• May 13, 2008


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!


[Source: Toyota]





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      In purple, looks perfect if a bunch of pimps decided to vanpool all of a sudden.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A Chevy Silverado, Ford Aerostar and Lexus sedan got into an accident and.....presto!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who sees Joan Rivers here?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So this is what the Chevy Astro would look like if GM didn't kill it off.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice. I wish Toyota sold these in North America rather than the bland Sienna. I wonder why they dropped the hybrid version.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice, the front end of the purple one reminds me of a newer astro van. But seriously, these prove that you don't need big ground clearance to have large interior space or relatively sporty looks (for a people mover).
      • 6 Years Ago
      So ... do the people who keep bashing the looks of Chrysler vehicles actually think this is a wonderful look?

      I guess they do through their rainbow sunglassses or something.

      But uh .. sight unseen ... great interior great interior.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Vellfire- most badass minivan name ever.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aren't most of you, especially in NA, sick and tired of seeing just the average ordinary blandifying boring automobiles on the US & Canadian market? Ex 08 Dodge/Chrysler minivans.

      Well this to me is a much pleasant change from the god awful ordinary. Seriously some of you should try to learn to adapt to new designs like what is seen here and also sold in Europe & Asia or cars in NA will always look like cars of the 90's with either a nip and tuck job, added lipstick (more chrome) or going on the American Micky Dees diet (Gaining weight and having notable size increases)

      We all complain about wanting change but when it happens it becomes way too scary for some or feel like they need to go back to that "safety zone". It's no wonder why Europe, Australia, and Asia always have more cooler stuff than we do in NA. Of course I know you can't convince everyone, especially those cronies that still either cry over the loss of boxy ugly 60's, 70's, and 80's cars, still drive Crown Vics, older Buicks, and Town Cars and love them, or just plain hard headed and that's fine. The rest of you who still like to use both sides of your mind should learn to try and accept and possibly even adapt to newer (or unfamiliar) auto designs. If that was to happen then maybe we would not have such design disasters like the 2008 Focus or the Ford Taurus/500.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You've go to be kidding. These are the ugliest examples of mini vans that I've ever seen. True that the new Chrysler van sucks, but this is not the answer. I will say that I like the Alphard better than other. That purple van looks like its trying to do it's best impression of good 'ol Ronald Mcdonald's buddy Grimace. You all remember that big purple bastard don't you? You can't tell me it doesn't look like angry Grimace.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota just remade the Aztek...
        • 6 Years Ago
        No they didn't just remake the Aztek.. It's a beautiful van when you see it in person and quite luxurious on the inside. It's hugely successful in Hong Kong - I've those things everywhere there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe they could use some new names to go with the sleek new styling?

      Alphard and Vellfire?

      They really don't translate well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Alphard, r/tard, whatever...
      • 6 Years Ago
      That so reminds me of the Ford Aerostar.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Am I drunk or am I really seeing double-decker headlights? C'mon folks - seriously - these things are absolutely hideous.
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