Images have surfaced online of Japanese-market Toyota GranAce spotted on Malaysian roads. Upon closer inspection, it would appear that several units have been imported to Malaysia through recond dealers who are selling them for approximately RM390,000.
The GranAce is essentially a premium luxury version of the Toyota Hiace van. By taking full advantage of the Hiace’s huge proportions and proven powertrain, Toyota then outfits the exterior and interior with top-notch components to offer business-class space and comfort for the roads.
Not unlike the very popular Alphard and Vellfire, in terms of size and the luxury it delivers, the GranAce though sits on an entirely different platform from the former two and is offered with a (177PS/ 450Nm) 2.8-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder (a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated engine is also offered outside of Japan), just like the Hiace.
However, there’s about where the similarities end, as the GranAce is built on a ladder-frame platform versus the Alphard’s/ Vellfire’s unibody construction. The Alphard and Vellfire are also offered with front-wheel or all-wheel drive and are powered by petrol or hybrid engines making them far more high-tech than the GranAce.
Luxury, space and exclusivity are what you pay for in a GranAce which is why the base variant, the 8-seater ‘GranAce G’ starts off at JPY 6.2 million and the 6-seater ‘GranAce Premium’ (the one spotted here) is priced at JPY 6.5 million. The base model Alphard in Japan, for comparison, starts at JPY 4.24 million, though the most expensive variant, the “Hybrid Executive Lounge” is priced much higher at JPY 7.75 million.
The Toyota GranAce is envisioned as a premium mode of travel for VIPs and tourists and as such slightly different in execution than the Alphard. The fact that it’s offered with a rock-solid turbodiesel engine also points to the fact that the GranAce is optimised for long-haul travel.
There has been some speculation if the GranAce units spotted locally could lead to an official introduction by Toyota Malaysia, but this probably doesn’t hold much water as it has been verified that recond dealers are bringing them in.
Also, the price point (at least for what is advertised by recond dealers) puts the GranAce right within the price range of the well-established Vellfire, which retails for RM382,300. This as you might surmise opens the door for sales cannibalisation, something Toyota Malaysia never does.
However, if you’re looking for a superbly reliable, unique and impeccably luxurious MPV for six, other than an Alphard or Vellfire, then here you go.
Main image credit: FB @Hafis Idris
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