Toyota Alphard 2.5 SC
Toyota Alphard

Oneshift Editorial Team
25 May 2015
 

Toyota Alphard 7 Seater

Introduction, Exterior

The Toyota Alphard was first launched in 2002, and almost immediately became a huge sales success in Hong Kong. The Alphard is a favourite among the chauffeur-driven rich in Hong Kong, having given up their German sedans for these ultra-comfortable sofas on wheels. On local shores however, sales of the Alphard only picked up from about 2008 onwards, slightly after the launch of its second generation.

The Alphard is actually named after brightest star in the Hydra constellation, and there is no doubt that the bulk and presence of the third generation Alphard will draw attention just like how a bright star would.

Featuring a fresh new design for the third generation, the Alphard’s styling is definitely not what one will call bland. Chrome features heavily on the nose, as does exceedingly exaggerated details.

An extremely bling and large grille dominates the nose, and is flanked by aggressively flared side air intakes below. HID lights with daytime running lights are standard across the range, and do look rather neat.

The Alphard still retains its van-like profile, although the forward-raked B-pillar taper is satisfying to look at. Around the side, chrome is applied generously on the door handles and window surrounds. The rims fitted onto test car do a decent job in filling up the gaps and avoid looking miniscule like M&M’s, especially when the body’s this large.

No prizes for correct guesses, the heavy usage of chrome appliques around the Alphard applies to the rear too. The Toyota logo sits on a chrome panel large enough to be a mirror for curious pedestrians. The rear bumper interestingly, is squared off than rounded. Together with the large rear wing, they enhance the boxy styling of the car.

With the Alphard pre-blinged from the factory, we’re sure it will draw the attention of many younger prospective buyers, especially those into the “VIP”scene. Now all they need is just a bangin’ sound system, 20-inch chrome rims, and lowered suspension to complete the package.

 

Interior

The biggest draw for perhaps all Alphard buyers is its cabin. Thanks to the big doors up front and rear, access is extremely easy. Inside, occupants will be treated to a sea of suede,  diamond patterned leather, and shiny reflective surfaces. Classy.

Settling your bottoms onto the large seats, you’ll realise that they are extremely comfortable. The winged seats offer plenty of lateral support. Even the front passenger benefits from having an Ottoman seat – having an adjustable calf support cushion.

At the back, passengers enjoy even more space and adjustments for their Ottoman lounge chairs. The seats are so large that the entry to the third row seats is a little narrow. A small foldable picnic table nestles between the front seats, and doesn’t take up too much of the corridor space. The middle row seats are as comfortable to rest your bum on as they are to look.

Despite the narrow entry, the third row seats are surprisingly comfortable and spacious. Even with the third row upright, there still is a little more than 100 litres of boot space below the seats, handy for a few days’ shopping.

Standard across all models is LED roof illumination – with four brightness levels and 16 colour variations – and a Smart Entry & Push Start System with Welcome Power Slide Door & Reservation Lock function. The latter allows the sliding doors to open automatically as a passenger approaches, but has to be set for every use.

Radar-guided cruise control and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Pre-collision System can automatically apply the brakes to prevent low speed accidents. A Panoramic View Monitor with See-through View function helps make light work of parking the mammoth.

On the go, the ride feels pliant and well-sprung. The Alphard feels much firmer than older Toyotas, but it never feels unsettled or uncomfortable. The cabin is very well insulated from road and tyre noise as well as engine vibrations. It’s almost Lexus-like, remarkable.

While the Alphard is a huge car, it doesn’t feel too huge to drive on the roads, but in tighter spaces, it’s quite a challenge. But to many owners of the car, it will be the chauffeur’s problem, won’t it?

 

Conclusion

The third generation Toyota Alphard has outdone itself with its merits, and therefore goes straight to the top of the class in the luxury MPVs segment. The Alphard is not only an MPV for the well-heeled to enjoy the back seats, but it’s also for those who are willing to fork out a little more over the regular MPVs to own and drive one of the biggest cars on the roads out there, while carrying their family in top-of-the-line comfort.

 

 

This article is sponsored by:

 

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Toyota Alphard 2.5 SC (A)

Research this Car

Engine

Engine Capacity 2493cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.4:1
Bore x Stroke (90 x 98)mm
Power 180bhp
Torque 235Nm
Power to Weight 75.8 bhp per ton

Performance

Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type MPV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4915 x 1850 x 1880) mm
Wheelbase 3000 mm
Turning Circle 11.2 metres
Kerb Weight 2375 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 65 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs