All-new Toyota Alphard & Vellfire launched in Malaysia

In June this year, an all-new generation of the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire went on sale in Japan. So ‘hot’ are the MPV models in Japan that within a short time, dealers had received orders that totalled 2 years of production for Toyota! The waiting list got to be so long that it was decided to temporarily suspend order-taking since it would take at least two years to deliver on orders already received.

2023 Toyota Alphard & Vellfire

Shorter waiting times outside Japan
That would normally be bad news for overseas markets but Toyota has made sure that portion of its production of the new models would be for exports. Well aware that the Alphard and Vellfire have become increasingly popular in other countries (especially Malaysia where even government officials use it), the carmaker did not want customers to wait too long.

Thus UMW Toyota Motor was able to start taking orders within a few weeks of the launch in Japan and with an allocation for 2023 already secured, customers in Malaysia won’t have to wait two years for delivery. Still, we’ve been told that the order book has filled up quickly and the waiting list will probably start to lengthen before long.

2023 Toyota Vellfire

UMWT is importing one version of each model – the Alphard 2.4T Executive Lounge priced from RM538,000 (excluding insurance) and the Vellfire 2.5 from RM438,000. Customers have a choice of four exterior colours for both models – Platinum White Pearl, Precious Metal and Black – with the Alphard also having an exclusive colour, Precious Leo-Blond.

2023 Toyota Alphard

“The Toyota Alphard and Vellfire represent the pinnacle of luxury and performance. These models are designed to resonate with accomplished professionals and businesses seeking a vehicle that not only complements their status but also adapts to their evolving needs,” said Datuk Ravindran K., President of UMW Toyota Motor.

“In an ever-evolving automotive landscape, the new Alphard and Vellfire stand as beacons of innovation and sophistication. They set new standards for luxury and performance in the MPV segment, with advanced features, offering efficient and luxurious transportation solutions to individuals who value sophistication, refined design, and state-of-the-art technology,” he said.

Toyota Alphard [2023]

2023 Toyota Vellfire

Fourth generation since 2002
The latest generation is the fourth one since the Alphard line was first introduced in 2002, and joined 6 years later by the more individualistic Vellfire. With this new generation, the product planners aimed to provide ‘the joy of comfortable mobility’ to the established values of the models that have made them so popular. Additionally, the designers also worked to have better differentiation between the Alphard and Vellfire.

These new ‘luxury saloons’ have transitioned to the GA-K platform, one of the many which employs TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture). The versatility and flexibility of TNGA allows it to be used for different vehicle types, including premium luxury MPVs like the Alphard/Vellfire. TNGA, used for almost all new Toyota models, provides greater rigidity (among other benefits) which contribute to better ride comfort and handling as well as better resistance to deformation in an accident.

TNGA

TNGA

The one-box form that is typical for all MPVs has an overall length that remains below 5000 mm in length and 1850 mm in width to meet the requirements of standard automated parking systems in Japan.

Dignified and prestigious appearance
Although MPVs seem rather ‘flat’ when viewed from the side, the exterior designs can still be dignified and prestigious. For the new generation, the designers adopted the theme of ‘Forceful x IMPACT LUXURY’ to establish a sense of solidity for the vehicles. The distinctive and bold frontal appearances are complemented by dynamic irregularities on the sides which evoke a strength firmly rooted in the ground.

2023 Toyota Alphard

The slim lighting systems for both models are new and now use Full LED Headlamps. To differentiate the Alphard and Vellfire, the designs of the lamps at the front and rear are exclusive to each model, those on the Alphard mimicking the distinctive three-dimensional structure of the grille.

Expansive interior space
Though the dimensions are necessarily constrained by requirements in the Japanese market, the MPVs nevertheless have expansive interior spaces, with even more efficient packaging for this new generation. The ambience is like that of a private business jet with a generous list of features and equipment that elevate comfort and relaxation for every journey.

2023 Toyota Vellfire

2023 Toyota Alphard

Passenger comfort prioritized
While the comfort of the rear seat occupants has been prioritized, the interior designers also took into consideration the anticipated function of the both as mobile offices and also as comfortable rooms comparable to a living room at home. For the Alphard, there is also the added luxury of a massage function in the spacious second row individual VIP seats (with Power Recline, Relax Mode and Ottoman).

2023 Toyota Vellfire

2023 Toyota Vellfire

Only the Alphard has a new power walk-in mechanism top to allow entry to the rear seats. Both models have generous fore-aft slide distance of 480 mm, with the Alphard having an additional powered function.

2023 Toyota Alphard

2023 Toyota Alphard & Vellfire

2023 Toyota Vellfire
Thoughtful feature – the grab handle is extra long so that children can also hold when entering.

Other new features in the Alphard include a table which can be rotated in horizontal or vertical orientation and contains a vanity mirror. There is also a smartphone-like remote control unit which provides convenient adjustment of the sound system and air-conditioning/ventilation systems. For entertainment while on the move, there’s now a large 14-inch Rear Monitor Display fitted in the Alphard as well.

With air quality being more important these days, the new Alphard comes with a NanoeX ionizer as part of the ventilation system. NanoeX technology was developed by Panasonic for air purification so the air in the cabin is cleaner and fresher by eradicating bacteria, viruses, allergy-causing substances, pollen and other harmful substances.

2023 Toyota Alphard & Vellfire

2023 Toyota Alphard & Vellfire

Overhead is a large Panoramic Glass Roof overhead in place of the twin moonroof provided previously. There are independently operable right and left-side shades, so that some occupants can choose to see the sky while others choose to block out the sunlight. Toyota’s first-ever pull-down sunshades with motorised operation have also been installed on the side windows.

2023 Toyota Alphard

2023 Toyota Vellfire
The switches to open and close the rear door are located at the side of the tail lights. This adds convenience as there is no need to step back as the door opens upwards.

New turbocharged engine for Alphard
For the fourth generation, the Alphard gets a new 2.4-litre 4-cylinder Dual VVT-i engine (T24A-FTS). While the displacement is less than before, it has turbocharging and an intercooler which boosts output to 278 ps, with a 19.1% increase in torque to 430 Nm. Maximum torque is available from 1,700 rpm so there is strong acceleration even from low speeds. Power flows to the front wheels through a Direct Shift 8-speed Automatic Transmission with sequential manual selection of gears also available.

2023 Toyota Alphard
New 2.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for Alphard.

The Vellfire continues with the same powertrain as before, ie the proven 2.5-litre 2AR-FE 4-cylinder engine with Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) for enhanced operating efficiency. Output has been increased to 182 ps with torque at 235 Nm at 4,100 rpm. This powertrain is coupled to a 7-speed continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

2023 Toyota Vellfire engine
2.5-litre engine maintained for Vellfire but with imnproved power output

The two models have MacPherson strut front suspension with an updated double wishbone rear suspension. For the Alphard, the shock absorbers mechanically adjust damping force based on the frequency of vibrations transmitted from the road surface. As a sportier model, the Vellfire gets a Front Performance Brace for added body rigidity.

2023 Toyota Alphard Vellfire

Third generation of Toyota Safety Sense
The previous generation already had the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems, and for the new generation, this has evolved to TSS3. Enhancements to improve the capabilities of certain active systems include an upgraded forward-facing camera with higher resolution and wider angles, and an improved radar sensor for a longer and wider field of view.

The new Alphard/Vellfire now also come with Road Sign Assist (RSA). The system is designed to help provide the driver with additional awareness of certain warning signs and display an icon of the sign on the vehicle’s Multi-Information Display. For the Malaysian market, the RSA functionality is mainly for detecting speed limit signs.

Toyota Safety Sense 3

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) which was available before has been enhanced with the inclusion of a Parking Support Brake (PSB) system. While RCTA only scans the areas to the left and right side as the vehicle is moving backwards out of a parking bay, and alerts the driver if another vehicle is detected approaching, PSB will activate automatically if the system determines that the possibility of a collision is high. Movement of the vehicle will thus be stopped even if the driver does not take action after being alerted.

Toyota Safety Sense 3

There is also a new Digital Inner Mirror which provides a wider field of view and greater clarity. Instead of using a conventional reflector surface, the high-tech mirror displays images from a camera at the rear of the vehicle. This has the added advantage of the view not being obstructed by seat head restraints or passengers’ heads as the camera is located on the outside of the rear door. If preferred, a switch will convert it to a conventional mirror view.

2023 Toyota Alphard & Vellfire

Why you should buy official imports
While the Alphard/Vellfire have also been brought in by private importers, UMWT stresses that the models it sells are official export models and tuned for Malaysian conditions, as well as being full compliance with JPJ’s Vehicle Type Approval requirements.

The engine tuning and specifications may seem trivial but with an earlier generation, the chief engineer said that there was some difference in the programming of the drivetrain software to cope better with ‘unique Malaysian driving styles’. He noted that speed variations are quite wide here compared to other countries and vehicles are also driven at very high speeds.

The quality of fuel may differ in different countries and to ensure optimum performance, engines have to be specifically tuned to perform properly. Air-conditioning systems may also have to be set to take into account high humidity conditions which would be different from the conditions in Japan (which the gray imports are usually specified for).

The additional effort in this area is not unusual for Toyota which has always ensured that its vehicles are reliable and durable even as the company pursues its goal of offering ever better vehicles. And what’s more important when you buy an official export model distributed by UMWT is that there is a factory warranty of 5 years (unlimited mileage) and assured aftersales support and spare parts.

Click here to view full specs of both models

Click here to know more about the new Toyota Alphard and Vellfire

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