Even though the Toyota Vellfire was never launched in India officially, it is not an unknown product in the country; especially in corporate environments. Over the years, quite a few Toyota Vellfire models have come to Indian roads from overseas as private inputs, alongside the likes of the Alphard and HiAce range of luxury minivans.
With a length of almost five metres and a height of 1.9m, the Toyota Vellfire is nothing short of massive and can easily dwarf the lesser Innova Crysta. The impressive dimensions of the Vellfire translate to more than just cabin space.
In fact, it is loaded with a host of equipment to give absolute justice to its ‘luxury minivan’ tag, starting right from the large power-sliding doors. Here, you can watch a rather interesting walkaround of the same, showing all the exterior and interior details.
The middle-row seating is the main highlight of the Vellfire. The reclinable captain seats (with heating and cooling) individually provide a cocoon of luxury and in their normal positions, there are oceans of space for your knees and head. The armrests hide all the controls that can create a space of your own and the seat on the co-driver-side can be converted to almost a flat-bed (compromising the existence of the third-row and co-driver seat) for you to relax after a tiring business meeting.
Speaking about the third-row, it can accompany three passengers, but the person sitting in the middle might not be happy with the 50:50 central split. Thanks to the Vellfire’s proportions, it’s not a serious squeeze at the rear.
Coming to the powertrain, the India-spec Toyota Vellfire employs a hybrid powertrain that follows the Atkinson cycle (petrol vehicles commonly follow Otto cycle). The 2.5-litre petrol engine makes 150bhp on its own and is coupled to a 105kW (143bhp) motor on the front axle to provide a combined output of around 197bhp.
The two power the front wheels via an e-CVT. There is also a 50kW (67bhp) motor at the back which runs on its own and powers the rear wheels only when needed (sudden acceleration, traction loss, etc.). Together, the entire powertrain components form a rather sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.
As mentioned before, the Japanese brand plans to launch the luxury minivan early next-year. Being a full-import, prices of the Toyota Vellfire are expected to hit around Rs 90 lakh ex-showroom); thus making it an expensive alternative to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz V Class and the upcoming Kia Grand Carnival.