Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beginning Of The Eight Seater Story - A Toyota Alphard

When I started looking for a car to replace my previous ride, I wasn't thinking of driving a giant on the road everyday.

My previous ride is an SUV and in this part of the world it size is consider quite big on our road. I have got used to it size so when I am looking at replacing the car, I was thinking of something slighly larger but not the largest at that time. That SUV served me well for 3 years and as many owners of this brand of car quite rightly said, it will start to break down after 3 years. Mine really start to act up after 3 1/2 years of owning it so I started to look for a replacement.

My initial plan is to look for an MPV which is slightly larger in size than my SUV. I already got used to sitting high up with the SUV so driving the MPV is not an issue for me. My brother-in-law own an MPV and it 7-seaters arrangement come in handy as it can carry as many family members whenever we go out. However, the 2 individual seater arrangement in the middle row of that MPV gave away one seat so when I started looking at mine, my first criteria is that it must be an 8 seaters (in 2-3-3 arrangement). At least when I need it I can carry one more passenger since the middle row of a 8-seater is a bench seat arrangement (actually 60/40 split of two seats). With that in mind, I started going out to the used car dealers yard looking for the car.

My original plan is to get an Estima as it has that aerodynamic look from the front. Also, the price range of the Estima fits my budget. I went to almost every dealer in the surrouding of KL hunting for one that has the specifications I needed. 8 seaters, two power doors, sunroof/moonroof, head unit with reverse camera function. Well after looking at many units, I couldn't find one that either fit my specifications or the price is not right. I wasn't even thinking about it bigger-size brother at all.

One day we drop by in one of the dealer and saw several units of Toyota Alphard with almost all the specifications I wanted. My wife and I also test drove the cars and we start to change our mind. Both of us is debating whether we really need such a big car for just the two of us. I reasoned that when we need the space, the Alphard can carry as many of our family members when we need it. We actually went back to the dealer 3 times to look at that car, negotiated the price and then only on the 3rd visit, we signed on the dotted line! In fact the dealer make the deal sweeter for us by offering us a reduction in the price voluntarily on the last day.

As we walk out of the dealer premise, we are still asking ourself do we really want to drive such a big car everyday?

Well, that was 3 months ago and today I am actually driving this giant on the road almost every day. My wife has a choice of 7 seats to choose from whenever we go out.

And this is the beginning of the eight seaters story.


  1. Hi Nighto Chan,

    Greetings from Indonesia!!! I am thinking of replacing my Harrier with Aplhard and I have read the articles in your blog herein which I found them to be very useful. Do you mind providing me your email address as I have some more detailed questions regarding Alphard?


  2. Hi Edwin,

    You can contact me at