Thursday, April 9, 2009

Learn More About Toyota Alphard

Before I write more on the features available on my giant, I do get a few private queries from interested buyers on where can they get more information about this car, specifically from local used car dealer.

Since Toyota Alphard is a product of the Land of the Rising Sun, almost all information on this car is in Japanese. Most non-Japanese speaker will find it hard to extract the relevant information from the Toyota official website. Also, most enthusiasts of this car in Japan will be blogging about their beloved giant in (naturally) Japanese so a non-Japanese speaking reader will find it hard to understand what has been blogged.

So where do one find out more about this car if they are interested to buy one unit?

A typical buyer would like to start with the official Toyota Japan website. However it is in Japanese and even if you do read Japanese, they only publish information about the current model (May 2008, aka 2nd generation Alphard). As of the writing of this blog, most of the Toyota Alphard we get in here are year 2007 or below. Fortunately the official Toyota website do kept the catalogs of the 1st generation Alphard.

I managed to find these catalogs during one of my search on that website and you car get them from the links below.

Pre-facelift - manufactured 2003/7 onward -
Minor facelift - manufactured 2005/5 onward-
NFL model - manufactured 2007/6 onward -

Pre-facelift - manufactured 2003/7 onward -
Minor facelift - manufactureed 2005/5 onward-
NFL model - manufactured 2007/6 onward -

Note: I intend to blog about the difference between the G and V model in future post.

By downloading these catalogs, you can compare the various features between the pre-facelifted and facelifted model. Again, these catalogs are all in Japanese so you might not understands all the wordings. However, they do have a lot of pictures that highlights most of the important features.

Now that you have an understanding what features are available in which model, you want to know which dealers carry these cars. There are several local sources of advertisement for these cars. The most popular one is The Star Classified section of The Star Newspaper. The other is the weekly Motor Trader magazine. Both also has the equivalent online version of the classified ad. I prefer to use The Star Classified online because it is much easier to search than the online version of the Motor Trader . The advantage of the Motor Trader online search that you can do more granular search (by year etc) and each of the ad normally comes with a photo of the car.

So you took down the details of the ad and visited the dealer on the model you are interested in. After you check out the car, test drive it, you brought home some further details of the cars you are interested in but you wanted a 2nd opinion. You start to look for online forum wanting to post your questions but you are not sure which forum to post because there are hardly any forums on Alphard at that time.

As of the end of last year, this car is heavily discussed in the Motor Trader forum. They have a section dedicated to discussion on Toyota MPV . Prior to end of last year, most of the enthusiasts or owners of this car will gathered at that forum. Topics on Toyota Alphard is very active so there is lot to learn from some of the more experienced owners/enthusiasts. However since that forum is on Toyota MPVs many other threads on other Toyota model will also be discussed so one has to constantly follow the Alphard thread to read the up-to-date discussions. Also, once a thread has gone beyond certain (I think 24/25) pages, a new thread will be created so it is not easy to keep track of the active topics. Fortunately the old threads are archived so whoever new to the topic can always refer to the archived thread. You can still post your questions to that forum but most of the active Alphard members have already move on to another forum so your questions might not be answered. The other issue with the Motor Trader forum is that it doesn't support photo attachment.

I used to frequent that forum and learn a lot from there. Toward the end of last years, a bunch of very active members decided to create a dedicated forum for Alphard. Through the initiative of one of the member, a group of Alphard owners from KL as well as some owners from JB come up to KL during the 1st week of Jan'09 to have a mini TT (TT stands for Teh Tarik - the unofficial slang for group gathering, drinking tea [the the teh tarik part] while chit-chatting). After that mini-TT, the group decided to create a dedicated forum for Malaysia Alphard owners. Through the generosity of one of the forum member who hosted a website, the forum called "Alphard Asia Owner Club" (AOC) was born. A lot of the Alphard owners/enthusiasts who used to frequent the Motor Trader Toyota MPV forum now have moved over to AOC forum. I now frequent that forum to share what I have learned so far about my giant.

If anyone is interested to learn more about Alphard, do visit AOC, registered as a member and joined in the discussions. You don't have to own an Alphard to be a member.

Hopefully after you join AOC and gotten all your answers you can made your final decision and become an Alphard owner. Congratulation and welcome to the club.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks you for sharing soo much info on alphard. Could you kindly point me in the right direction to find the original price of Alphard circa 2002-2003. I'm studying in UK and would possibly like to purchase one. I know customs sometimes uses original price to calculate all those taxes. Do ypu have any websites stating this facts?

  2. Hi,

    It depends on what the custom is asking for? If you are looking for the original selling price of the Alphard circa 2002-2003, you can find it in their brochure. Here is the URL for the 2002 brochure.

    However I think the Alphard circa 2002-2003 landed in Malaysia is probably brought in in 2005 or 2006 so the selling price in Japan will be the price that dealer brought in at that time. I Don't know if anyone has those details other than the dealers. Another option is to check with the owner if he has a copy of the Approved Permit. The selling price in Japan is normally printed on the AP.

    Hope this help.

  3. Hi & good day...

    i got my AHFATT (unreg) last year august in kuching, sarawak (cos its cheaper to buy from there) & doesnt really know what spec/detail actually im riding...

    After joining AOC & read your description of all available AHFATTs in your blog (i wanna give u a big applause for such intimate info available & respected your passion on how-to-find details of ur giant) i still unsure of my AHFATT spec...

    From the catalog you provided & from the pictures available, im sure mine is a 2.4L 2006 Black Marble trimming, 8 seaters, Alcantara seats & G Spec but unsure if its MS Edition or otherwise or PFL or NFL... I only has left side functional multi steering, 2power doors, vacuum boot, AFS & 1 pair of projector in my headlamps for all i knew...

    To send you my AHFATT pictures are a bit hard as i had modified quite a few of the original features... i can mail you my current state of my giant in hope that you can tell me what type am i riding now...

    p/s: list of what i had modded since:
    1. full surround 5.1 pioneer player & audio
    2. auto flip side mirror with welcome light
    3. crystal led room lights
    4. led pillar lights
    5. customized headlamps with ccfl rings & led day lights
    6. strobe lights (under my car)
    7. 4 pairs hid
    8. Alphard led side steps
    9. full tinted 86% (except front windscreen
    10. customized stickers on exterior
    11. fog lamp cover (japan imported, fiber material)
    12. v-spec front grille (unsure if im right)
    13. vip floor carpets (japan imported)

    p/s: no major bodykit change yet.... but definitely my AHFATT meant for AUTOSHOWS in Peninsula Malaysia.

    List of shows participated:
    1. Mean Machine 2011 - Penang (Oct 2011)
    2. Ford Fiesta Official Launch - KL (Nov 2011)
    3. Competitive Track Autoshow - Sepang (Jan 2012)
    4. Need For Speed (Blast Off) - KL (currently)
    5. GP Motorshow 2012 - Penang (March 2012)
    6. Mean Machine 2012 - Malacca (April 2012)

    Coverage of my ride:
    1. Sin Chew Jit Poh 22.01.2012

    thank you...

    1. Whao, that's a lot of modification. Even if you send me the picture I probably can't tell you too. The only way to ascertain is to read your chassis number which will review what model is your giant.