Previously previewed at the KLIMS ’13 (Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show), the Toyota Previa is essentially the third generation of Toyota’s mid-sized MPV. The Previa maintains the 1-motion silhouette from the Estima with a sportier frontal appearance and a ‘floating roof’ concept with the ‘hidden’ roof pillars. HID headlights with auto-levelling and Adaptive Front Lighting System are standard equipment for the Previa. Features pointed to the Previa’s enhanced aerodynamics are lesser openings to the underside of the floorpan, an optimized height (rear bumper) and spats for each wheel.
Inside, space has been refined with an expanded cabin and easy entry/exit access on either side of the mid-sized MPV. Doors are powered by the smart key or convenient handles which require minimal efforts. The appointments inside the Previa reflects a premium image with leather upholstery as standard and wide seats for all 7 occupants on three rows. The driver gets an 8-way power adjustment seat, whilst the passengers in the second row receive utmost comfort with Captain and Ottoman seats, with integrated footrests; located at the back of front seats. Second and third rows are adjustable in several ways for maximization of cargo space or to fit more passengers. Plus, there are ample compartments within the cabin for all small items.
The Toyota Previa is powered by a 2AZ-FE 2.4-liter VVT-i engine that’s paired to a Super ECT automatic transmission. A manual gear selection is applicable as well.
To keep the car stable and tight, front MacPhersons and a rear torsion beam help minimize body roll and give a comfort ride. Whereas. sound-insulating materials at certain cross sections assist to ensure better NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) and isolate engine noise.
Safety is paramount in the Previa, with these included passive and active features; robust body structure, dual SRS airbags, ISOFIX, ABS, EBD and more.
The citizens’ most favored large premium MPV: the Toyota Alphard
Next up, the Toyota Alphard is currently the most popular large MPV in the Klang Valley. Now in its second generation, the ‘Monoform’ Alphard is most desired for its ‘Majestic’ design cues and prominent flares at the front and rear wheel arches. Major front fascia highlight includes the gray-metallic coated grille, HID headlights (Adaptive lighting for the 3.5G Alphard) and bonnet molding with chrome accents. The side and rear of the Toyota’s flagship MPV remain close to the majestic form of its predecessor.
The latest Alphard has a new platform that has enabled the cabin to be longer while the floor level has been lowered. Even through the overall height is lower, the cabin ceiling is slightly higher than the first generation, enhancing comfort for the 7 occupants, maybe even eight, who sit on 3 rows of seats. The overall cabin is provided a premium finish with generous leather, woodgrain trim and chrome-finish appointments.
The driver’s area, with an 8-way adjustable seat, is like that of a large luxury sedan with all switches and control buttons positioned optimally for easy reach. Likewise, the instrument panel gets crystal clear Optitron meters suited for day or night.
Like the Previa, the second row has powered Captain and Ottoman seats with integrated footrests. The third row incorporates 50:50 split folding seats with spring-loaded mechanism for extra passengers or luggage. Triple zone air-conditioning with a myriad of vents keep driver and occupants cool all the time. The a/c system also has nanoe ion generator to refresh air circulation within the confines of the Alphard’s cabin.
Besides a twin moon roof, the Alphard (3.5G only) also has a power-operated rear door. At the touch of a button on the Smart Key or overhead console, the door opens or closes automatically. Both side doors have large openings and open and close automatically.
Two engine platforms are made available for the Alphard: a 3.5 liter V6 Dual VVT-i ACIS (Acoustic Control Induction System), paired to 6-speed Super ECT auto transmission; or 2.4 liter VVT-i, paired to a 7-speed CVT.
Similar to the Previa, the Alphard has front MacPherson struts and a rear torsion beam, Safety features are similar as well, except for the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), 7 all-around airbags and ‘Whiplash’ front seats.
Toyota Alphard and Previa Premium MPVs’ prices and availability
UMW Toyota Motor offers the Previa at RM258,000 and the Alphard 2.4G at RM338,000 and 3.5G at RM 398,000. All prices are on-the-road with insurance, along with a 3-year warranty and Toyota’s security system and premium security & solar film. Colors for the Previa consist of Ice Titanium Mica Metallic, White Pearl CS, Black, Silky Gold Mica Metallic and Silver Metallic; whilst the Alphard is made available in White Pearl CS, Gold Pearl CS, Silver Metallic and Black.