Toyota showcased the Hiace in India recently at the 4th Bus and Special Vehicle Expo and officially announced its plans to launch it in India within this year. Scheduled to be the country’s first luxury commuter vehicle, an uncamouflaged unit of the Hiace was recently spotted in Pune by the folks at MotorOctane.

Toyota Hiace 3

The test unit, with bold ‘On Test’ label at the rear windscreen and MH-12 temporary Pune test registration number, gives us a hint that it may be going through some ARAI-specific tests and evaluations and this may not be a mule which the company is testing. The Hiace is a pretty popular vehicle of choice in Delhi where Embassies use it for transportation. This test unit was spotted on the Pune-Bangalore highway.

Toyota Hiace 1

The Hiace will have the same 3.0 L diesel engine doing duty on the Fortuner though with a lesser power output. The big issue, however is that it will be brought and sold in India as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) and hence will attract massive excise duties. In fact, based on the rumour mills, the vehicle will have an exorbitant sticker price of 40 lakhs!

Toyota Hiace2

Toyota has also been testing their midsize sedan Vios in India. Although not officially declared, the Vios will be a worthy rival against Honda City, Ciaz and the new Verna facelift.




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