2022 Toyota Alphard Hybrid review: Loll-ing Green Giant
Toyota’s titanic Alphard MPV finally gets hybrid tech – and that only makes its blend of space and comfort more relevant to Singapore
SINGAPORE – The Toyota Alphard has never been little, awkward, modest, or proficient. Presently something or other has changed amazingly.
May saw the introduction of the Alphard Hybrid in Singapore for the first time, officially, by dealer Borneo Motors. The petrol-electric model might not be news to some here – the Alphard and its sister model the Vellfire have both been produced as hybrids since the second-generation in 2008, and sold here as grey/parallel imports.
The third-gen model went on sale here (also officially) in 2015, and as far as we can tell the car is pretty much the same, looks-wise though the Hybrid model does add some significant features. The grille design is different with a sharper lower lip, and the self-levelling full LED headlamps also have updated styling that blend nicely the grille.There’s no distinction in stage, and accordingly the Alphard continues as before. In the event that you’ve neglected, indeed, the Alphard is as yet an extra large MPV. It’s five-meters in length, 1.9-meters wide, and in particular 1.85-meters tall, which is ‘as far as possible’ for a vehicle here, so you’ll must be watchful while entering some HDB carparks and more seasoned retail outlets.
Visually, the essence of the Alphard remains the same: This is a huge, square MPV with an imposing road presence and a grille that looks like a cow-catcher. You either like it or dislike it. If you’re in the latter camp, read on to find out what the fuss is all about.
Under the hood is a Toyota full cross breed framework like that found in the RAV4 Half and half, the fundamental inspiration being a natural 2.5-liter inline four-chamber motor. The distinction here is that the Alphard is perhaps the earliest authority Toyota here to pack ‘E-Four’, which is the brand’s mixture all-wheel drive (AWD) framework.
An additional electric motor drives the rear axle when needed, giving the Alphard AWD capability. It’s not a major plus point on Singapore’s roads, but it could come in handy on trips up North, and it doesn’t add much to fuel consumption unlike a conventional AWD system.
The Alphard Mixture offers no curve balls from in the driver’s seat. While it’s a sizable vehicle, the Toyota-ness (for absence of a superior term) implies it’s entirely simple to drive.
You step up and into the seat, for an elevated, van-like seating position, and the Alphard’s tall windows, split A-pillars, and short nose deliver a straightforward driving experience.
There’s the usual smattering of buttons (EV Mode, Eco mode) but you can safely ignore them and drive as normal. The hybrid system is Toyota-smooth, and still amongst the best on the market. Long highway runs move the need down towards 7.0L/100km, not quite the quoted 6.7L/100km, but close enough.Blended town/parkway driving for typical people will most likely see 8.0 to 9.0L/100km, which is superb execution for a vehicle of this height.
The refinement is good though not excellent. It’s quiet unless you’re going too fast, and it does get a little crashy over small corrugations.In the same way as other MPVs, the sheer land of glass and metal means it’s difficult to control vibrations and commotion, yet the Alphard works effectively on it.
One novel addition is the electronic rear view mirror. As seen in the Land Rover Defender and Lexus NX, it’s a boon in a car this long and with a three-person third-row bench, and helps add a lot to the driver’s situational awareness. Adding to that is a bunch of new safety systems: blind spot monitoring, lane keeping/lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking.
The infotainment framework makes the vehicle simpler to drive, however for some unacceptable explanation. It’s similar touchscreen unit we recollect from 2015 and best viewed as an artifact – there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and it’s scarcely readable in daylight so you’ll be leaned to disregard it, dissimilar to present day frameworks with their extravagant illustrations and telephone like commitment. In the event that you should have present day includes, a decent secondary selling unit would be an improvement.
But the cockpit features and driving experience aren’t really what the Alphard is about. In fact, it’s not even about moving seven people – but two.
Entry is easy, thanks to dual-sliding doors, and the Alphard’s height: Step up, stoop a little and sink into a surfeit of space.
The Alphard’s second row features dual captain-style chairs with electrically-adjustable backrests and footrests. This is nothing new, since competitors like the Kia Carnival and Hyundai Staria also have them, but the Alphard looks to have the largest, most plush thrones in the second row – they really do look, and behave, like business class aircraft seats. If you empty the third row and push them all the way back, they could easily fit the longest people you can find.
Incredible headrests, rich arm-and forests, your own lamp, a side folding table, aircon controls (and your own vent). Another new option is a variety of selectable surrounding lighting strip, which truly adds to the business class vibe.
Despite the palatial second-row thrones, there’s still a large degree of modularity inside the Alphard.
The third row will fit two adults comfortably, but three is quite a squeeze, so while it’s conceptually a seven-seater, practically you should treat it as a 6+1. The seats positions are also adjustable, so if you have less cargo and more people, you can move them almost to the rear windshield to maximise space, or vice versa. If you fold them up and push the second-row forward, there’s space for almost anything – although the third-row bench takes up some room.
There are also a ridiculous number of cupholders – at least 18 – dotted through the whole cabin, and there are actually stowage spaces, drawers, and compartments too.
The boot can be enormous, there’s still additional room under the floor to stash more modest things, in addition to there’s a space-saver spare wheel. We don’t know how Toyota figured out how to bundle all that despite everything have an AWD crossover framework.
The Koreans have made inroads into the segment recently with the Kia Carnival and Hyundai Staria. Both offer similar amounts of space, although the Carnival has the option of an eight-seat model for those who really need to move people. They have modern infotainment tech onboard, but more plastic-ky interiors – the Alphard’s leather-filled cabin feels more mature, despite its age.
Neither can match the Alphard Hybrid when it comes to fuel-efficiency or ‘green’ optics, since the Carnival is a diesel (it’s close but still an oil-burner) and the Staria a thirsty, petrol 3.5-litre V6. The closest similarly-electrified alternative is Nissan’s Serena E-Power, which is a size down. With regards to an upscale traveler experience, the Alphard is as yet the best thing this side of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, or even a Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB. Its mixture tech likewise makes it commendably thrifty for such a generally extreme vehicle. It may not be the most up to date thing around, yet it presently has jolt tech that conveys – and is right on target for 2022.
Toyota Alphard Hybrid
|Drivetrain type||Petrol-electric full hybrid|
|Engine||2,494cc, inline 4|
|Power||159hp at 5700rpm|
|Torque||206Nm at 4400-4800rpm|
|Electric Motor Front||140hp/270Nm|
|Electric Motor Rear||67hp/139Nm|
|Battery||NiMh, unknown capacity|
|System Torque||Not stated|
|Fuel Efficiency||6.7 L/100km|
|VES Band||B / Neutral|
|Price||S$300,888 with COE and VES|
|Verdict||The Alphard ain’t cheap, small, nor like any other MPV – and hybrid tech only adds to its appeal in Singapore|