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Toyota TownAce

Toyota TownAce

4.5 from 10 reviews

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Our 2003 TownAce, which we have owned and run continuously for 11 years ... has just been written of

Our 2003 TownAce, which we have owned and run continuously for 11 years ... has just been written off!!
Some idiot drove up the back with great force. We are so sad! In terms of reliability and usefulness, this has been the best - easily - we've ever owned .. and I have owned many vans. So easy to drive, great turning circle, extremely comfortable and convenient, easy to park ... the list of virtues could go on.
WHY did Toyota stop making them?

Date PurchasedApr 2007

It a Toyota, so it is.

I use to own various European vehicles for the last 12 years, mainly BMW and Mercedes, now I got a Lexus (Toyota) and Townace (no guessing ).
The last Mercedes had transmission problems (2nd times in 5 years) and will cost $5000, so is the cost of my 2003 Townace with 245,000 km on the clock. It already had a new clutch so I guess will last a while. I put in 2 back seat $750 so to make it a 4 seater, great to take the family to the city and park in the loading zone.
It not great on power, had to turn off Air-conditioning when go up hill or a quite start up at traffic light. Once it is going it is great, little bit noisy buy this is a basic van so I can complain. Great around town, small turning circle, very nimble darting around city traffic, if you does a lot of highway driving you better off with Hiace, as weight distribution is very important on this little van, most of the cargoe must sit between the front and back wheels, otherwise it affected the steering greatly and almost unsafe, I usually stay around 90-95km/h, 100 will require constant care to keep it steer straight.
I install reverse sensors and camera so parking is not a problem. It’s ok on fuel despite a small tank , about 450 km range but I carry a 10 Ltr can just in case. All in all I never regret getting this van, it’s great for lugging computer bits around town or as a courier services.

Date PurchasedAug 2017

Noisy but funtional

This is a very basic van, take you and you stuff in places and that is it. I would not see any joy driving the van but it do it job and continue to do so with just regular services mostly oil change. Very noisy inside but still driveing more like a car than a van

Date PurchasedJan 2015

1998 Toyota Town Ace

This is an outstanding Vehicle, very basic but extremely economical to run, soooo light on petrol and very inexpensive to repair .....Served us very well with little moves and building alterations, ideally Toyota should of continued production, if i had the choice again i would of preferred fuel injection and Power steering


No fuss, won't die

I bought a 99 townace sbv with 175000 km and sold it at 325000 km. When I moved overseas. In this time the vehicle was flawlessly reliable, and we really put it to the test, taking it on roads and with loads that it wasn't really designed for. The only significant repairs required were a diff and a Uni joint, not bad for a car of this mileage. These parts were readily sourced and Inexpensive. As an sbv, the engine was readily accessible for servicing. The vehicle's build quality was excellent. I wish Toyota would have continued making this model, or rather that Australia would have continued importing them after 2003. So unfortunate that now I must find a substitute.


Worry Free Motoring

I bought the 2001 Townace forth hand with 174k on the odometer. The initial owner did obligatory services. I'd say that even though the services are not registered in the book for the second owner I believe he was a handy man around cars. It can't run this well unless it has been serviced minimally at least. Zero smoke or fumes. Took a while to feel confident reversing without side windows, but the mirrors are big and the rear mirror is fantastic. Great sized vehicle and not too long to affect my cornering. So many uses for the rear space. Seems to hug the road well and handles very well in comparison to the new hi ace I drove occasionally before I bought this.
I like that it does 50kph in 4th gear without acceleration, 60 downhill in 4th gear, so I do not need to wear out the brake pads. Has comfy seats and is so easy to get in and out in comparison to the HiAce. Feels solid and I think could take a reasonable hit without too much damage to me. Great turning circle.
Slightly under powered. Engine is a little noisy, but afterall, it is a commercial vehicle not a Jaguar.

Transmission5 speed manual

Best car I've ever owned

I had an early model town ace (93 5 speed) and am currently looking for another one and it is such a shame that Toyota stopped making this van. Mine was initially a car for work and I bought it in 03 with 160 000 ks and complete regular service history and later on I semi converted it into a camper. When I sold it in 09 it had 330 000 ks on the clock and as I sold it to a friend I now know that it is still going with just over 400 000 ks on it.

I did regular servicing and mainly highway ks and the car simply did not miss a beat and from now on I will never own any other car apart from a Toyota (I now have a camry wagon and would sing similar praises). The car was fuel efficient, comfy and so reliable.

The only issues I had with the van was with the carbie which I had overhauled and cleaned at about 310 000 ks. Before this the van never liked starting in cold weather but after the overhaul it drove like new. The alternator went around the same time, replaced the radiator at about 300 000, but I dont know if that was my fault as I had it in the snow with the wrong coolant and cracked it. A few hoses over the years, two batteries, something to do with the steering wheel (nothing major) and that was it.

I had light truck tyres put on mine when I bought it and never replaced the tyres and would recommend this and if you service your Toyota at regular intervals (10 000 ks) you should never have any dramas.

This little van was awesome and I can not recommend it enough.
reliability, toyota credibility, economical, great a/c and heater, cheap to fix
was a little rough at times as mine was the un-bonneted one but really, this is true of most vans where you sit over the engine


not the coolest van, if you can find one cheap in good nic i would consider it
good for a runaround and still fits a fair bit of gear in it.
not sure why they stopped making it but i would prefer to buy on that was only 3-4 years old (unless you can find a seldom used one)
also if you crash it it seems to take a hit pretty well, better than an express that's for sure
solid gear box, good size, pretty good on fuel, decent stereo, easy to drive, abit of a bonnet, good a/c,
one i had had a flat spot so power was an issue
no major problems

Tough little nugget

Just loved this van.Quite drivable. I fitted tradesman roof rack, bull bar and tow bar. After removing both sway bars the van equipped it's self well on unmade roads whilst displaying no difference on the road.
Finally sold it to get the 2 Liter auto Spacia. Same song different verse. Can't speak to highly of it.
ride, maneuverability, van grows on you, easy repair and service. doesn't give up. Very easy to slide in and out of.
fuel consumption far too heavy for a 1.8, too low high gear,

My Townace is a Great Van but it's to lower geared can you change the diff for a sedan diff if you can change over diff which diff can i use as i use my van for a town car as well Thank You all Members Hi can you tell me how you went with the tarago diff


I bought one of these when it was 2 years old in 2006, it has airconditioning, powersteering and was delivered new with dual fuel from the dealer when new. It has done almost 200,000 kilometres and has never missed a beat. I do all the rutine maintainence on this vehicle and I have found the design and workmanship to be excellent. When it came to change the front disc pads it only took about 15 minutes to do both front wheels. Why they stopped making this particular model is beyong me, as you will see many of them out on the road and everyone I have spoken to who owns one swears by them. Because of their wonderful reputation their resale value is guaranteed.
Excellent size, great visiblity and never seems to use much fuel or wear out tires. It has very comfortable seats which are very easy to get in and out of. These vehiles were made in Japan and are of the best quality Toyota have produced, they just keep on going and going.
Maybe a little underpowered, and undergeared for long freeway/highway hauls and maybe just a little under braked.

Questions & Answers

G'day, I have recently purchased a 2001 townace and I'm wondering what the best place to look for a bull bar is? Also while I'm here is there any advice concerning upkeep and condition of the car I should know from you all? Thanks in advance, Zac
No answers

How can I remove another car key from Toyota townace?
No answers

My 92 town ace yr21 has an electrical fault where the hand brake indicator is constantly on, and other dash lights flicker as I drive along, also the front right headlight flickers and speedo drops down then back up when I indicate, any ideas?
No answers


Toyota TownAce
Release dateJan 1998

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