because of the common petrol engines.

These are all in Australia!

Luxury 8 seater with 150hp 3RZ
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2002-Toyota-Regius-Grand-Hiace-8-seat-van-less-then-40-000-kms-/252776035873?hash=item3adaa03621:g:cJEAAOSwOgdYp9NR

Luxury 8 seater with 3.4 V6 (190hp!), will be a bit more expensive on the long run than the 2.7 3RZ I think (in total cost of ownership)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2000-Toyota-Granvia-Grand-Hiace-8-seat-Van-Camper-/262858621445?hash=item3d33984205:g:BqUAAOSwax5Yp9jG

"Bread and butter" van like as if it couldve been sold in Europe, again with the 2RZ (which is the little brother of 3RZ, almost same size, very comparable)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2000-Toyota-Hiace-SBV-RCH12R-White-Manual-5sp-M-Van-/232245451299?hash=item3612e85a23:g:i-cAAOSwTuJYqX3X

The RZ engines are like truck / 4x4 engines, where the V6 engines are more for regular luxury cars (like Camry or other Toyota/Lexus), with the smoothest drive.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:28 am

Hiace4wd wrote:
These should be some examples of vans that should save you a lot of purchasing money and should be very simple to keep on the road, because of the common petrol engines. These are all in Australia!

Thanks very much for taking the time to provide all that info.
I had made a post in between yours but seem to have lost it somehow.
I will take some time to look at these more closely.
Those examples are all in NSW - and I am down in VIC - and my business makes it very hard to take a few days off to travel for cars.
Most of them seem to be in NSW - with a few down here in VIC.
The Granvias are about the same age as the Super Customs though - and one of your earlier comments about older vans being less likely to last that longer time frame has stuck in my mind.
Any Granvia's here are custom imports - but the Hiace SBV's were sold here till 2005 but only with the small 2.4 petrol engine.
I've got a few months up my sleeve before I have to decide which is good.
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PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:30 am

Hiace4wd wrote:



No problem for you to go around into the back I think?

Interesting post. I always wondered why people went for Granvia's over the cuter cab forward design (Cuter in my eyes anyway!).
That pic does look great, like the modern VW but cheap and reliable.

One day I'd like to see a Subaru engine conversion on a Super Custom, we're holding a big Hilux diesel between our seats - a flat 4 must be worth a good 12" less height!
I wonder why Toyota never developed a flat 4? Maybe the numbers of Hiace sold didn't warrant the cost involved.

Shame electric tech. and batteries are not there yet, it would be nice to remove the engine, gearbox, propshaft, diff and axles and add a small battery bank and 4 hub motor/brake units and a solar roof wrap to keep it topped up. Less maintenance too Very Happy

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Registration date : 2016-02-01

PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:05 am

GPW wrote:

Interesting post. I always wondered why people went for Granvia's over the cuter cab forward design (Cuter in my eyes anyway!).
That pic does look great, like the modern VW but cheap and reliable.

One day I'd like to see a Subaru engine conversion on a Super Custom, we're holding a big Hilux diesel between our seats - a flat 4 must be worth a good 12" less height!
I wonder why Toyota never developed a flat 4? Maybe the numbers of Hiace sold didn't warrant the cost involved.

Shame electric tech. and batteries are not there yet, it would be nice to remove the engine, gearbox, propshaft, diff and axles and add a small battery bank and 4 hub motor/brake units and a solar roof wrap to keep it topped up. Less maintenance too Very Happy


The Granvia (or Regius) is great. I just don't like that grill though, but other than that it is nice.

A flat 4? You mean flat as in boxer engine? The width of the engine bay is different to a normal car, where width is normally not a big issue. In a super custom it is limited.
And they didn't have any boxer engines.

If you mean straight 4 cilinder engine, they already have that. I have one for example Razz
And for switching to petrol, the 2RZ and 3RZ engines are also inline 4's that should fit (2RZ was fitted by Toyota, 3RZ not in super custom)

Here in Europe you can already buy the electric Nissan vans with 200km range. Great for city courier or handymen, but not for holiday.
Solar panels won't help, even 600W solar panels is nothing for driving.
You could make your own DIY hybrid, especially for lower speeds on one of the axles. But I'm afraid it is not worth the effort.
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GPW
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Number of posts : 486
Home City : Cambridge, UK
Model and year : Model: KD-KZH100G-MRPGT
Year: 1996
Colour: 4K1
Trim: FN42

Registration date : 2016-07-16

PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:23 am

All noted! Agreed about the limitations of electric - I'm still hoping for a battery breakthrough Very Happy

Do you know if the internal space from the back of the driver's seat to the trim on the tailgate is smaller on the Granvia than the Super Custom (cab forward) vans?

The Granvia camper conversions seem to show lots of space but the overall length appears to look similar - I'd expect the cab forward to have a bigger load space by about 12-18" but I can't see it.

Any ideas?
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trans2hi
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Number of posts : 14
Home City : Upper Gully, Australia
Registration date : 2017-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Transporter owner considering changing to a Hiace   Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:39 am

GPW wrote:
Do you know if the internal space from the back of the driver's seat to the trim on the tailgate is smaller on the Granvia than the Super Custom (cab forward) vans?
The Granvia camper conversions seem to show lots of space but the overall length appears to look similar - I'd expect the cab forward to have a bigger load space by about 12-18" but I can't see it.

I believe all those vehicles with the front engine - including the Hiace SBV in Australia - have a shorter load space.
The current H200 LWB is 2930mm
VW Transporter LWB is 2753mm
The HiaceSBV is only 2335mm
So I think the SBV is more of a short wheel base - too short I think for what I need.

There is a page of the full pdf technical specs - but I can't link yet
Just google this - NCF 276E HIACE S.B.V. MAJOR TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
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