I sometimes wonder if my automotive life would be a bit simpler if I could find one vehicle that could replace my two main drivers; the 2005 xB and the ’66 F-100. They both fill specific needs, and quite different ones, but I have toyed with the idea of a single replacement. And pondered what that would look like. Seeing this HiAce crew cab posted at the Cohort by runningonfumes makes me think that this could theoretically be a solution, if I were to really go down that route. Of course, there would be some compromises.
I run a lot of errands around town, for my rentals and other reasons. And I hate big vehicles for that, as I love to nip into the smallest parking spots. And a number of my rentals are on narrow alleys, and have tiny lots. The xB is perfect for that. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I doubt this truck is all that much longer.
I also haul passengers too, and the xB’s huge back seat is perfect for that. No doubt, the back seat in the HiAce is equally spacious, if not more. And I haul stuff with my F-100. Obviously, the hauling space here is a bit smaller, but for hauling appliances and stuff, it’s quite adequate. A little trailer would expand its hauling capacity. And a lumber rack would take care of…lumber and pipes.
With four wheel drive, I could get down the gnarliest forest roads or to the ski slopes. And the idea of Toyota ruggedness and reliability appeals, naturally.
Of course there would be a few compromises. They’re so obvious, they hardly need mentioning. How does one morph an xB and an old F-100 and come up with something that doesn’t involve serious compromises? Well, that is rather the whole point of having two vehicles, especially such disparate ones. But if I had to be forced into one, this is a pretty good mashup of the two. Call it the F-xB, or xB-100.
Never even knew those were sold in the US.
They weren’t. Check out the right-hand drive, that’s a Japanese-market vehicle that’s been imported specially.
I don’t think they were, John. The Japanese character badging on the back make me think this was a private importation perhaps through Canada. That’s just a guess on my part, though.
Oh, yeah, and the right hand drive as John66ny so aptly points out.
Neat little all purpose vehicle all right, although 850KG weight capacity tag make me think it would ride AWFULLY rough when empty. Appropriately parked outside the Oddfellows bar.
Do you know what size engine these things used, Paul?
These are bigger than the smaller trucks of this kind. Engines were a wide range of gas and diesels, all the way from a 1.8L gas to a 4.0L V8(!) for an ambulance version. Most of the gassers were probably 2.0 or 2.2 L; the diesels from 2.2 to 3.0 L.
Thanx, Paul. I never would have expected to find a 4.0 liter V-8 in something like this!
I think you might be getting mixed up with the Hiace vans there, they have the V8 ambulance and many other combinations.
The one here is a Hiace in name alone. Effectively the same as the Toyota Dyna and Daihatsu Delta trucks. The way that the market worked over there was that there were many different channels and different “branded” stores for different models, so you can end up getting pretty much the same thing in different stores, but with different names. This one would likely have had a 1600 petrol or 2.4 diesel.
For more info check here http://www.toyota-global.com/company/history_of_toyota/75years/vehicle_lineage/car/id60015273/index.html
I don’t know how big the rear seat room would be, but I usually find that in these types of vehicles even the front seats are a bit cramped for me at 6’2″. Not so much for head room, more leg space.
These types of trucks are pretty common here in NZ, the land of the used Japanese import. Rugged and reliable, they’re a common choice for builders etc.
It is amazing how different late adulthood dream vehicles are from childhood ones.
I was surprised to see a Washington plate on that, I had assumed the photos were taken in Mexico or Indonesia or something.
Was that actually sold in the US, or is it privately imported? In Ontario the cutoff is 15 years so we have several tiny Japanese vans running around town that were brought in.
One thing that the HiAce has in common with tiny Japanese vans is that I sure wouldn’t want to hit anything while driving one.
We have a 25 year federal cutoff, but I do keep seeing JDM vehicles younger than that here. Oregon must either be lenient, or easily hoodwinked.
…”One thing that the HiAce has in common with tiny Japanese vans is that I sure wouldn’t want to hit anything while driving one”…
Crash protection regulations, that’s the main reason that the COE trucks and vans in this segment have vanished completely here. I don’t know about other parts of the world though.
Apart from the usual 4×4 crew cab pickup trucks there’s also something like the VW T6 4Motion (4×4) double cab flatbed truck below. But they all have a nose of some sort, the driver and passengers are sitting behind the engine.
It looks like a love child between a VW Vanagon and a utility trailer with all of the practicality of both.
I suppose you could replace both of your vehicles with this one, but would you really WANT TO? This thing looks really scary to drive, especially on American roads.
I value my knees…
Me? No thank you. I’d buy an Avalanche or at least a Ridgeline. Better all around, and safer, too.
I agree, an Avalanche or Ridgeline are good choices if one needs good passenger car qualities and to regularly haul stuff, especially the Avalanche as it can carry longer items with the fold down rear bulkhead. Perhaps the Cadillac Escalade EXT would be more Paul’s style? Not!
All those vehicles would probably be too big for Paul, not to mention the lift over height on the bed would be too high.
I love that midgate on the Avalanche, but not the narrow bed.
Ridgeline is a great idea but it’s almost like Honda is purposely limiting the appeal by making it less truck-like than the last one.
Paul wrote: “Of course there would be a few compromises. They’re so obvious, they hardly need mentioning”
I suppose they are obvious, but probably still worth mentioning in case I am missing some. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Probably doesn’t like to go over 45mph
Engine access makes it hard to service
Hard to find one to buy
small, extremely shallow bed (but the lift over height is incredible!)
Henceforth, forever known as The Guy With The Weird Truck (maybe not a problem for the type of guy who would consider driving one)
Dont crash learn to drive properly instead,
Even the 2.,4 diesel will do 80mph
Engine is easily accessable
Same power train as Hilux parts are everywhere
They are a dropsider not a pickup you can replace the factory bed with whatever you want,
These twincab Jappa workhorses are here doing every imaginable task all exJDM imports they run for ever with regular maintenance, you’d miss the fuel bill of your F100 though Paul.
I like your rationalizations! We shouldn’t let anyone talk us out of our dreams!
I would only argue that here in the US, getting parts would probably be harder than in places where these were sold new. Certainly not from the corner auto parts store.
Also, the streets are filled here with simultaneously aggressive and distracted drivers in 3+ ton SUV’s and pickups. Good driving only gets you so far.
My daily or rather nightly drive weighs 12 tonnes empty distracted drivers in tin can 3 tonne SUVs keep right out of the way.
A dropside is the greatest thing ever for a work truck.
Does anyone even market them in the states?
I fully agree. Especially from an easy load-and-unload point of view. With our without a forklift.
Dropside decks are very popular here on thing like the Hiluxes Johannes wrote about recently we have several like that at work the irrigation and crop management crews drive them towing fuel tanks to feed pumps and anything else they need to move a couple ar set up with big toolboxes built onto them for engineers doing on site repairs to any equipment, but most utes are bought cab/chassis and a steel dropside body built on aftermarket though Toyota does market its own brand all alloy flatdeck with drop sides.
I’m a fan of the Hilux etc. based dropside flatbed trucks from your regions. I mentioned “with or without forklift”, and here’s one with a forklift. A low, wide, and completely flat cargo bed. The advantages in one picture.
“With four wheel drive, I could get down the gnarliest forest roads or to the ski slopes. ”
Albeit at a much slower pace than you prefer. Remember this? “All of this explains why I don’t have any desire for a real sports car. Why bother? And this is so much more practical.”
It might be fun to see how fast a trucklet like this could be hustled down a forest road. 🙂
Yes, it would be fun to see. Not to do though. 🙂
It will look and FEEL faster than it is. 😉
Not quite a forest road but there was quite a bit of hustling.
Nice driving! And it obviously doesn’t have ESC, which tries to interfere with my gravel road drifts in the xB, although not very successfully.
It’s pretty easy to get one of these sideways. Especially when it has been raining.
That was a genuine LOL. Fantastic!
I think trucks like this are imported as used farm equipment. A way around not meeting some regulations
The Xb pickup, one of several configurations Scion used to expand the success of its original line-up and carve a niche for itself in the US market. What? That never happened?
I saw an xB pickup in my town recently, but didn’t take any pictures. But it came to mind immediately, though probably not quite the load capacity Paul needs. But I was curious, so I just Googled XB pickup and discovered that it’s quite a common conversion.
Don’t. It drives like a truck, which means it’s slow, does not handle and like any COE more uncomfortable than a conventional truck like the F-series Ford. Shame you can’t have a crew cab Ford Transit (as chassis cab) in the US, it would be a lot better.
Pickups have grown so large yet their beds have not.
A version of the Transit with a low bed and shorter length but with the ride comfort and cab space of an F-150 would be pretty appealing to me.
There you go, what we can get here (170 hp model):
Holy cow. A vehicle I’ve always known as Toyota Dyna (and manufactured in my neck of the woods) was sold as a Hiace….
Heck yes, this generation I assume. The only “trucks” Toyota offers now are the Hilux and Proace chassis-cab. Did you ever had the bigger Hino trucks in Portugal ?
Nope, we never had the Hinos. I don’t know, but I think the Dyna is still manufactured here(edit: it’s vanished from the website, so I guess it’s not), in the style from the comment below…
The last gen Euro Hiace was also manufactured here. The factory is in Ovar and was opened by Salvador Caetano, which was the first and only Toyota importer ever for Portugal, and left (died in 2010/2011 I think) a big empire. That includes dealerships from most manufacturers, and a bus body builder. You must know the Caetano Winner
We don’t have them either. I believe they are relatively well represented in Ireland, and maybe in the UK (?). Here are a few new “Big Toyotas” in Ireland, the Hino 700 (Photo courtesy of Harris Truck Centre).
I’ve never seen a Hino tractor unit in the UK. I do see Hino 32 tonne tippers and hook loaders, but they don’t seem to be big sellers overall.
If they’re anything like the 7.5 tonne Isuzu I used to drive or the big Fusos I drove in Australia, the cabs are nasty places to be, which might explain their appeal as tippers – low unladen weight due to being made of old margarine tubs.
Here’s a modern version, sold as a Hino 195 here.
This is the last Dyna generation we had here. With a 2.5 liter D4D Toyota diesel, inline-4.
Why not a double cab Tacoma?
Mileage not quite as good, maneuverability (wheelbase) not so good, but otherwise everything you want.
As a happy owner of a double-cab Tacoma, I suspect that it’s not something Paul would want as a daily driver. And I say that with all respect to both Paul and the Tacoma.
I like it! This slots between the Isuzu NPR medium duty trucks and those little kei car Daihatsus and Suzukis that look similar, but are really just better finished versions of a side-by-side ATV. At least that’s how theyre used here in the states.
Paul, an interesting alternative (and probably easier to source parts) is the VW T3 based Transporter ‘Dokas’ that you often see up here…probably swiped from Canada. Those things are awesome and with more T3s here in the states–and especially popular here in the PNW–they’d probably be a lot easier to keep going. There are a handful that I see on occasion here around Portland. Really cool rigs and even better when they have the Syncro system.
Er… pass. Quirkiness aside, there’s not much to this truck. Stick with the HiLux.
For a couple of years I sporadically drove one of the our shop’s “work horse” , a tiny Chinese, 4 doors Lifan.
Besides all that has been said about the Chinese reliability, we never had a big issue with that.
One day a employee was hauling a complete 331 Hemi on the back of that thing and the transmission broke down. But I think that was his fault.
Intriguing and I don’t think my solution would work for Paul but his would certainly work for me. I do a 4runner with a selection of trailers but they do not maneuver as well on tiny lots and really narrow streets. Just drop the trailer when I’m done. Texas rain has stranded a couple of them in the back pasture right now.
How about Nisan NV200?
They sure do import some interesting vehicles from Japan.
The other day I drove an Isuzu box rental truck with a diesel. Didn’t have a lot of get up and go, but I imagine it’s economical. I think the same model can be ordered with an 8 cyl . gas engine.
I really doubt if Isuzu ever put a V8 gasoline engine in one of their (factory) trucks. But one never knows, of course. Was it something like the N-series below ?
A big V8 gasoline engine in a truck is strictly North America, as far as I know. The norm in other parts of the world in this segment is an inline-4 or 6 turbodiesel.
My observation is based on what I see and hear on the street as I’m walking along. It sounds like a truck like above going by with a V8. It wouldn’t surprise me if that engine is only offered in this model in the U.S. Probably a GM engine, since they have a partnership with Isuzu. I’m sure someone who knows more will chime in.
I just looked it up:http://www.isuzucv.com/en/nseries/gas_trucks
The gas version uses the GM 6.0 L V8 with 297 hp, and a GM 6 speed automatic.
The diesel has 150 hp and uses an Aisin 6 speed automatic.
The N-series is definitely available with a GM/Chevy V8. I’ve seen them and taken a close look at the engine.
The economics of diesels just don’t pan out in the US, even for fleet/commercial use. The gas engines are a lot cheaper, require less maintenance and the oil and parts are cheaper, and if anything breaks , are much cheaper to repair. And with fuel being as cheap as it is, that just seals the deal.
You know it’s a real financial issue when UPS switches its whole delivery fleet to gasoline from diesel, as they have been the past some years. If anyone has a handle on the cost of operating an urban truck, its UPS.
Ups has always had a mixed fleet…I still see a few old (80s) GMCs with 350 gas power, and 90s Fords with 300ci sixes. They only retired the last of the 292 Jimmys (dating to the 70s) about 5 years ago.
Many new UPS trucks are gas, but I have seen late-model diesels.
Right, that explains it. I’m curious about the gas mileage (city/highway combined) for say a 10,000 lbs gasoline truck.
The only Isuzu N-series (from 3.5 to 7.5 metric ton GVM) engines here are a 3.0 liter and 5.2 liter turbodiesel, from 120 to 190 hp. Both 4-cylinders.
8-13MPG, depending on terrain and use.
Us and Canada, Isuzu offers a 6 litre GM gas engine in the NPR/NQR cab forward trucks.
It still has Japanese stickers on the back under the tailgate. One says 850 kg. That’s a stout gross load rating, if that’s what it means.
I was on my way into Elliot Bay Books on Capitol Hill and did a double take when I saw this at the curb. It was fitting that it was in front of Oddfellows.