The Toyota GranAce is a large MPV built on a ladder frame chassis that underpins the sixth generation H300 Toyota HiAce commercial van. It is rear wheel drive, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a trailing-link rigid-axle rear suspension with coil springs.
Although the underpinnings may be van-based, the GranAce is built like a luxury MPV, which is nothing unusual as it is similar to what Mercedes-Benz has done with their Vito Tourer, turning it into a more premium product called the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.
The Toyota GranAce made its debut in Japan, but it has also been launched in a few other countries. A few notable right hand drive markets for the GranAce outside of Japan include the Thailand market, where it was launched as the Toyota Majesty and the Australian market, where it was launched as the Toyota Granvia.
What are the pros and cons of using a diesel engine?
In all markets, the GranAce is available with a 2.8 litre four cylinder turbodiesel engine. The engine is the familiar 1GD-FTV which we will find locally in the Toyota Fortuner and the Toyota Hilux. The Toyota GranAce’s engine outputs 177 PS at 3,400 rpm and 450 Nm of torque from 1,600-2,400 rpm, which is a little less power and torque compared to the Hilux/Fortuner’s 204 PS, 500 Nm tune. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The biggest benefit of using a diesel engine would be fuel economy. Diesel engines are usually significantly more economical compared to a petrol engine. The typical consumption of a diesel MPV of this size is around 10L per 100 km. An MPV like the Alphard with its normally aspirated petrol engine averages upwards of 14L per 100 km. The GranAce has a 70 litre fuel tank, which we suspect could easily take it 700 km or so per tankful. This means less stops to refuel on long journeys.
The cons is of course less refinement compared to a petrol engine, both in terms of noise levels, vibration and smell. If your driving pattern for your MPV so happens to involve a lot of idling while waiting, the whole area would be enveloped by the smell of diesel exhaust, which isn’t very pleasant.
How big is the Toyota GranAce?
How big is the Toyota GranAce? It’s big! Here’s the exterior dimensions compared with other three and four row MPVs available in Malaysia, such as the Toyota Alphard, Hyundai Staria, the four-row Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer (extra long wheelbase) and the three-row Mercedes-Benz V-Class (long wheelbase)
The Toyota GranAce is second in terms of length at 5300 mm, which is 70 mm less than the longest vehicle, the Vito Tourer, and 355 mm more than the shortest vehicle, the Toyota Alphard. The GranAce is tied with the Hyundai Staria for the tallest vehicle in the group, both standing at 1990 mm. The GranAce has the third longest wheelbase at 3210 mm. It’s 220 mm less than the longest wheelbase vehicle, the Vito Tourer, and 210 mm more than the vehicle with the shortest wheelbase, the Toyota Alphard.
What seating arrangements are available for the Toyota GranAce?
As far as we can tell, there are three different seating configurations for the Toyota GranAce. Here is a list of seat configurations as well as the market each config is sold in.
1. Three row, 6-seater
The GranAce is available as a three-row 6-seater in the Japan and Australian markets. In Japan, this option is called the Premium, while in Australia, both the Granvia and Granvia VX specs are available with this three-row 6-seater option.
The six seats have a 2-2-2 configuration. Both the second row and third row seats are “captain chair” style seats with fully covered side armrests.
2. Four row, 8-seater
For those who want more seating capacity, the GranAce is also available as a four-row, 8-seater in both Japan and Australia. In Japan, this spec is called the G spec, while in Australia it’s known as the Granvia 8-seater and Granvia VX 8-seater.
The eight seats have a 2-2-2-2 configuration. Only the second row has covered side armrests. The third row consists of two individual seats but they use fold-down style armrests. The fourth row is a bench that looks like it can seat three, but there are only 2 seatbelts and the middle seat’s base has a storage hole in it.
3. Four row, 11-seater
This seating configuration is not available in Japan or Australia, but seems exclusive to the Toyota Majesty in Thailand. It has 11 seats in a 3-2-2-4 config.
For this config, the first row has three seats – if you really wanted to if you asked someone small to sit in between the driver and the front passenger.
The second and third rows look identical to the 8-seater version, but the fourth row has four narrower seat bases with a total of four sets of seatbelts. Being able to sit four people abreast is impressive and is a testament to just how big this MPV is, but the seats of this four seater bench will probably suit thinner people better and may not be suitable for child seat installation as they may not be wide enough.
What safety features does the Toyota GranAce have?
In terms of safety, the Toyota GranAce has 9 airbags, including driver’s seat, passenger seat, driver’s knee, 2x front curtain shield, 2x rear curtain shield, 2x side airbag.
It also has the Toyota Safety Sense suite, including Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, Pre-Collision Safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, Road Sign Assist (speed signs only), Automatic High Beam and Active Cruise Control (high speed).
One interesting feature is a digital rear view mirror, which displays a feed from a rear camera instead of relying on a physical mirror.
How much is the Toyota GranAce priced in Malaysia?
The only way for you to buy a Toyota GranAce in Malaysia is via the grey import market, because UMW Toyota Motor does not sell it here officially.
The Toyota GranAce stock here in Malaysia at the grey importers are all from Japan, which means you’ll have either a choice of the 6-seater Premium or the 8-seater G spec. We have full galleries of sample stock found in Malaysia below so you can check it out.
As of time of publishing (end May 2023), prices range from RM339k all the way up to for a 2020 model up to RM433k for a 2022 model. There does not appear to be any significant price difference between the Premium spec and the G spec, it seems you pay about the same price no matter if you buy a three-row 6 seater model or a four-row 8 seater model.
As far as we can tell, there’s no four-row 11 seater model like the Thai spec Toyota Majesty available for purchase in Malaysia. We can’t import Thai cars in as grey imports either, so no luck via that route.
Will Malaysia ever get an officially imported Toyota GranAce?
We wonder if UMW Toyota Motor plans to bring the GranAce in anytime in the future. Toyota Australia replaced the Tarago (Estima) with this model. We used to have the Estima sold here as the Previa positioned under the Vellfire. Perhaps this could occupy a similar positioning in the Malaysian line-up? Pricing could be competitive if the four row model is sold given the advantageous tax structure here.
Yes, in Malaysia four-row MPVs get a commercial vehicle loophole of sorts, which results in the massive price difference between the three-row Staria Premium and the four-row Staria 10-seater. It’s how the 10-seater can be priced at RM210k for the Max but the 7-seater goes for RM358k. The four-row model simply attracts less tax.
In the Thai market, the Majesty went for 1.7 million baht up to 2.199 million baht for the top spec. That’s RM230k-RM290k. In Japan, the GranAce Premium is priced at 6.5 million yen (RM213k) while the GranAce G goes for 6.2 million yen (RM204k).
If the GranAce four-row gets the same tax benefits as the four-row Staria, it can probably be priced at RM250k and below here in Malaysia, which is pretty competitive against the Staria Max’s RM210k pricing.
GALLERY: Toyota GranAce 2.8 G (8 seater, four row)
GALLERY: Toyota GranAce 2.8 Premium (6 seater, three row)
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* This article was originally published here
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