Toyota Vellfire Hybrid

Toyota Vellfire Review: Hybrid is the suitable powertrain for the new model by Naoki Aoyama

What is the suitable powertrain for the new Vellfire and Alphard?

When asked about it, I want to answer, it is a hybrid model that had an engine upsize, from 2.4L into 2.5L; its 190ps system output and fuel consumption of 17.0km/L were upgraded to a 197ps and 19.4-18.4k./L respectively (for the general customer).

Above all, the hybrid model comes with an executive lounge option, the main feature of the new model. It also comes with an exclusive suspension setting that focus on riding feel for all grades (including the 3.5L
executive lounge).

With a standard size of 17 inches (16 inches for the X), the assembled tires were newly developed for the new model. Since its grade is very particular about the riding feel, they had to match the wheels with the exclusive suspension, .

Its AC100V/1500W electrical outlet, which does not exist in gasoline-powered vehicles, can be used outdoors regardless of whether the car running or stationary (providing power for consumer electric appliances that are below 1500W such as coffee makers, mini-microwave ovens, and hotplates). It can also provide energy during times of disaster. During the Great East Japan Earthquake, there were Estima Hybrid minivans that were equipped with two hybrid motor systems used as power supplies to give light and even mini-concerts in the disaster-stricken areas.

The hybrid engine that also functions as a power supply has a flexible power performance, much more than what a 2.5L gasoline-operated model is capable of. Through the additional motor torque, you can greatly feet the engine displacement. From its excellently smooth and light running (even though it creates a loud noise when the engine is turned on), and the riding feel from the suspension that emphasizes comfortability, this car really has a gentle touch. It really lives up to the huge space of the luxurious sedans it is based off of.

However, I can say that the upper half of the rear passenger seats easily get shaken compared to the low overall height and center of balance of the luxury sedan, but it does not matter if we think about what we are trading it off for: a huge space.

As expected in a heavyweight model, you may not be able to feel as if you are driving in EV mode unlike in the Prius. Its operation indicator for the EV mode will immediately light up as soon as you put your foot off the accelerator. For example, if your battery is fully charged when you go driving on the expressway, it is easy for you to set it to EV mode after exiting the expressway and shifting once you get to the flat public highway.

Moreover, since the hybrid model is an electric 4WD that is also known as an E-Four, its rear tires are very stable. It also features a maneuverability that makes you feel its tall body less with its center of gravity that is 10mm lower compared to the previous generation’s. It also has a cornering stability when shifting towards express lanes.

If your budget is around 5 million yen, then I would like to recommend the Hybrid V or Hybrid G of the Vellfire or Alphard which are equipped with 17-inch tires (its genuine navigator costs 561,600 yen!). Its complete power performance, stability and equipment (three 100V/1500W electric outlets option costs 64,800 yen), and its fuel efficiency will let you feel satisfied. With this grade, the second row seats would be limited to relaxing captain seats that you can transfer between the second and third rows. But if it is for family use, the executive seats may not be necessary.

One difference between gasoline-operated and hybrid vehicles is that passengers can effortlessly transfer from one seat to another in the first row. Batteries are stored in the center console of the hybrid car, but the first row is really luxurious.

It has a smooth and quiet running feel, and the pleasantness of the air conditioning that covers the backseat makes it suitable for taking the family dog on board as well. It is easy to get the dog on board through the back door that has no bump in the 605mm tall aperture (like a station wagon), or through the slide door that has 350mm-high step, and 450-mm wide floor aperture. The second row of the cabin has a wide floor space for getting on, and the third row has a wide luggage floor for storage.

The luggage storage floor area the new model comes with is also a key feature; it is also suitable fr carrying your goods for your pet dog.

â– 5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★★
Interior/Comfort: ★★★★★
Power Source: ★★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★★
Pet-friendliness: ★★★★★

Naoki Aoyama | Automotive Journalist/Dog Life Journalist

He became a freelance motor journalist after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He started as a writer to specialist on automotive magazines, then general news magazines and websites. He also worked on publication of pet (dog) and overseas travel, pet and drive-related television program as well as events. He is currently, expanding his career as a dog life producer.

(Claire Marie Sausora)