Category: ‘MPV’

New Toyota Alphard & Vellfire MPVs Debut in Japan

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Toyota Alphard

Today we finally get to take a break from motor shows to look at two newly redesigned minivans that Toyota has just released for the Japanese market. They are the Toyota Alphard (above) and Toyota Vellfire (below), and they’re Toyota’s way of making a statement in the MPV segment.

Toyota Vellfire

As you can see, these minivans certainly stand out from the crowd. They each serve a unique purpose, but they share an incredibly comfortable and spacious interior paired with “exceptional handling stability”. That’s because both minivans will use a new double-wishbone suspension (pictured below) that Toyota has just developed specifically for these models.

As for their unique purposes, the Alphard is intended for more luxury-seeking drivers, while the Vellfire is designed for a bolder, younger appeal.

Toyota Alphard Vellfire Suspension

Along with the new suspension, both refreshed minivans are being offered with a choice of three powertrains.

Option one is an upgraded version of the old Alphard Hybrid’s system that pairs a 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine outputting 150 hp with an upgraded E-Four AWD system that utilizes a 141hp front motor with a 67hp rear motor. All told, the hybrid option offers Alphard and Vellfire drivers an impressive 45.6 mpg, according to the JC08 test cycle.

Then, Toyota will offer two petrol powertrains in the minivans. The first is a standard 2.5 L engine that can output 180 hp, paired with a seven-speed Super CVT-i and Start-Stop as an available option, which gets your fuel economy up to 30.1 mpg. The second petrol – third total – engine option is a relatively massive 3.5L V6 that sacrifices fuel economy for raw power with 276hp. But, you can only expect 22.3 mpg from the V6.

Finally, you’ve got to see an image of that interior we mentioned above:

Toyota Vellfire interior

As you can see, the front and middle seats all sit on a movable track system. This allows these passengers enough space to each have their own dedicated recliner, complete with a tray table!

Toyota Alphard tray table

Clearly, these are some really cool minivans, but for those of you wanting a more economical model than the roughly 3.2 million yen Toyota’s asking for a new model, we have a great Japanese car auction find for you below:

Japanese car auction find – 2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid

2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid

Here we’re looking at a well-kept 2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid with an older version of the new model’s hybrid powertrain. It’s a 2.4L petrol with an extremely high-expansion ratio cycle, and it uses the same E-Four AWD motor system that’s in the newer model. This allows the car to achieve 42 mpg on Japan’s JC08, making this an official Ultralow Emissions Vehicle (ULEV).

2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid rear

Although it doesn’t boast quite the same interior as the new minivans we saw in Japan today, you can see that the exterior is still quite bold and surprisingly eye-catching for a minivan. It’s got plenty of space; just don’t be expecting personal recliners for all of your passengers. You will enjoy the sun roof though.

To learn more about this 2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid, keep reading below the auction sheet:

2012 Toyota Alphard Hybrid auction sheet

“Grade 4, interior B, exterior C, first registered February 2012, DAA emissions code, Hybrid model, 4WD, in-dash AT, dual AC, first time in auction, AM HDD navigation system with digital TV, AM flip-down monitor screen, front power seats, 2 x smart key, combination steering wheel, ABS airbag, original AWs, power steering, power windows, navigation system model is VIE-X088V, 1 x headrest missing, seats scratches, ceiling lining scratches, exterior paintwork has minor scratches, scratches under bumpers, front windscreen stone scratches, marks as per map.”


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Toyota Sienna SE

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 31st, 2014

Earlier this week we talked about the various concepts that Toyota will bring to the SEMA motor show next week. Among them were two different aftermarket variations of the Sienna minivan. So, we thought we’d check in our Integrity Exports auction database to see what kind of Sienna MPVs were up for sale.

Even though the Sienna is not sold in Japan, it turns out that some have been imported from the US in LHD format. I have no idea why Japanese people would go to this expense when there are perfectly good Toyota Estimas and Alphards in the local market. It just goes to show that there is a nice sub-niche of LHD US cars available at auction here. In fact, I found there are several really well-kept Siennas available, and this one first registered in 2013 in particular stood out as a spectacular auction find:

2013 Toyota Sienna SE front

Let’s start with the basics.

As we already said, this is a 2013 Toyota Sienna minivan with an immaculate white exterior. There are only a handful of minor blemishes across the entire body of the MPV, and it has an overall rating of 4.5. Inside, you’ll find a quiet, spacious A-grade cabin that can seat up to eight passengers comfortably. The interior has a lovely black-and-white color scheme to match the outside paint job, and you’ll find white-stitched black leather seating in this particular model.

As you’ll see on the auction sheet, this is a Toyota Sienna SE trim, which is a new package made available for the third generation model introduced in 2010. From the outside, the SE trim level offers revised bodywork for a sportier design, new clear tail lamps and unique 19-inch alloy wheels. You’ll also enjoy a firmer suspension paired with more responsive steering for an all-around more vigorous ride.

2013 Toyota Sienna SE rear

Believe it or not, the SE trim was originally deemed “too sporty” by many of Toyota’s chief executives, and Chief Engineer Kazuo Mori had to overcome substantial opposition to get the trim in the lineup. We’d say it was worth the effort!

Under the hood, you’ll find that this 2013 Toyota Sienna runs on the same engine that originally earned the minivan its on-road acclaim in 2003. However, the low-friction 3.5L V6 engine (code 2GR-FE) has been tuned up since the last generation, and Toyota has incorporated additional technologies to get even more economy out of the powertrain. Chief among them is Toyota’s own Electric Power Steering system, which replaced the previous generation’s hydraulic system.

2013 Toyota Sienna SE Interior

The auction sheet details all the basic amenities you’ll find in this 2013 Sienna. Automatic air conditioning, a sunroof, automatic wipers, power steering and power windows are all included. But, the auction sheet won’t tell you about the recliner-style Lounge Seating in the second row. Or about Toyota’s Smart Key keyless entry system with push-button ignition. Or the new Entune Display Navigation system which was first introduced for the 2012MY.

And we haven’t even mentioned the 180 degree panoramic backup camera, pre-collision braking, or the automatic highbeam dimmer!

All in all, this is a great Japanese car auction find with a boatload of features at a very reasonable starting price. If it’s not your cup of tea, you can find great deals just like this one inside our easy-to-use Integrity Exports auction database. Or, you can keep reading below the auction sheet for a full translation of this particular find:

2013 Toyota Sienna SE auction sheet

Here is the translation:

“Interior A, first registered August 2013, SE Preferred Package model, dashboard AT, AAC, no service book, odometer reading in miles, sunroof, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, airbag, power sliding doors on both sides, keyless entry, power assisted back gate, 19 inch alloy wheels, original reversing rearview camera, Carraozzeria navigation system and TV, cruise control, half-leather seats, curtain SRS, roof rails, area of scratches inside, minor scratches and minor dents, front windshield has stone scratches, other marks as per map”


Toyota Bringing 15 New Concepts to the 2014 SEMA Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual motor show is always a great place for automakers to show off their latest and greatest aftermarket innovations. With the show opening doors later next week, automakers have begun building hype for the new cars they’ll showcase at the event.

Toyota in particular looks to make a big impact at this year’s SEMA show. If you’ve been following Toyota’s newsroom for the past 24 hours, then you’ve been under a constant assault of press about all the new cars and concepts that Toyota plans to bring to the show. And remember, these new concepts come in addition to the Scion iM Concept that we’ll see towards the end of next month in LA.

We have a lot of concepts to get through, so let’s get to it!

2015 TRD Pro Trucks for Baja 1000 Race

2015 TRD Tacoma

Toyota will bring their trio of specially augmented TRD Pro trucks to the motor show, which will be competing (sort of) in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which is a notoriously treacherous 1,000 mile-long desert race. We have the TRD Tacoma pictured above, and the TRD 4Runner pictured below.

2015 TRD 4Runner

We say the TRD Pro trucks will “sort of” compete in the Baja 1000 because technically these will be chase trucks, which means they’ll follow the primary race car – the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck – and help make repairs/support the driver when needed. Still, it’s a grueling task that the TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra will face together next year.

New Toyota FT-1 Concept

2015 Toyota FT-1 Concept

We’ve already seen the first Toyota FT-1 Concept make its rounds through most of the major auto shows throughout the year. So, Toyota’s brining a fresh iteration of the sports car to the SEMA event. Whereas previous versions have been depicted in a bold black and red, the SEMA car will come in a subtler and classier graphite and saddle color palette. Not much more to say about this one, but it sure looks cool.

DUB Edition Sienna & Yaris

2015 Toyota Yaris DUB Edition

In collaboration with DUB Magazine, Toyota will bring a specially augmented wide-body Yaris and Sienna to the SEMA event next month.

2015 Toyota Sienna DUB Edition

Noteworthy modifications to the DUB Editions include, obviously, the wide fender flares that make the cars appear so much stockier. You’ll also find a lowered suspension, TRD Big Brakes, a custom paintjob outside, and lux carbon fiber accents with all-around better materials for the interiors. You’ll also find a booming DUB audio package, which includes 12 speakers and six amps in the Yaris, and half that for the DUB Sienna.

Mobile DJ Sienna:Remix

2015 Toyota Sienna Remix

As a fitting follow-up to the DUB Edition show cars, Toyota will also partner with West Coast Customs and SiriusXM to bring the well-named DJ Sienna to the SEMA show. As you can see, the car gets its name from the enormous sound system strapped to its roof. Housed in the system are four booming 12” subwoofers and 24 coaxial speakers with five amps and a bunch of other cool technology. There’s even a built-in DJ booth inside the Sienna:Remix with a direct plug-in system.

In other words, this really is a mobile DJ station… Made from a Sienna minivan. Who knew?

See all of these concepts and more at the 2014 SEMA Show which will open from November 4th to 7th next week.


2015 Toyota Sienna Unveiled w/ Quirky YouTube Videos

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

2015 Toyota Sienna front

Today Toyota pulled the curtains off of their new 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan. A little further down the page, we’ll go through all of the new updates and improvements drivers will enjoy in the next model year. But first, we owe it to you to start with these quirky “homemade” YouTube videos that Toyota’s using to promote their new Sienna. They’re actually pretty funny despite the cheesiness, so enjoy:

If you’re anything like us, the first thing you’ll notice about these two videos is that the majority of the filming takes place in the interior. Was it an accident or a deliberate marketing decision? That’s for you to decide. But there’s no denying that the majority of the updates to the 2015 Toyota Sienna are found inside the vehicle. All you’ll find outside are minor cosmetic tweaks, like a new mesh grille and slightly re-sculpted head- and taillights.

2015 Toyota Sienna white leather interior

To be fair, the not-so-competitive minivan segment has never been about outside looks, but inside convenience which the new Sienna has in spades. The entire interior has been overhauled for a more comfortable and upscale feel, a bunch of new technology options and better all-around handling. Furthermore, almost all of the new features are aimed directly at mom and dad.

Up front, you’ll find that the 2015 Sienna gets a new look with a modernized gauge cluster that better matches the revised white leather interior (although black leather with white stitching is now an option too, pictured below). Technology improvements include a new 4.2-inch multi-information display with built-in turn-by-turn navigation.

Other cool new features include an optional 7-inch touchscreen that lets the driver decide what’s important with swipe-friendly customization. You can set it to display multimedia controls, GPS navigation and Driver Easy Speak. Speaking of, Driver Easy Speak is a new feature which makes it easy for parents to talk to their kids in the back via a built-in microphone that’s wired to the van’s rear speakers. There’s even a pull-down conversation mirror so parents can look at their kids without turning around.

2015 Toyota Sienna black leather interior

Of course, Toyota also recognizes that safety is of utmost importance to every parent. That’s why every Sienna at each trim comes with eight airbags (the most in its class), panoramic backup camera, and four different LATCH locations for car seat convenience.

All in all, even Toyota can probably admit that this isn’t the most prolific refresh ever to grace their lineup. Still, we’re sure that parents everywhere will be grateful for the improvements, and they’ll pull more than a few drivers away from the Honda Odyssey. Want to learn more about the new 2015 Toyota Sienna? Visit http://www.toyota.com/swaggerwagon.


Mitsubishi Teases GC-PHEV, XR-PHEV and AR MPV Concepts for Tokyo

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 11th, 2013

The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show is just over a month away, and with it will come a slew of new Japanese cars and concepts. Yesterday, Mitsubishi announced three brand-new concepts that it will bring to the show, complete with teaser images and a hook for each concept. Checkout the image below for a peek at what each concept looks like:

3 concept cars Mitsubishi is bringing to the 2013 Toyo Motor Show

According to Mitsubishi, each of the three concepts represents “a new design identity that symbolizes the sense of security and functionality of an SUV.” As you continue reading, we’ll review each concept and discuss what you can expect come November when the cars officially make their premier.

Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

Mitsubishi only released two images for three concepts, and the GC-PHEV, otherwise known as the Grand Cruiser Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, is the only one of the three to get its own dedicated teaser. So, it seems reasonable to assume that this is the concept the Japanese brand is most interested in promoting.

The GC-PHEV is a full-size plug-in SUV hybrid that apparently offers both dynamic drivability and class-leading environmental performance. We know that the SUV will feature AWD via Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control system (S-AWC) to allow for the “superior handling, stability as well as the all-terrain capability an SUV offers.”

The GC-PHEV Concept is a “high output” hybrid SUV showcasing what looks to be a completely new design language, as well as several new safety and environmental features. Rumors around the automotive blogosphere hint that this could herald the next-gen Mitsubishi Shogun.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Concept

According to Mitsubishi, the XR-PHEV Concept is a highly efficient and progressive next-generation compact SUV that “offers nimble drivability and a body style resembling a sport coupe.” If you look at the image at the beginning of this post depicting all three concepts, the XR-PHEV is the one on the left.

Again, just as with the GC-PHEV Concept, the XR-PHEV (which stands for Crossover Runner Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) features the same new design language with a nice wide grill, slit-like horizontal headlights and aggressively large wheel wells. Other than that, we don’t know much, although the folks over at Autocar hypothesize that this could be an ASX replacement.

Mitsubishi AR Concept

Finally we have the vehicle on the right side of the image at the top of this post, the Mitsubishi AR Concept (which stands for Active Runabout).  The AR Concept is apparently a next-generation compact MPV that was built with fuel conservation and interior comfort in mind.

One of the primary ways the AR minivan concept will conserve fuel is through a downsized direct-injection turbocharged engine. As far as interior comfort, Mitsubishi says that the AR Concept will be available in a variety of seating configurations to ensure that all passengers enjoy maximum comfort.

To sum it up, the AR Concept “offers both the mobility of an SUV and the occupant space of an MPV.”

Unfortunately, this is all we know about these three new Mitsubishi concepts.  However, the 2013 Tokyo Motor show is still six weeks away, which is plenty of time for more teasers and specs. So, stay tuned to the Integrity Exports blog for more information as it becomes available.


New Honda Mobilio MPV to Establish Foothold in ASEAN Markets

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

New Honda Mobilio MPV

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets have been a hot topic throughout most of 2013. As the automotive industry as a whole is finally showing signs of recovery, automakers far and wide are looking to capitalize on the rapidly growing customer-bases in developing countries like India and Indonesia. Many of these markets are expected to surge exponentially over the next 5 – 10 years, so establishing a presence now is paramount.

If you were to take a snapshot of Indonesian automotive sales right now, you’d see two Japanese brands dominating the frontier – Toyota and the oft-neglected Daihatsu. Nissan has plans to become a serious contender in 2014 with their Go twins (which we covered earlier last week), and now we know that Honda is jumping in the ring as well. At the 2013 Indonesia International Motor Show in Jakarta earlier this week, Honda revealed their first-ever ASEAN-specific vehicle, the Honda Mobilio MPV Concept.

The Honda Fit / Jazz is currently the Japanese brand’s most successful vehicle in the Indonesian market, and it’s getting a refresh next year. However, customers have complained that the hatchback is too small and close to the ground for the country’s road and weather conditions. The Mobilio MPV is Honda’s answer to those complaints; the budget-friendly minivan features an SUV-like ground clearance of over 18cm, enough to ensure the car remains damage-free while driving through the rougher terrain typical of developing countries.

As you can see, Honda really did their due diligence for the Mobilio MPV Concept. Just like Nissan did with Datsun, the Mobilio is the result of thorough market research into the customer needs of developing countries. The MPV is the best-selling category of vehicle in Indonesia, and simply by having an offering for those customers, Honda is making a smart move. In addition, the Mobilio has been carefully fitted to the standard parking space in Indonesia, with a length under 4.5m. This way the car offers maximum space without impinging on parking convenience.

Alright, enough about marketing, let’s quickly run through the specs…

The Mobilio will be a three-row minivan suitable for up to seven passengers. It’ll be powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine, which will get approximately 47 mpg. It seems likely that Honda will also release a diesel version of the Mobilio, although we can’t confirm that for sure right now. Regardless, the engine will connect to either a 5-speed standard transmission or a CVT, with the CVT likely to be the more popular option in Indonesia. It should be noted that these numbers allow the Mobilio to qualify for Indonesia’s Low-Cost Green Car tax benefit.

Finally, while you might have expected them too, Honda did NOT skimp on the interior of the Mobilio Concept. The car is well-furnished with brushed aluminum, pseudo-wood, and an overall sleekly designed interior. However, don’t expect all the same technologies in the Mobilio as Honda’s more upmarket vehicles; the ASEAN MPV is expected to launch at a price between $13K and $16K, which doesn’t leave much room for bells and whistles. Nonetheless, if the production Mobilio drives as well as Honda says it will, then it should have no problem creating a foothold in these fast-growing markets.