Click above for a gallery of the new Toyota Alphard and Vellfire

Six years after Toyota's luxury minivan, the Alphard, hit Japanese (and a few SE Asian) showrooms, the company has given its flagship people mover a facelift, and a twin brother. Noting that one in four family cars in Japan are minivans but that the outgoing Alphard appealed more to grandfathers than fathers, the second-gen model remains conservatively styled, while a meaner, more aggressive-looking stablemate, the Vellfire (above), is hoped to grab the attention of Japanese family men in their 30s who have erstwhile bought Nissan Elgrands and Honda Elysions.

2008 Toyota Alphard (Facelift)The new Alphard (shown at right) is longer, wider and roomier than the outgoing version. Its slightly lower roofline (by 45mm) is offset by a cabin floor that's been lowered 55 mm, so the new van actually boasts more cabin height even though it's not quite as tall as its predecessor. Power comes from either a 170 PS (167 hp) 2.4L four or a 280 PS (276 hp) 3.5L V6 driving the front wheels. In August, a 4WD variant will join the lineup.

While Toyota's press release acknowledges that the new models are a bit spacier and safer than the old one, it neatly ignores the fact that the Alphard Hybrid has been quietly dropped. This could well be the first such occurrence for the company and given the number of eggs Toyota currently has in the hybrid basket, its no surprise that its PR department is doing its best to gloss over the retirement.

So, how long until Modellista cooks up an ultra-snazzy Royal Lounge package for the new vans?

Hit the jump for a video of the Alphard in action. Thanks for the tip, Paul!

  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • 2008 Toyota Alphard
  • 2008 Toyota Alphard
  • 2008 Toyota Vellfire
  • 2008 Toyota Alphard
  • 2008 Toyota Alphard

[Source: Toyota]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X