Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Do You Choose Toyota Alphard

I had a discussion with another giant owner and we go were sharing why we love our giant.

We summarized that the two main factors why we fall in love with Toyota Alphard because:

We like the style of Alphard, the spacious, comfortable interior and the abundance features.

  1. From anywhere, any place or anytime you see Alphard from far or near, you'll see the sharp edge and muscular look of the Alphard from the front or the 3/4 view.
  2. There are plenty of space inside the Alphard. You can stretch your leg straight anywhere inside the Alphard, be it in the front, the middle seats or the rear seats. You normally expect this kind of spaciouness in a limosine and now find it in the Alphard.

    The seats in the Alphard are comfortable. You can slide the middle seat along it track to accommodate whatever space size you need. Unfortunately the 2nd generation Alphard has do away with this sliding middle seat feature.
  3. The Alphard is fitted with a long list of features that is ahead of many of it competitors (even as early as 2005). It has DVD, MP3, Mini-disk, HDD, Satellite navigation (only in Japan), bluetooth, front and rear camera, sonar sensors, cruise control (two versions), power sliding doors, roof-mounted LCD, Automated Front Lighting System (AFS), sunroof/moonroof, electric curtains, heater seats, sound theatre system etc etc.
The Alphard is easy to drive, it is rather quiet, smooth revving and bring a fresh look to the local automotive industry. Although some who are used to the soild build of the continental car tends to think the Alphard can do better in the sound proofing department.

Of course we also agreed that it is a Toyota brand. Toyota car is know to be reliable and easy to maintain. The fact that it share the same engine and mechanical components with Toyota Harrier, Camry, and Estima means that there are plenty of spare parts and venue to maintain your giant.

The low point of the Alphard is the it is not generous in fuel consumption. Of course we can't expect too much from a car that weight almost two tons. After all it is fitted with petrol engine and fuel consumption depends on how heavy is your right foot!

We think the the 3.0L 1MZ-FE has plenty of torque and horsepower to drive the Alphard. However with a maximum speed limit of 180k/h, you can't fully utilized the full power of the 1MZ-FE engine on our road. Most owner of the 3.0L model will probably be cruising at the official speed limit on highway so the 1MZ-FE power is under-utilized.

The common complain about the driveability of the Alphard is that it understeer when pressing into corner. It has soft suspension setup (for comfort) so you cannot throw the giant around corners.

The evergreen 2AZ-FE engine has been around for a long time and it has powered many generation of Camry, Estima and Harrier. It is long lasting, economical and has lower road tax. Despite it lower power rating, it can still haul the Alphard on long haul or short trip. I have take it up to Genting Highland with the incline from 20-30 degree and I don't need to use 2nd or 3rd gear at all.

It would be nice if the Alphard come fitted with a diesel model.

So what's your reason for choosing your giant?


  1. I choose the Giant for it's comfort and spaciousness. Can't agree with the design though as it's too boxy but I guess I'm getting used to it. No complaints on the fuel consumption but the surprise is how economical it is to maintain. Certainly a lot cheaper that the continentals that I used to own!!! Now that I've a PFL AS, I guess my next ride would be a newer Alphard or the Vellfire...:)

  2. Hi Wai En,

    The boxy design is what gave the giant it spaciousness!

    Yes, the economical factor sure help in maintaining it.

    I guess a lot of people will want that Vellfire and I wonder what would the new facelift like when they release it. I have no idea when.


  3. Hi Nighto,

    Just wonder how to check on AP or taxes the dealers pay are sufficient and no issues to the customs. Local AP/Sabah AP and so on....need advice bro.


  4. Hi,

    I don't think there is a way to check unless you are familiar with how custom work.

    I will check the address printed on the front page of the AP document. If it is a local AP, it will have the address in West Malaysia while Sabah/Sarawak AP should have the address for either location.

  5. Bro Nighto,

    I'm dilemma to choose 2.4 (05/08,SR,MR,2PWD,NFL) vs 3.0(04/08,Full spec) the price is the same.

    Need advice bro

  6. Bro Nighto,

    Any disadvantage of 3.0 alphard(year 04)? TQ

  7. Depending on how long you want to keep the car as well as your preference for power, the choice is yours.

    The 2.4 05/08 is a NFL so it is a newer model and has facelift so from resell value perspective it is better. Of course it is only 2.4L so if power is a concern then you may want to go for the 3.0L.

    The 3.0L 04/08 is a pre-facelift model so you will be getting an older car compared to the 2.4L. If all those new feature like larger head unit, bluetooth, multi-functing steerings (assumed it is ther) are not important to you then you might want to go for the 3.0L which give you better power to weight ratio.

    Hope this help

    BTW, do you mind to share how much is the price?

  8. The only disadvantage for 3.0L '04 versus 2.4L 05 is that the road tax for 3.0L model is more than double the price of the 2.4L.

    If this is not a concern then the 3.0L model give you more power.

    Maintenance wise, the 3.0L will be slightly higher as it has a V6 engine so the parts will cost more compare to the 2.4L straight 4 engine.

    There are many other consideration so it would be difficult to give a general answer.

    Hope this help.

  9. Hallo bro,

    I would like to seek an advice,
    i am a bit dilemma,
    Finally I choose Alphard for my MPV but which one is better 7 seater or 8 seater?

    pls help me...

  10. Hi bro Zul,

    It is really a matter of personal preference. You need to know at the max how many persons in your family your will/would probably be carrying in your Alphard.

    If you have a lot of kids then a 7-seaters would be a better choice because of the convenient of the walk way between the 2nd and 3rd row seats. Young kids will have difficulty in moving the middle seats front and back due to their lack of strength.

    If you have many adults and occasionally you need to carry more than 8 persons, then the bench seat in the middle row of a 8-seaters will come in handy. At time I carry 10-persons in my giant so my 8-seaters can do this easily. My brother-in-law 7-seaters MPV (non-Alphard) cannot accomodate all 10!

    If you have elders with difficulty in moving up and down then the bench seat on the 8-seaters also help because it is easier for them to get onto the bench seat than onto each of the individual 2nd row seats.

    I think they are other factors to consider other than just the number of seats. The above is my considerations.

    Good luck in your search.


  11. Hi, I just got An Alphard 3.0, 2004/2008 but after a few days of driving house/nearby schools only, the fuel is 45% gone for 100km. This is a bit of a shocker for me. You think there is a problem with the engine? I was expecting 400km/full tank, about 15 liters/100km for city driving. The dealer did mention it has been overhauled before bcos of overheating. Any comments? Thanks

    1. Unfortunately since you don't know the condition of the car before you bought it, it is very difficult to tell why the fuel consumption is high. Also given that the engine has been overhauled due to overheating, the overhaul job many not be done properly causing such problem.

      I would suggest you get a second opinion from another workshop.

  12. My friend give tip to look inside the engine. Remove the engine cap. Then, c the wall. If white, well maintain. If yellow or dark , bad maintainance. Hopefully can help others too.