1997 HiAce SC 4WD
In Japan, 4WD vans were always a massive segment for domestic sales. As such, we Americans are benefiting now, with the ability to legally drive lovely haulers like this 1997 HiAce. Finished in Toyota's Desert Dune Metallic (1A5) over a refinished Black two-tone, this eight-seat model is set off by refinished OEM black alloy wheels, OEM rainguards, and some classy rear privacy tint. Aside from a few light dings, chips, and scuffs, the paint is in good shape and this Super Custom is fresh off a recent service. Offered with only 107k verified and documented miles on the ticker, this turbodiesel beast is barely broken in. As a capable beach van, fun weekend cruiser, or efficient year-round family transporter, this Japanese Classic is up to it! Reliable, practical, and unique, this Toyota is truly terrific!
The cabover design promotes top-tier outward visibility and some neat interior packaging options. There is also a surprising amount of premium materials utilized for a minivan and tons of sweet power options. Unlike many older HiAce examples, this one includes dual front SRS airbags for those who may be safety conscious. The dashboard lacks any cracking or fading and the center stack includes OEM audio and a simple-to-use digital dual-zone automatic climate system. Hot heat or cold A/C can be cycled through the cabin on demand, and rear occupants have their own controls. If more natural ventilation is required, the side glass pops outward and three massive sunroofs can be opened up. The driver benefits from a tilt-adjustable steering column and power-folding side mirrors, electric locks, and keyless entry. These all work in typical Toyota fashion and make daily use more enjoyable. The upholstery is in above-average shape and is soft to the touch. The gray cloth lacks any major rips stains or tears and was cared for in a prior life overseas. Access to the rear is effortless thanks to a soft closing sliding door and the middle row can swivel 180 degrees to face the rear. The seats also combine into a nearly flat sleeping surface, and falling asleep below the massive panoramic moonroof with the heavens above is an incredible experience. The headliner, carpets, and door cards have withstood the past 25 years without sustaining major abuse, and overall it's clear the interior was cared for in a prior life. It even includes the OEM carpeted mats.
The mid-engine, 4WD design makes for decent driving dynamics and this short-wheel base hauler is maneuverable about the city and easy to park. Propulsion comes from the legendary 1KZ-TE turbodiesel mounted below the front seats. Fresh off an oil and filter service, the 3.0L chugs to life care of a new 12v battery. A new fuel filter keeps unwanted contaminants out of the four-banger and the 1K feels strong as an ox. The engine is linked to a full-time system and filters power through a stout automatic transmission. Acceleration is better than most would expect and merging onto the highway is a stress-free affair. The power steering is light yet on point and the suspension is soft and offers loads of ground clearance. The ABS brakes feel capable and grip comes from four new Yokohama tires mounted and balanced at all four corners. Civil on the tarmac and capable off the beaten path, this van does it all!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant 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.