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Car Wars: Toyota Hiace vs Hyundai Starex

Ever since it’s conception, CAR WARS has always served as the ultimate arena, wherein two evenly matched vehicles duke it out amidst the ravenous analytic trenches of modern-day automotive standards9.  

In this latest installment of the CAR WARS franchise, we are in utmost excitement and anticipative glee for a first in the books: BATTLE OF THE VANS. The bout between Japanese manufacturing design ingenuity and Korean technological innovation continues with two of the world’s most iconic vans. The legendary Toyota Hiace makes its long-awaited debut by facing its longtime nemesis –the Hyundai Starex.

These two towering pieces of machinery will face each other in head-on analytic warfare, where only one van will come out alive. We here at CAR WARS will attempt to hammer in the final nail and settle the historic debate of which of the two beasts is truly the more superior van.

Rev your engines and pump up the volume. This is CAR WARS!

 

Round One: Exteriors

Let’s begin the first round with an honest overview of the outer dimensions of these two intense competitors:

The 2018 Toyota Hiace has a new vehicle design that is tremendously tougher yet alluringly more sophisticated, while somehow retaining all the fundamental elements that have given this van its world-renowned reputation: its strong and stylish durability.

Upper and lower grills have been designated as to provide a jaw-dropping sense of integration for the trapezoidal shaped grille openings. The rapid innovation continues with the previous silver-painted lamp housing having been changed to chrome plated coating, which in turn, provides a higher quality appearance with the clear lens parts combined together.

The 2018 Hiace makes one of its most pivotal moves by implementing a high roof which features a side door height of 1,610mm that makes it easy for even a gang of sumo wrestlers to enter and exit the vehicle –now that’s one hell of a van!

In terms of exteriors, the 2018 Hyundai Grand Starex Super Express is quite similar to other Starex models: jutted nose, long parallel rear windows, a large windshield, etc. but the Grand Starex comes packing a punch by claiming to be the answer to the soul-crushing predicament of when a regular car-based station wagon is just not big enough anymore.

The Grand Starex ultimately counterattacks with its aerodynamic rear roof spoilers that contain a high mounted stop lamp for extra on-road visibility and safety.

 

Round Two: Interiors

Comfort, convenience, and breathability have always been the downfall of many a van since the infant dawns of civilization.

The 2018 Toyota Hiace provides a more futuristic sense of relaxation with its lofty cabin and plush moquette seats contoured to every passenger. The rear air conditioning system can soothe even the most tormented of souls. The generous amounts of storage and luggage space allow you to haul literally anything you need.

But the Hyundai Grand Starex Super Express sure isn’t going down without a fight. The Grand Starex provides outstanding comfort with dynamic possibilities by means of an expanded seat capacity. The flexible ergonomic seating is the perfect balance of practical and sophisticated interior design.

These two glorious vans are equal in their hi-tech features, which means that things are about to get crazy here in the CAR WARS arena.

 

Round Three: Engine and Performance

Even since the psychedelic delights of the 1970s van craze, it has always been set in stone that: no matter how majestic a van looks; it is nothing without an equally impressive engine and performance capacity.

The Toyota Hiace comes with the gift of choice.

The choice between:

  • the tremendous power and economy of a 1KD-FTV 2.5-liter common-rail direct-injection turbo diesel.
  • the acceleration and low-speed torque of a 1KD-FTV 3.0-liter common-rail direct-injection turbo diesel.
  • the excellent low and mid-range power of a 2TR-FE 2.7-liter gasoline engine.
  • the proven performance of a 5L-E 3.0-liter diesel engine.

The ultimate factor that shows the Hiace’s killer performance is its body rigidity. A computer analysis of the body and chassis assure designed-in durability with minimal transmission of vibration to the cabin. And the result is excellent running stability and comfort for the life of the vehicle.

The Grand Starex has a 2.5-liter TCI 8-valve 4-cylinder engine under its hood and is hailed by CAR WARS scholars as one of the best qualities of this van. The behemoth diesel engine can deliver 99 hp and 226 Nm of torque. Now I know, I know … this may not be very high, but the engine can pick up speed easily when the revs climb. And the power remains stable throughout the power band.

 

Final Round: Safety

Since things are getting intensely close in this groundbreaking installment of CAR WARS, we’re going to cap things off with a lightning surprise round: van safety.

These two vans both come with their own secret bag of safety feature tricks.

The 2018 Toyota Hiace is constructed with an ample crumple zone, upper and lower frame members, and strengthened door beams that effectively absorb and disperse the force of impact to help minimize cabin deformation in the event of a collision.

But the Grand Starex comes with Electronic Stability Control or ESC which allows for greater control when braking suddenly, by means of manipulating brake pressure and engine output to allow you to steer effectively during emergency braking.

 

And the Winner is…

This has definitely been a CAR WARS battle for the books. The Hyundai Grand Starex is an agile powertrain with a comfortable package, but its heavy steering and lack of performance at high speeds, unfortunately, became the root of its follies.

The Toyota Hiace is clearly the more superior van: Its incorporation of both active and passive measures to help protect the driver and passengers is a testament to Toyota’s commitment to safety.

Ruggedly built for years of reliable service, the HIACE has proven itself in the pits of the CAR WARS arena as designed to be tough and durable from the ground up.

Other vans better watch out. Because the Toyota HIACE is always up to the challenge.