Tuesday, March 27, 2018

UMW Toyota Are Now Selling The Upgraded 2018 Toyota Alphard and Toyota Vellfire MPVs

The officially brought in Toyota Alphard and Toyota Vellfire variants have been upgraded for 2018. UMW Toyota Motor, authorised distributors for Toyota here in Malaysia have announced that both these popular Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) have received upgrades and improvements to that they offer better value for those buying them. According to UMW Toyota, new specs include a new engine and transmission for the Alphard 3.5liter as well as upgraded active safety systems for both models. This offers bragging rights to those buying the fully imported premium MPV from authorised sources.


Anyway, whilst I do hear people seem to say that the prices for the authorised Toyota Alphard and Vellfire variants are a little steep,  it has not stopped UMW Toyota from selling them. Since being officially on sale, the Toyota Alphard (since 2014) and the Toyota Vellfire (since 2016) have actually been in constant demand with over 3,000 units of it already sold to date. According to UMW Toyota, this actually accounts to about 50% of the premium MPV market during the period of sale. Amazing bit of trivia actually as it shows that there is a market for brand new Alphards and Vellfires here in Malaysia. I also have to add that some actually want to buy their cars with a full manufacturer warranty and aftersales support. 

The On-the-Road prices for the new 2018 Vellfire start at RM350,800. It is essentially the sportier, but entry level into Toyota's premium MPV lineup here in Malaysia. It comes with a 2.5liter 4 cylinder engine which makes 180PS and 235Nm torque. The front wheels are powered via a CVT transmission.


The 2018 Alphard comes with the 3.5 liter V6 engine. The new to the Alphard 2GR-FKS engine combines the D-4S system from the 2GR-FSE with the simulated on-demand Atkinson cycle. It basically means that the engine has been tuned for efficiency and economy in mind. It makes 295hp and gives out a pretty good 362Nm worth of torque. This would actually make it pretty fast in a straight line. It gets Toyota's latest 8 speed direct shift CVT transmission powering the front wheels. 

This is one of those super fast bungalows actually - yes, the slightly uglier (in my opinion as it seems to have the mother of all grilles up front) one is actually the faster one with the bigger engine. You could even brag about the performance of this house-like people carrier actually. Toyota is offering it with prices starting at RM429,800. Yes, prices hover close to the half a million Ringgit point (especially if you chose the Executive Lounge variant). But again, it offers you bragging rights of being an officially imported Alphard which also lays claim to be the fastest MPV in Malaysia. 

I have taken the liberty to publish the official details of both vehicles below for those that want to browse through more specification. But that being said, this are the latest, fully imported, fully authorised premium MPVs made by Toyota sold in Malaysia. Enuff Said!

Vehicle details and more photos after the price list below:


THE 2018 TOYOTA ALPHARD

The 208 Toyota Alphard is available in two variants – the Alphard 3.5 Executive Lounge which offers Premium Luxury and the Alphard 3.5 which offers Advanced Luxury. Both variants now come with the new 2GR-FKS 3.5-litre V6 engine and advanced 8-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission.

The powerful new engine has a D-4S injection system for optimum fuel delivery in all driving conditions. This system utilises high-pressure and low-pressure injectors to meet combustion needs throughout the engine speed range. The Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) system provides high torque from low to high rpm ranges. It uses the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel economy and the Otto cycle for power.


Various engineering features make the engine very fuel efficient and its fuel economy is enhanced further with an Auto Stop & Start system. This simple system, which can be activated by the driver at any time, automatically switches off the engine in conditions when idling may be long, thus reducing wastage of fuel and stopping exhaust emissions. It remains active when the driver keeps a foot on the brake pedal; when the pedal is released, the engine will restart automatically and smoothly to continue driving.

The bold appearance of the Alphard has used the concept of ‘Bravely Magnificent’ and for the latest model, the dynamic and formal image gains a more commanding presence. The centre of the grille project forward more, emphasizing the three-dimensional structure on a horizontal axis that runs through from the emblem to the lamps and shoulder line, expresses a dynamic impression. The grille has been given a stepped cross-section, expressing excellent workmanship.

At either side are horizontal projector headlamps which gives a distinctive and advanced new look. The lower lamp units feature dual linear light-guiding illumination while the signal lights show the driver’s intention with sequential lighting that points towards the direction the vehicle will be turning in.

Viewed from the rear, the Alphard has a wide and powerful image, emphasised by the horizontally long garnish extending above the lamps. The three-dimensional L-shaped lamps are arranged below the garnish, giving the impression of interlocking with the garnish and accentuating the low stance. Like the front, the new rear combination lamps have sequential turn signal lamps as well.

New 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels are fitted to the 2018 Alphard. These feature a new and distinctive graphic style that gives a sporty look as the wheels rotate. Customers can choose from 5 different exterior colours with a new colour – Graphite Metallic – added to the choices for the 2018 models. The other four colours are Luxury White Pearl CS. Burning Black CS. White Pearl CS and Black.

Inside, the environment gains even more luxury with this latest variant which maintains the high quality feel throughout the cabin. Materials of higher quality are used and installed with meticulous craftsmanship. For example, the armrest upholstery has been changed to synthetic leather with stitching for an excellent tactile feel, a major difference from the soft molded plastic and simulated stitching used in the 2017 models.

For the Alphard 3.5 Executive Lounge variant, the area of quilting has been increased on the seatback main part, and the design has been changed to a vertical theme with a more sophisticated and modern image. The second-row seat armrest ornamentation has also been changed to match the interior ornamentation, further enhancing the quality feel. Semi- aniline leather upholstery is provided in the Executive Lounge variant while the Alphard 3.5 has high-quality leather upholstery. The woodgrain patterns of the ornamentation have also
been changed to make a stronger impression.

As would be expected of a premium MPV, the seats offer the ultimate in comfort and convenience with power operation for the first and second rows. To enhance comfort, there is now a seat air conditioner (Alphard Executive Lounge) which provides cooling air from the cushion and backrest. The Alphard Executive Lounge offers generously-sized VIP seats while the Alphard 3.5 has Captain’s seats, both types with ottomans for extra comfort on long journeys.

New features for the 2018 models include a wireless charger pad for devices with the Qi system and a Digital Full Display 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 on the in-mirror display. Excellent visibility is available as the image is unaffected by night time or rainy weather conditions.

Safety is paramount to Toyota and the highest levels of occupant protection are provided in the Alphard. This year, the model gets a Blind Spot Monitor System to alert the driver whenever there is a vehicle in the blind spots (areas that cannot be seen using the outer mirrors alone). The driver will be informed by illuminated icons on the left or right door mirrors, thus avoiding a potential accident.

Also new is the inclusion of Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) which will be very helpful when reversing out of a parking bay. While the rearview camera can provide a view of the area behind the vehicle, it does not cover the sides. Sensors will scan the areas to the left and right side as the vehicle is moving outwards and if another vehicle is detected approaching, the driver will receive an audible warning as well as flashing icons in the door mirrors, and can stop the vehicle to avoid a collision.

For those who would like more assistance when parking, a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is also available as an optional accessory for the Alphard. Using 4 cameras located around the vehicle, the system provides an overhead view that shows the surroundings on every side. This will help in positioning the vehicle precisely in a parking bay, reducing the stress that is often experienced when parking in tight spots.

THE 2018 TOYOTA VELLFIRE


The 2018 Toyota Vellfire has also received cosmetic changes which strengthen the distinctive cool and modern looks that give the model its unique identity. For the new model, the upper and lower parts of the three-dimensional two-part structure have a clearer expression at the front, strengthening the body's overall sense of unity. This accentuates the rearward-flowing dynamic design, and the powerful solid impression of the lower body. 18- inch aluminium alloy wheels with a dynamic new design are fitted.

From the bonnet to the bumper, the structure is integrated into a single ingot-shaped grille design, accentuating the pushed-outwards impression of the centre and expressing modern luxury in a solid form. Fog lamp bezels, positioned low, together with the flared form of the corners, accentuate the wide and low stance. The aggressively shaped triangular fog lamp bezels, following current Toyota design cues, gives the bumper corners a more dynamic impression.

To match the cubic form of the front end of the Vellfire, the upper headLamps incorporate two square projectors. Together with the blue accent of the extension, this creates a cool expression and an advanced tech image. When activated, the turn signals show the direction of the vehicle’s intended movement by sequential illumination.

At the rear, the upper and lower sections of the lamps sandwich the garnish extending across the horizontal axis. This creates a two-part structure that mirrors the design of the headlamps and also provides a more distinctive presence for the Vellfire to drivers following behind. Like the signal lights on the front, the LEDs also light up in a sequential manner.

Upgrades to the interior are similar to those for the 2018 Alphard, including new ornamentation. The seating has also been upgraded for more comfort and convenience, with power adjustments for the front passenger’s seat as well, plus an ottoman for stretching out on long journeys. A seat air-conditioner provides cooling air that blows up from the cushion as well as through the backrest.

The seating for the second and third rows remain the same, with individual Captain’s seats for the second row. These seats, with leather upholstery, come with power recline as well as an ottoman for extra comfort.

With almost everyone having a mobilephone these days, recharging while on the move is sometimes necessary, In the Vellfire, there are not only USB ports to provide power but the latest model also comes with a Wireless Charging Pad. This feature uses the wireless power standard set by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and can be recharge any compatible mobilephone that is placed on the pad.

Also new for 2018 is the Digital Full Display 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 on the in-mirror display. Excellent visibility is available as the image is unaffected by night time or rainy weather conditions.

The safety equipment for the new Vellfire has been further upgraded to make reduce accidents in daily driving. With the inclusion of the Blind Spot Monitor System, the driver will be alerted whenever there is a vehicle in the blind spots (areas that cannot be seen using the outer mirrors alone). Icons on the left or right door mirrors will light up so the driver will not change lanes or make a turn which could results in an accident.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is also added to the new Vellfire and this will be very helpful when reversing out of a parking bay. While the rearview camera can provide a view of the area behind the vehicle, it does not cover the sides. Sensors will scan the areas some distance to the left and right side as the vehicle is moving outwards and if another vehicle is detected approaching, the driver will receive an audible warning as well as flashing icons in the door mirrors, and can stop the vehicle to avoid a collision.

For those who would like more assistance when parking, a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is also available as an optional accessory for the Alphard. Using 4 cameras located around the vehicle, the system provides an overhead view that shows the surroundings on every side. This will help in positioning the vehicle precisely in a parking bay, reducing the stress that is often experienced when parking in tight spots.





Toyota blind spot monitor (BSM)

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)






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