UMW Toyota Motor officially offers Previa and Alphard MPVs in Malaysia

UMW Toyota Motor officially offers Previa and Alphard MPVs in Malaysia

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Parallel-imported JDM Toyota vehicles have proved remarkably popular amongst Malaysian buyers. Typically better appointed than the local line-up whilst still retaining the well-known bullet-proof Toyota quality, models such as the Harrier, Mark X, Caldina, Vellfire, Alphard, and Estima enjoy robust demand in our market. The Alphard and Estima MPVs are particularly sought after by a multitude of buyers, ranging from affluent family owners to luxury transport operators.

None of these models are offered in UMW Toyota Motor’s line-up of Toyota vehicles in Malaysia, although the company can thank the parallel importers for building market awareness of the Lexus brand through the Harrier, an alternate Toyota-branded name for the RX luxury SUV. This example is an exceedingly rare instance of a brand principal actually benefiting from the efforts of grey importers.

The company now seeks to tap into a market segment opened by the grey importers once again with the official launches of the Alphard and Previa (export name of the Estima) MPVs in Malaysia this week. The Previa’s official arrival was earlier confirmed at last year’s KL International Motor Show.

Designed for export markets, the Previa seats seven occupants in three rows of seats in a 2-2-3 configuration with access to the middle and third rows made convenient by powered side sliding doors. While the driver’s seat has 8-way power adjustment, the passengers in the second row can enjoy the journey on Captain and Ottoman seats with integrated footrests at the back of front seats. The second and third rows can be adjusted in various ways, providing flexibility in transporting cargo or occupants. The driver and front passenger can observe on proceedings at the rear using a small wide angle conversation mirror situated near the central rear view mirror.

Powering the Previa is Toyota’s 2.4-litre 2AZ-FE VVT-i petrol engine driving the front wheels via a 4-speed Super ECT automatic transmission with manual gear override. Last seen in the previous generation Camry, the naturally-aspirated four-cylinder powerplant is rated with outputs of 168hp and 224Nm. Under its floor pan, the Previa is independently-sprung up front by MacPherson struts with a torsion beam propping up the rear. Braking is provided by disc brakes all-round supported by anti-lock braking system and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

The bigger and more opulent Alphard, meanwhile, is offered with a selection of two powertrains, namely the same 2.4-litre engine from the Previa this time mated to a CVT with seven virtual ratios, or the 3.5-litre 2GR-FE V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4 makes identical outputs to the Previa whilst the 3.5 wrings out a more potent 271hp and 340Nm.

Interior seating arrangement is similar to the Previa’s, but the driver gets the added luxury of memory seat adjustment that memorizes the preferred side mirror angles as well. Ingress and egress of rear passengers are made easy by powered sliding doors; keyless entry is standard for both variants and the 3.5 additionally comes with a powered tailgate that can be operated by the smart key fob as well.

The Alphard gets a more comprehensive safety package than the Previa with the usual ABS and EBD joined by vehicle stability control (VSC) and seven airbags. Other notable amenities include triple-zone climate control working in tandem with rear air-con vents, twin moon roof, and HID headlamps which is further enhanced with swiveling adaptive function in the 3.5.

Unlike parallel imported examples which are sourced from the used car market in Japan and reconditioned, units of the Alphard and Previa sold by UMW Toyota Motor will come fresh from the factory and are consequently backed by the full might of the company’s comprehensive after sales network and coverage. In the unfortunate event of a potential recall, customers who bought their Alphards and Previas from UMW Toyota can rest assured of complete support from the company’s network of 72 service outlets – grey imported units are on their own. Mechanically, these vehicles are accordingly acclimatized to operate in Malaysian road conditions.

Pricing of these new MPVs by UMW Toyota Motor starts at RM258,017.1 on-the-road for the Previa 2.4 GL. The Alphard, meanwhile, is priced at RM338,000 for the 2.4G and RM398,000 for the 3.5G variants. The first 300 customers receive an introductory package of three years free service, first year free road tax and insurance.

Pictures: Official Toyota release.


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