New Hino 300 Series: Built for safety, ready for anything

New Hino 300 Series
Hino Australia has launched its new 300 Series, which leads the Japanese-manufactured light-duty truck market in Australia on safety, power and efficiency

Hino Australia has launched its new 300 Series, which leads the Japanese-manufactured light-duty truck market in Australia on safety, power and efficiency, while also offering customers benchmark levels of on-road performance and superior levels of interior ergonomics and comfort.

“It has been less than 20 years since Hino first entered the light-duty truck market in Australia as the safest light-duty truck, and the latest iteration of the 300 Series continues to be class leading in many ways,” said Daniel Petrovski, Manager of Product Strategy for Hino Australia.

“At Hino, safety is paramount, and the new 300 Series boasts a list of standard safety features that makes it the safest truck ever offered by a Japanese manufacturer in the Australian light-duty truck market.”

The new 300 Series features Hino SmartSafe, a comprehensive safety package with advanced driver-assist technology that takes an active focus in protecting the life of drivers, passengers and other road users.

“Hino SmartSafe includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection (PD), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Reverse Camera and a suite of other standard safety features,” said Mr Petrovski.

“Over 50 percent of 300 Series models sold are registered on a passenger car-licence – choosing a new 300 Series will provide our customers with safety features superior to those found in many passenger vehicles, with the added advantage of a greater payload courtesy of a higher Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), Gross Combined Mass (GCM) and towing capability.”

The new 300 Series model line-up is extensive and covers GVM ratings from 4.5 tonne to 8.5 tonne, and has a standard towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonne.

The new models are available in Standard Single Cab and Wide Single Cab and Wide Crew Cab configurations.

“In the 300 Series engine range, we have our proven four litre and five litre common-rail turbo-diesel engines, which are both available with a true automatic transmission, which is the preferred transmission of most customers,” said Mr Petrovski.

“Our six-speed true automatic transmissions ensure the highest level of drivability and performance, and Hino is the only Japanese truck manufacturer to offer a true automatic across the 4x2 light-duty model range.

“Upgrades to Australia’s only light-duty hybrid electric-diesel truck, the Hino Hybrid, include an updated hybrid system; new operational software; a new battery and inverter technology; and a new six-speed automated transmission.

“Significant new introductions to our range are the 721 Wide Cab models – they are an important addition to our 300 Series J05 five litre engine and six-speed true automatic model line-up, which are Australia’s most powerful Japanese-built light-duty trucks.”

The proven J05 engine delivers up to 205hp and 600Nm of torque, which is the highest torque of any Japanese-built light-duty truck sold in Australia.

The 721 models are available as a Single or Crew Cab with a GVM of either 4.5 tonne for car-licenced operators or 6.5 tonne GVM for those operators holding a light rigid (or higher) driver’s licence.

“With a maximum 10 tonne GCM, the new 721 models allow for a full 3.5 tonne towing capability even while fully laden,” continued Mr Petrovski.

This is a vehicle our customers and dealers have been demanding, and will suit tradespeople and council workers who can load their tray, and tow a fully laden trailer to the worksite, while enjoying the drivability that only a true automatic transmission can offer.

- Daniel Petrovski, Manager of Product Strategy for Hino Australia

Built for Safety

The foundation of the Hino safety specification is Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which has been a feature of the 300 Series for nearly a decade. 

“The addition of Hino SmartSafe in the new 300 Series will reaffirm its position as the safest Japanese light-duty truck in Australia,” said Mr Petrovski.

New active safety systems include a Pre-Collision Safety System (PCS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection (PD), as well as Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), all of which are fitted as standard on the new 300 Series 4x2 model range.

PCS can detect a potential collision with another vehicle, and/or a pedestrian using radar technology and image sensors. 

“If the system detects the possibility of a collision, it will warn the driver to apply the brakes using both visual and audible alerts,” said Mr Petrovski. 

If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it can autonomously apply the brakes to minimise the damage or even avoid the collision.

“PD can detect a pedestrian in front of the vehicle - if the system detects a pedestrian, it will warn the driver to apply the brakes using both visual and audible alerts and, if the driver takes no action to avoid a collision, it can autonomously apply the brakes.

“Since its introduction as standard fitment on our medium-duty 500 Series Standard Cab models in early 2019, our customers have embraced PCS as an active safety system and have been requesting its introduction across other Hino models.” 

Meanwhile, the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) similarly alerts the driver visually and audibly if the truck is deviating from its lane without the turn indicators being engaged. 

Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) along with the PCS radar in the bumper and an updated grille help to distinguish the new 300 Series from its predecessor. 

“The DRLs are a unique feature for Hino in the light-duty truck segment – they ensure that if headlamps are not turned on in low light conditions, the vehicle will be still seen, adding to the overall safety of the vehicle.” 

Other safety features carried over from the previous 300 Series models include dual SRS airbags, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). 

The 300 Series Cab has been tested to the UN ECE R-29 cab strength certification and features narrow A-pillars which ensure a nearly uninterrupted forward view. 

Forward vision is complemented by the heated and electrically operated flat main mirrors, and the convex spotter mirrors which offer vision to the side and behind the vehicle. 

“When combined with the high definition waterproof and infrared Reverse Camera, the new 300 Series offers near 360-degree vision for improved safety when manoeuvring the vehicle.” 

Class-leading Drivelines

Hino 300 Series customers wanting a traditional diesel engine can choose from four litre and five litre common-rail turbo-diesel engines, which meet Euro 5 and Enhanced Environmentally-Friendly Vehicle (EEV) emissions standards while also delivering an ideal combination of power and efficiency.

Hino is the only Japanese manufacturer to offer the advantages of a true automatic transmission across the 4x2 light-duty model range.

“The key advantages associated with a true automatic transmission are superior start-ability and take-off; no torque interruptions between gear shifts resulting in a smoother drive and quicker acceleration; lower whole of life costs and no clutch replacements,” said Mr Petrovski.

“All of these benefits mean car-licenced drivers can easily take the wheel of a light-duty truck.

“Currently almost 80 percent of our light duty 4x2 sales are automatics – given the current driver shortage, and the changing market, this is a figure we expect to increase.”

Such is the popularity and useability of a true automatic transmission that Hino offers it from its 4.5 tonne car-licence 300 Series Standard Cab models through to its heavy-duty 500 Series Wide Cab FM 2632 320hp 6x4 Bogie drive models.

Enhancing the appeal of the 300 Series automatic models is an increase in the Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of the four litre engine with six-speed automatic transmission from 7.3 tonne to 8.0 tonne, which means that 300 Series 4.5 tonne GVM car-licenced customers can tow a full 3.5 tonne trailer.

“The new 721 models will be available with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 6.5 tonne, allowing more customers to enjoy the driving performance of Australia’s most powerful Japanese-built light-duty trucks,” said Mr Petrovski.

A further bonus of the automatic transmission in the 721 and 921 models is the option of manual sequential shifting, with a manual gear selection button now found on the gear stick.

“We know some drivers still prefer the driving experience that a manual transmission delivers so Standard Cab customers can choose a Hino five-speed manual gearbox and, for Wide Cab customers, a Hino six-speed manual gearbox option is available.”

Delivering Cleaner Performance

The updated Hino Hybrid models are Australia’s only electric-diesel hybrid light-duty truck, and meet Euro 6 emission standards using the well-proven and reliable Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Hino Diesel Particulate Active Reduction Filter (DPR) system, combined with the Hino Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system.

The new Hino 300 Series Hybrid includes an updated hybrid system with changes to hardware and operational software, which are aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.

The battery itself has been reduced in size but retains its 6.5 Amp Hour (AH) rating.

The Power Control Unit (PCU), which encompasses the battery, inverter, Engine Control Unit (ECU) and DC-DC Converter, has been redesigned for lighter weight and smaller packaging, resulting in a PCU weight of 85kg, down from 113kg.

"The updated Hino Hybrid delivers an even cleaner, more efficient transport solution for customers,” said Mr Petrovski.

“The Hino Hybrid retains its parallel electric diesel design and continues to use the Toyota Group-sourced nickel metal hydride battery, which is used in over 15 million hybrid vehicles worldwide.

“The engine and transmission have been improved with the aim of further fuel consumption reductions.”

The Hino N04C-WR four cylinder common-rail injected turbo-diesel engine produces 150hp (110kW) and 470Nm of torque which is delivered in combination with the electric motor from a very low 1000RPM.

“The revised automated transmission is now a six-speed instead of the five-speed in the previous model and is coupled directly to the electric motor.”

The additional gear and the wider ratio spread enable the engine to spend longer in its most efficient rpm, resulting in maximum driving efficiencies.

Designed for the driver

“Superior levels of cab comfort and interior ergonomics, complemented by innovative yet easy-to-use technology, all contribute to the driving experience in the new 300 Series,” said Mr Petrovski

“Comfort and functionality of the interior is especially important when professional drivers spend so much time behind the wheel.

“The interior has been designed with the driver as the central point. An improved dash layout includes a new driver instrument panel with an enlarged and centralised speedometer to improve readability, and a new easy-to-read high contrast 4.2-inch TFT LCD Multi Information Display.

“New steering wheel controls operate both the Multi Information Display and the multimedia unit, which features a large 6.5-inch high definition, capacitive touch screen.”

The highly intelligent multimedia unit is standard fitment across the entire Hino range of light, medium and heavy-duty trucks and is capable of connecting up to four multi-position cameras, with AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth music streaming and mobile phone connectivity with voice dialling.

The unit features an Android operating system, and Wi-Fi connectivity provides the benefit of over-the-air software updates.

Options for the multimedia unit include a digital video camera recorder (DVR), tyre pressure monitoring system, and truck-specific satellite navigation that takes into consideration parameters of the truck such as weight and height.

All models are fitted with an ergonomically designed fully-adjustable driver’s seat for maximum comfort.

“The driver’s seat in the Wide Cab models also feature torsion-bar suspension and a large slide adjustable range on inclined rails, to accommodate varying occupant heights to maximise comfort and reduce driver fatigue,” said Mr Petrovski.

The Hino Advantage

Like all Hino products, the 300 Series is supported by Hino Advantage, a suite of business solutions that are designed to reduce costs over the life of the vehicle.

“Our Hino Advantage solutions include Hino SmartSafe, capped price servicing, telematics, Hino Genuine Parts, 24/7 Hino roadside assist, our finance options, and customer support provisions via our Customer Care Centre,” he continued.

All of the new 2020 Hino 300 Series models come with a 3 years or 100,000km standard warranty (whichever comes first), and the option of extending the warranty to 5 years.

The new Hino 300 Series is now available.