1994 Toyota HiAce
Pending Sale: $9,995
Stock Number: 4502
If you really want to see the difference between a Japanese vehicle and an American one, a passenger van is the best place to start. While most of us grew up going to soccer practice in Grand Caravans and Odysseys, the Japanese were riding around in real style. This 1994 Toyota HiAce SuperCustom is the epitome of van life. Who says practical can't be cool? Coming in with only 109K miles, completely unique styling, and a turbo diesel drivetrain the HiAce really is the whole package. While originally a Dark Blue Metallic (8G8) it has since undergone a full-color swap to a classic Super Black. The assumption would be that the van underwent the color change when all of the aero was added since it blends together fantastically. Typically when aftermarket panels are added after the fact the color match is off by a shade or two. The paint itself looks fantastic and is largely free of any noteworthy blemishes. There is one spot on the driver's door where the paint has cracked, probably opening it into something stationary, but was minor enough to not even show up in the photos. The FRP aero is in equally good shape which is sometimes a worry based on the nature of fiberglass considering how low it sits. Between how low visually the kit makes the HiAce its 18" Elegante Black Witch wheels really set off the profile without the need or lowering springs or coilovers. The expansive body panels are in surprisingly good condition as we typically expect these long vans to be magnets for door dings. That's not to say that it still doesn't have a few, but overall it's far better than one would expect for being 26 years old. To ensure that it doesn't blend in too much Toyota used a nice blend of chrome accent pieces that are really set off by the Altezza style tail lights.
Its cab-forward design allows for low overhangs and great visibility, but also allows for a massive interior space. The Japanese really are masters at utilizing every available inch of space. Featuring sliding middle seats and even a folding third-row you have a slew of storage options depending on how many people you need to tote along. The massive rear hatch opens up to over 6' so you never have to worry about smacking the back of your head when loading up cargo, unlike most SUVs. The soft gray cloth plays off the black bodywork well and has a tendency to show fewer blemishes from normal use. While there are a few small spots on the seats (which you can see in the photos) all three rows are certainly in better shape than any Chevy Venture from '94 is going to look. They've all been spared from any accidental tears or seam separation or even bolster wear from climbing in and out of the taller front buckets. While this one isn't the most option laden one we've seen to date it still has all of your basic amenities and then some. The climate control is functioning as it should and has separate rear controls so everyone can find a happy medium. If you'd rather enjoy the fresh air instead you've got crank windows in the front and sliding windows in the middle and rear. It even sports some hard to find, and massive, rain visors for the front occupants. The interior has been kept largely all stock with the exception of the wooden Momo wheel which is a bit nicer since the diameter is slightly smaller to make getting in and out easier. While it does have some aftermarket audio equipment the head unit isn't currently powered, however, like all JDM radios it would have limited capabilities here stateside in the first place. Swapping it out for something more US-friendly may give the Alpine flip-down screen a new lease on life though. Overall you'll be hard-pressed to find something with such a versatile cabin in a condition like this.
Perhaps this hauler's most desirable trait is its venerable power plant. The 3.0L 1KZ-TE 4 cylinder is a legendary diesel and unlike many offerings that were stateside at the time. They used these in a number of vehicles, for instance, one of our most popular models the Hilux Surf is known for this setup. With a quick twist of the key, the large 4 cylinder grunts to life, with a familiar diesel clatter. While it is a bit louder than its gas counterparts it doesn't sound like your neighbor's Powerstroke on a cold morning. Considering its cab over engine design there's surprisingly little NVH or heat to have to deal with. To make sure it continues to start up with ease we've gone ahead and put in a new battery for your peace of mind. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and without issue. Power is sent to the rear wheels, which improves fuel economy over the 4wd version, and the vehicle is especially well suited for long freeway cruises. Since the suspension wasn't altered these ride particularly well regardless of how shoddy the road may be. New tires also help to make sure you've got plenty of grip regardless of the weather. For those of you looking to stand out in the carpool lane then look no further. Finally, a family mobile that you won't be embarrassed to be seen in.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.