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.
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.
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:
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!
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
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).
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:
“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.”