Van wars: Ford Transit vs Toyota Hiace battle rages on

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Words: Matthew Hansen
12 Oct 2020

While the order is very much Ford over Toyota when it comes to New Zealand’s best-selling single vehicle, things seem a little tighter when it comes to the world of vans.

According to the latest data from the Motor Industry Association, the Ford Transit was last month’s best-selling van with 140 registrations, ahead of the Toyota Hiace on 122 registrations. The two vehicles placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the country’s overall commercial vehicle registrations top 15.

The Fiat Ducato was next in line (95 registrations, ninth), with the LDV V80 (56, 11th) and Hyundai iLoad (48, 14th) also cracking the top 15 for September.

While the Transit was the best selling for the month, it still lags behind the recently completely revamped Hiace for the full year so far. The Hiace is the seventh best-selling commercial vehicle year-to-date on 1345 units and 5 per cent market share, versus the Transit’s eighth position, 810 units, and 3 per cent market share.

The Hiace’s figure means that it actually manages to make it into the overall top 15 best sellers for the year, too — sneaking into 15th behind the Mitsubishi ASX and Mazda BT-50.

While the Hiace and Transit are both very competitive, they’re an interesting contrast when it comes to specifications. Both are available as a high-top or low-top and with different wheelbase lengths, but only the Transit offers a sporting variant (called the Sport Van).

And while the Hiace comes only with a turbodiesel four powertrain, the Transit’s turbodiesel four will soon be complemented by the addition of a plug-in hybrid later this year.

“Our customers want electrified vehicles, but many still have concerns about infrastructure and range,” said Simon Rutherford, Ford New Zealand managing director.

“The new Transit Custom and Tourneo plug-in hybrids deliver the same well-renowned productivity capabilities combined with the ability to drive on zero-emission electric power and anxiety free ability to make longer journeys.”

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