The handsome new Hino 300
The arrival this year of the new Hino 300 Series represents an important achievement for the company as it celebrates its 40th anniversary in South Africa.
Since the first models were imported into South Africa in 1972, over 50 000 medium, heavy and extra-heavy Hino trucks – as well as more than 70 000 Toyota Dyna trucks, also built by Hino – have been sold. South Africa is the first country outside of Japan to receive the new 300 Series model.
“The Hino 300 Series and its predecessor here in South Africa, the Toyota Dyna, have been the dominant players in the medium vehicle segment for the past 26 years,” says Dr Casper Kruger, vice president of Hino South Africa. “We have full confidence in our ability to maintain this leading position with the much-improved new range.”
With a strong family resemblance to the 500 and 700 Series models in the design of the cab, which is also more aerodynamic than the outgoing range, the new 300 offers more interior space with excellent visibility for the driver and passengers. There is also a crew cab for the first time. The interior is completely restyled with many useful storage areas, while key-operated central locking, electric windows, air conditioning and a radio/CD player are standard on all models in the range.
A big priority with the new vehicle was safety – the Hino 300 Series will be the first medium truck on the local market to have standard airbags with seatbelt pre-tensioners for the driver and passenger. There are now disc brakes up front and drums at the rear, with ABS anti-lock braking.
The new range is powered along by improved versions of the Euro 3 Hino power units that are more economical and have lower CO2 emissions. The 614 gets the 100 kW (140 hp) version of the 4-litre engine. This same engine is also fitted to the 714 and 814 derivatives, producing 392 Nm of torque. The 815 and 915 models have a 110 kW (150 hp) version of the same engine. Of course the big news is the introduction of a new six-speed automatic transmission, in addition to the traditional five- and six-speed manual gearboxes.
All new models come standard with a 24-month/unlimited kilometre manufacturer’s warranty which, along with service intervals that have been doubled from 10 000 to 20 000 km, will offer operators significant savings.
As you may have read last month, FOCUS’s Vic Oliver tested the 815 Crew Cab automatic and came away suitably impressed – concluding that we should see many new Hino 300s on our roads in a short space of time.