Toyota South Africa has confirmed the recently revealed new Quantum (known as the HiAce in overseas markets) van and bus range will launch locally in the second quarter of 2019, boasting added safety features, a new engine, improved comfort and increased specification.

While the Ses'Fikilie minibus model (based on the outgoing Quantum) will continue to be be produced at Toyota's Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal for the foreseeable future, Toyota SA tells us all new Quantum variants will be imported.

Locally, the new Quantum will be available as a three-seat van in long- and super-long wheelbase configurations, as well as a six-seat crew cab in long-wheelbase form. The bus range, meanwhile, will comprise 11-seater (long-wheelbase) and 14-seater (super-long-wheelbase) versions.

In South Africa, the sixth-generation Quantum range will be offered with a solitary engine option: the 2,8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel unit also doing duty in the Hilux bakkie and Fortuner SUV. In the Quantum, this engine will be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.

Toyota says the bottom edge of the newcomer's front door is lower and comes with a wider step for “easier access”, while larger front-door glass and a lower belt line ostensibly improve visibility. Towing capacity, meanwhile, has been increased to a maximum of 2000 kg on what the firm describes as “key variants”.

Under the skin, you’ll find newly developed MacPherson struts up front and new leaf springs at the rear. Toyota says the shift to a “semi-bonneted design” enabled it to implement “significant changes”, including a stiffer frame, stronger straight-line performance, and greater stability and manoeuvrability.

Interestingly, a new locally developed Toyota Genuine accessories range will be available from launch.