Isuzu Philippines launches NHR i-VAN

By Patrick Everett Tadeo
 

TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Isuzu launches NHR i-VAN for the Philippine market

Isuzu Philippines Corporation has finally gotten into the full-size van business by introducing the i-VAN.

"The local landscape is indeed changing, and as transport needs become more demanding, we want to be the companion that working motorists can rely on," said Isuzu Philippines president Ryoji Yamazaki at the i-VAN's launch. "The Isuzu NHR with i-VAN body option is our answer to the growing requirements of Filipinos when it comes to people and cargo transport. It evolved from the Isuzu NHR platform that is known for its world-class durability, reliability and fuel efficiency."

Based on the light-truck platform of the Isuzu NHR, the i-VAN retains the Euro 2-compliant 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine that has an output of 91hp and 196Nm of torque, as well as the five-speed manual transmission with overdrive function. This is the same package that yielded an average fuel consumption of 12.965 kilometers per liter for the NHR in the 2010 Isuzu Challenge.

For the i-VAN's body, Isuzu Philippines once again tapped Centro Manufacturing Corporation, the country's first ISO-certified truck body builder and Isuzu Philippines' partner for the past 12 years in fabricating and assembling its truck bodies.

Since the i-VAN utilizes the NHR's platform, it retains some of its features like the three-point emergency locking retractor seat belts, its highly rigid frame, the 90-degree opening angle of its doors for easy ingress and egress, anti-slip aluminum steps, power steering with a steering column that tilts, all-around visibility, laminated green wind shield glass and large side view mirrors. Despite the truck-based platform, though, the i-VAN's ride is made more passenger-friendly, thanks to the improved flex-ride suspension.

Inside, the i-VAN has individual well-padded fabric-covered seats with assist grips and utility pockets, making it pleasantly different from the vinyl-covered, center-facing bench seats found in most shuttle vans. A factory-installed, dual compressor air conditioning system extends up to the rear, distributing cool air throughout the entire passenger cabin. Access to the passenger cabin is through a side door with a nearly 90-degree opening angle for convenience.

"The i-VAN is based on a model that's being sold by Isuzu in Indonesia and it's been doing very well there that's why we decided to bring it here," said Joseph Bautista, Isuzu Philippines' sales chief. "The i-VAN has no competitor in the market so while we still have to find out how the people will accept it, we're projecting its sales to be anywhere from 60 to 100 units per month."

The i-VAN can be configured from a spacious cargo van that seats only three people to a commuter vehicle that can accommodate 16 to 18 passengers or even as an ambulance. What's more important, though, is that despite its truck-based platform, the i-VAN is still small enough that it is classified as a Class-1 vehicle on expressways.

"The model in Indonesia actually has a bubble roof but if we used that here, the i-VAN would then be classified as a Class-2 vehicle, that's why we're offering it with a flat roof," Bautista added.

The i-VAN is now available at Isuzu's dealerships for an introductory price of P1.264 million.

Photo by Mikko David

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  • krzcuevas Jul 29 2011 @ 05:16pm
    At last nagkaroon din ng panibagong line-up ang Isuzu.
    But I guess madaming negative feedback regarding this.
    Pero para sa akin okay tong panghanapbuhay o para sa malalaking pamilya.
  • nestortinam Jul 29 2011 @ 07:13pm
    did maganda ang customer relations ng CENTRO.
  • 997 GT2RS Jul 29 2011 @ 08:50pm
    Another case of Japan dumping old tech diesel engines in the Philippines. Euro 2 compliance is already obsolete(1998) The rest of the world are now on Euro 6 compliance.if Isuzu really cares about our environment, they should be using same engines used in Japan and EU countries.
    • maranello_5775 Jul 30 2011 @ 12:01pm
      sir the problem is not on isuzu...blame the oil companies
      • 997 GT2RS Jul 31 2011 @ 11:17pm
        Audi/Porsche diesels are sold in Philippines and are euro 5/6 compliant.i
  • torquebender Jul 29 2011 @ 09:20pm
    i thought it was an elf with modifications!
  • Feeter Silverster Jul 29 2011 @ 11:19pm
    At least, a new local van here in PI, since Kia discontinued their Pregio and Besta vans here...I think it got the same engine power as Nissan Urvan, which could be considered....just enough.
  • 17Sphynx17 Jul 30 2011 @ 12:01am
    i know they are using the NHR's current engine but 91hp for a 2.8L diesel with just 196Nm of torque?

    How old is that engine really? I would have expected better torque figures though, even if the horsepower was low.
    • 17Sphynx17 Jul 30 2011 @ 12:03am
      The toyota hi-ace engine has better specs than this with just a 2.5L engine for a lower price of 1.2mil for the commuter model (As per buyer's guide).
  • nestortinam Jul 30 2011 @ 06:57am
    Much cheaper if you buy the cab and chasis. Baka mas maganda pa ang design pag pinagawa sa labas. :)
  • ieatworld Jul 30 2011 @ 09:07am
    2.8L turbo diesel 91hp, lol.
    • Feeter Silverster Jul 30 2011 @ 10:21pm
      Ok lang yan, Nissan Urvan only got 75 horsepower, and they can manage to carry 21 passengers @ 100- 120kph speed.. 91hp is just enough I think.
  • John Rigor Jul 30 2011 @ 10:18am
    This is good, but isn't it too expensive? I could buy a Toyota Hiace Commuter or even a Starex TCi M/T with that kind of money, and they have more power, are more refined and have more features.
  • maranello_5775 Jul 30 2011 @ 12:03pm
    more space than a hiace commuter ... the rear slidingwindow layout is prone to "bukas-kotse" gang
  • warak1422 Jul 30 2011 @ 01:03pm
    Isuzu pa rin yan mga tol kahit 91/196 lng yan... cgurado ang chassis nyan... d 2lad ng ibang van dyan na parang LATA ng sardinas hehe... d nga kagandahan ang style pru okay na rin basta Isuzu....pru mas maganda sana kung Dmax engine
  • robin_micmac Jul 30 2011 @ 02:55pm
    I think the engine is enough..its a utility van anyway..you dont need so much power as you wont need to go past 100kmh most of the time. and besides it looks like our country will have to follow 60km/h limit in the future so its pointless to have monstrous power and torque figures
  • murcielago Jul 30 2011 @ 07:06pm
    The most ugliest of it's kind, and also the engine is too *gly for its size, 2.8L turbo diesel then it can only produce 91 HP? FTW, Nissan Escaped is the ideal partner in the business of marketing not this kind of van ewww>.
    Last modified Jul 30 2011 @ 11:29pm
  • one.edchelle Jul 30 2011 @ 09:04pm
    i don't like the design, wish that they could make it more unique to it's brothers, not as a copied car. and also the engine is a bit....
  • Feeter Silverster Jul 30 2011 @ 10:17pm
    The Isuzu Van theme is good, but please re-design it, kahit yung lumang body na lang ng Toyota HiAce ang gamitin nyo, since Isuzu's shares are mostly owned by Toyota.
  • robin_micmac Jul 31 2011 @ 01:00am
    I just dont get it why a lot of people gets annoyed with the power and torque figures of this engine..the nissan urvan escapade i think has only got 84hp...but no one is complaining... I agree with 997GT2RS that it is obsolete since its only Euro 2 and yes Isuzu is dumping obsolete diesel engines to us..i also agree that this doesnt look nice as well..but complaining that your van only makes 91hp i think doesnt make sense...if you want power then get a sportscar..im sure the Isuzu engineers made sure that this engine is more than capable to do the job its suppose to do...
    Last modified Jul 31 2011 @ 06:12am
    • maranello_5775 Jul 31 2011 @ 11:42am
      yes i agree, old diesel engines were slow but they are trusty to get the job done first of all, the main purpose of this vehicle is business. Some people don't get it :))
  • 17Sphynx17 Jul 31 2011 @ 11:39am
    On the figures presented, you could say you could get a better deal for the urvan or l300fb if you are going to use it for school bus purposes.
    For the price also, you could get a better unit in the hiace when you want to entice customers for a better 'ride'. Subjective i know but thats my take on it if i were in a conundrum of what i could huy for that type of business of buying a people carrier.
    Just my take.ü
  • 997 GT2RS Jul 31 2011 @ 11:45am
    If you want a high horsepower and high torque diesel, buy the AUDI Q7 V12 with 500hp and 1000 n-m of torque.....
    Last modified Jul 31 2011 @ 11:47am
  • fortis Aug 01 2011 @ 09:46am
    Isuzu's engineers had no motivation when they designed this van. And I mean no motivation at all.
  • BOOGIECAT Aug 01 2011 @ 03:55pm
    Looks good..Thinking of buying one for my business.
  • dmaxred18 Oct 27 2011 @ 12:15pm
    Good job Isuzu Engineers
  • mondragon Mar 03 2012 @ 07:57pm
    isuzu i-van(my negative comments 1st)
    -sana sliding doors,higher ground clearance sa body part,foldable seats-arrangement of seats like urvan basta ung side facing sa rear is pwde 6x6 para at least 23 seater..

    - tama nga na kung drive mo ivan, di mo naman cguro pttakbuhin ng 130kph ang truck based na i-van db..
    importante supreme engine reliability,fuel efficient din mga isuzu...

    kahit nga toyota tinapik ang isuzu para sana sa colaboration sa diesel engine..sayang lng di natuloy
  • mondragon Apr 06 2012 @ 08:43am
    compare m nman sa L300fb ung ivan, pambihira... 2280kg ng payload ng ivan kumpara s 1600kg payload ng L300fb-cnu lamang?eh katumbas ng payload ng L300 ung payload ng hi-ace at urban eh... classy pa.. khit ung kia panoramic van at hyundai h100 eh nsa 1600kg kng payload,,, dun na ko sa i-van pwde pa gwing 23 seat configuration(pagawa m lng sa labas ung body)
  • Sir Mike Jan 17 2013 @ 09:00am
    (Your thoughts on the article...)
  • Sir Mike Jan 17 2013 @ 09:02am
    I'm planning on buying this van. I think Isuzu prove it's diesel engines for years. The body looks like a truck in front but as i expected it's more spacious than any other van in it's category. :)
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