Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Options Should You Choose for Toyota Alphard?

In my previous post I mentioned that it is very rare to find a full spec Toyota Alphard as the number of such car is very limited, unless you opted in for a full spec MZG (of course at a premium). If you can find a high spec AS/MS typically it would have most of the important options covered in this post. If not then the potential buyers may have to opt for a lower spec giant like an AX/MX/MZ. Even then at the minimum the buyer should choose a unit that has as much option as possible so that he/she doesn’t have to fork out more money to retrofit one or more of this option later.

When I mentioned at the minimum it should have at least a single power door at the passenger side, original head unit, sonar sensor, front and rear camera, and ideally with multifunction control at the steering wheel.
Power door (or power slide door as the manual called it) is very important as it ease the opening and closing of the heavy door. Ideally you should use the button on the dashboard or the button on the remote control unit to operate the power door. If not then just pull the handle once and let the power module slide the door to open or close. One should never pull or push the door with force as it may damage the power module. If the option is there one should preferably go for twin power doors. The extra power door will comes in handy if the family has small children or elder who will have difficulty in pulling the heavy door on the driver side (assuming they have to enter from that side). Also with twin power doors, you can use the remote to open whichever side that allows convenient access as you approach the giant. I find this very useful especially when I have to park my car at the road side where one side of the door is not accessible as it is next to some bushes or side wall.

If you have bought a unit with single power door (normally on the passenger side) and you want to retrofit the power door kit into the driver side, the current price is approximately RM5,000.00. Therefore if twin power doors are important to you, choose one with twin power doors fitted to avoid this cost.

The sonar sensors help you to gauge the distant between your giant and the surrounding object. The peeping sounds, the flashing indicator and the flashing image on the HU all helps the driver to judge how safe is the distant of the car from surrounding object. I know many owners have bought their giant without the sonar sensor. It is quite expensive to retrofit the aftermarket sonar sensor hence I would recommend potential buyer to choose one that comes with sonar sensor.

The front and rear camera provide the visual aid to the driver on the “distant” of the car from objects in front or the rear. In conjunction with the sonar sensor, the driver has ample sensory and visual image of the safe distant of the car from any objects in front or the rear. Do note that the camera and the sonar sensor only can “sense” or “see” the objects in the same level of the sonar sensor/camera. It will not help in situation where there is high hanging object above the front/rear bumper. This is especially tricky as many of the basement car parks are not designed for MPV with the height like our giant. I know some owners either scratch their roof or reversed into some piping hanging from the ceiling.

The multi-steering control function on the steering allows you to operate the head unit or use the hands-free function.

Some AX/MX will come with sunroof/moonroof. This option is really a decision of the owner to consider whether it is useful in our kind of weather condition. Many will opt not to take it as many will hardly use the roof on daily basis. If you have a unit that has sunroof/moonroof, do remember to regularly clean the surrounding of the sunroof and the rail so that it is not clogged. If it is clogged water may seeps into the car from the sunroof.

On very rare occasion, some AX/MX/AS/MS/MZ will come with power boot. Again this is a convenient option if you use the boot often. With a press of the button on the dashboard or the remote control you can open the boot remotely. Again you can press these button or the button on the boot to close if electrically. Not many owners will choose to retrofit a power boot but there are accessory shops that cater for this niche. It cost upward of RM8,000.00 to retrofit the power boot.

Hope this post help you making your choice on what minimum options to go for.


  1. Hi Nighto Chan,

    this is not a comment but merely serve as an inquiries. u gave a good explanation on each specs, thus would like to ask something. fyi, i am in the plan to upgrade my ride from innova to the giant. my intention is to go for '04 2.4 AX-L. can you tell me, based on ur experiences, what would be the highest specs for AX-L? what would be d estimated price? if i want to compare between '04 and '05, how much d different in price? my budget is around 160K. if possible, i would to seek your help in searching for my giant, if possible.
    anyway, thanks a lot for this such great blog.
    regards, zahzin.

  2. HI Zahzin,

    Now is almost to the end of 2009 so it is not going to be easy to find a 2004 AX-L in the dealer yards by now. If you do find one then the dealer will be trying very hard to sell you that unit as once the year is over, they can't use their AP on the 2004 unit anymore. The price should be around RM160K which is around your budget. It should have twin power doors, front and rear camera and original HU. For AX model, it would be around RM155K.

    The '05 PFL AX-L should be going for RM176K now while the '05 NFL AX-L would be around RM185k. These are dealer price before negotiation. You might be able to knock off a few Ks from the '05 PFL AX-L from the dealer if you bargain hard.

    If you were to ask me I would suggest you to go with '05 NFL AX-L which means you might have to increase your budget slightly. At the moment most dealers will only be carrying stock for '05/'06 NFL models only.

    If you are looking for a unit let me know your preference and I'll look out for you.

    I know someone is letting go his '04 AS. If you are interested, send me an email and I'll put you in contact with him.

  3. Hi Nighto Chan,

    thank you for your thorough explanation. it gave me some ideas here but i have some more to know, sometimes, the more we knew, the more we want to learn. hopefully, it won't bother you anyway.
    1) i agreed with you about the unit availability especially when it comes to the end of the year. you did mentioned about the price of '05 NFL AX-L. if i am going to buy in the next year (infact, there are another 3 weeks to go before 2010), what would be the price for the same unit? still same or depreciate a bit? i love the looks for AS but that is for 7 seaters. such a big giant, i would say better for me to go for 8 seaters. if the seating arrangement is exactly like estima, then AX-L 8 seaters are more worthy to me.
    2) i heard that the cost of AP will increase another 10K starting next year. is that right? then, can we say that the average price for any model will shoot up another 10k starting from next year?
    3) any ideas what would be the interest rate for giant for the coming next year?



  4. Hi Zahzin,

    It is very difficult to ascertain what's the direction of the price for next year. In fact the price of the giants hasn't drop much from the beginning of this year. The main reason is due to the increase in Japanese Yen exchange rate which held the price.

    The fact that the government is going to charge RM10K for each AP next year means the dealer is going to transfer that price to the consumer. Therefore I doubt the price of the giant will reduce significantly next year. I really don't know what they dealers' stand on the AP but I am thinking that they might even increase the price further since this RM10K will eat into their profit margin.

    The AX-L 8 seaters arrangement is similar to the Estima. It does allow the 2nd row seats to be turn 180 degree to face the 3rd row passengers. If you have large family then the 8 seaters make more sense. The 7-seaters provide the convenient to move the the 3rd row but lose out one seat.

    I think the current interest rate is around 3.1% but then given the potential price increase next year, there might be less buyers hence the bank might need to readjust their interest rate higher. I can't be sure of this so better to negotiate with the bank on the best interest rate.

  5. Bri Nighto...

    I've booked a 2.4,NFL..manufactured '7/05 based frm online checking frm d chassis..4wd,1pd,twin monitor,back camera,sonar sensor,optimer meter but no enquiries are:-

    1) is d price fair based frm d specs offered?
    2) how much d cost for BT installation n is it necessary to have a BT function?
    3) how abt cost for installing a front camera?
    4) is there any re-wiring involved for the above modifications and any changes needed for the switch buttons on the right hand side of the multi function steering?

    Apologised me if my enquiries above is a repetition to any of your write-up.Tnxs.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for the comments.

    1. I think the price is fair considering that it is a NFL. I think the market price is at least RM170K+ and I am surprised you managed to get it at this price. The spec you gotten is quite already but it would be nice if you can push the dealer to install the front camera for you.

    2. I am not sure if the BT can be retrofitted locally. You'll need to check if the HU software comes with the BT function installed. If it does then you'll have to retrofit the steering wheel with the hands-free button. I am not sure if anyone locally has the skills to do it.

    3. Last I heard it cost upward close to a RM1K to install a front camera. The costs include the camera as well as retrofitting the camera button on the steering wheel.

    4. I am not entirely sure but I would imagine that Toyota would have use the same wiring harness for all models. If a feature like BT is not installed, then the wiring for the hands-free button (for example) would still be there. However I don't know if there is anyone has the wiring diagram to do such retrofit.

    Good luck to your search.

  7. Hi Nighto..

    Tnxs for yor immediate reply.

    Get it from a dealer friend.Maybe that's d price to pay for getting cheaper price,i could not b too picky.

    Ask for the BT but was told the best he can do is intalling a korean made BT which cost abt 1k+ and shared the cost.Ori BT cost abt 5k++.If it is convenient and useful,may ask him to do so.

    The same also goes with d front camera..will decide when d car reach d showroom.

    Meantime will ask if there is any wireman can retrofit those 2 gadgets n of coz at a fair price.

    Lastly Bro there any disadvantage of not having a BT,in term of usage,convenient n of effect to d car value?


  8. Hi,

    Check out my latest post. I am not sure if you would be happy with the retrofitted outcome.

    If you need one than I can only recommend you my regular installer. Send me an email at and I'll give their contact.

    As mentioned in my earlier post, the BT gave you the convenient of hand-free interaction with the phone system. Other than that there isn't much you can do with it. It doesn't affect the value of the car much.


  9. Hi Nighto... least i know that i won't feel inferior if choose to ignore installing it...

    I'll email u for details together with my new found lover pics once it reach d showroom...


  10. Hi alphard lover,

    Waiting to hear the good news from you.


  11. hi.....i just got my loan approved for my mzg 2004 PFL 2 wheel drive.hmm.... the car costs 205k it a good bargain?haa one more thing any good spots to venture in the net or around kl for alphard acessories?it is a good decision to buy b4 afta 2010 or after.i knew that i had bought it already.but still querrying whether is it a good decision to buy the car before 2009 ends?

  12. Hi Nighto...

    Jaz to tell u that i've officially got mine n regd d unit on 21/12...been busy do d test driving with d lovely new wheel ever since.Am satisfied with d unit n instld front camera chine made at 2xx only...but d function is satisfactory..

    I've changed my rims to ori 17",Toyo tyres 225/55 to get the stability n comfort for drive.

    I will email u my car pics as promised.

    Tnxs for all d advises.

  13. Hi alphard lover,

    Congratulation on your new ride.

    Looks like you are happy with the features in the car and enjoying your car now.


  14. Hi,

    Congratulation on your commitment to purchase a MZG.

    Well I think the price is fair just slightly on a high side. I think the market price should be around RM190K+.

    Yes, there are a few accessories shop that offer parts specifically for Alphard. Send me an email to and I'll can share a few.

    It really depends on individual what they are looking for in terms of 2nd hand value of their car. Typically for imported used car, the year of purchase probably doesn't matter much compare to the year of manufacture.


  15. Hi Nighto Chan,

    I was searching about the alphard on the internet and found your blog. I've read it quite a while and I found it very useful. Thanks for sharing with us. However, there are still some questions that I would like to enquire you. Do you have any chance to know what is the market price for a 06 NFL 3.0cc MZG Alphard? This is cause i recently saw one in KL and the salesperson was offering me at around Rm 240k for it. It comes with 2 power door, power boot, full 7 seater leather seat, front and rear camera, multifunctional stering, original head unit, both sunroof and moonroof & home teather system. Something about this giant is that its not recon. but it is a 2nd hand one. I went and look at the giant and I find it in pretty good condition. Is there any advice that I could get from you? Thanks

  16. Hi,

    Depending on the spec, '06 NFL MZG should be selling around RM255 to RM260K. Since this is a 2nd hand unit I am guessing the owner most likely acquire it recently hence asking for a high price for it. Because the price different is not a lot, it is really a choice of whether to get a unregistered unit or 2nd hand unit.

    Spec wise the car is pretty high spec except you didn't mentioned whether it comes with roof-mounted LCD monitor and adjustable suspension. If you are looking at this unit then try to negotiate for the price. Otherwise consider an unregistered unit.

    Since MZG is the flagship unit there are plenty of stocks available in most dealers. It would be better to check out some unregistered unit to understand what's available before you commit on this 2nd hand unit.


  17. Dear Nighto Chan,

    Awesome read. I have been 'googl-ing' and 'youtub-ing' for a while but your blog has provided more information than I can dig out in a week.

    I am currently looking to purchase an Alphard but still sitting on the fence deciding which model, engine capacity and options/specs. My dilemma is between a higher spec 2.4 AS vs the more powerful 3.0MS. I want to keep the budget to 200k++. Would love to have a '06 3.0MZG but I would have to break the piggy to get it. Hope you can alleviate some of my concerns.

    1. Petrol consumption for 2.4 vs 3.0.
    2. Difference between 'G' and 'V' line
    3. Maintenance factor between '06 2.4AS vs '06 3.0MS and '05 3.0MZG vs '06 3.0MS
    4. How do identify the original 'head unit'?

    I am definitely getting a 7 seater since i require access to the rear seats. Rear camera, 2 power door, power boot are mandatory. I am considering installing home theatre and sonar myself should the unit come without it.

    Chief, any recommendations? Your input would be greatly appreciated.



  18. Hi rainbowsix,

    I have reply to your queries in my email. Hope it helps.


  19. hi night chan... do you know the price for installing 2 power door? thanks.

    1. As mentioned in my old post, it cost upward RM8,000 last time to retrofit a power door. I think it may have come down now but I didn't follow up on the price lately.