The Vellfire is Toyota’s flagship MPV offering in India, and from what we see, it’s definitely one of those products that politicians and film stars won’t mind being seen in. It has massive presence, offers astounding levels of comfort and comes packed with equipment. But the question is, does it justify its price tag?
Looks like luxury
What lies ahead of you is clearly a very huge MPV. It may not be as long as a Kia Carnival, but that short bonnet and the slab-like side profile make it look huge. At the front, the Toyota Vellfire gets a massive, chrome-laden grille that is sure to scare away smaller cars on the road. Then you’ll notice the double-decker headlamps that give the face a sharp look. We also like the slanting second-row window which basically tells you it is a Vellfire from the side. At the rear too, there’s quite a lot happening in the details. It gets LED tail lamps, lots of chrome and a roof spoiler.
A luxurious cabin
The looks of the Toyota Vellfire may not be to everyone’s taste, but getting the design spot-on, on any MPV tends to be a challenge for a car manufacturer. It’s when you step inside the Vellfire that you notice what it is truly built for in the first place. Thanks to the three-metre long wheelbase, it has lots of room on offer, and it’s the middle row that has to be experienced the most. The huge chairs are so comfortable, they could be mistaken for being used from a high-end luxury car. There’s a small console found below the armrest that gives you access to different settings. It also features cooled/heated seats, an adjustable backrest and powered legrests that can be set at different angles and lengths. When the seats are pushed all the way back, fully extended, it forms a near-flat bed. ‘Boss mode’ ensures the front passenger seat slides forward, helping free up space to stretch further into the rear. The middle-row seats are perhaps the best we’ve experienced. At the back, folding out from the roof, is a 13.0-inch entertainment screen. We just wish the remote used to control it looked a bit modern. Toyota Cars have also offered features like fold-out tables and cupholders, sunblinds for the second and third row windows, a rear sunroof, 16 colour options for the roof lighting, auto climate control and the lot.
Getting into the last row isn’t the easiest. No doubt, the middle-row slides forward easily, but the aperture seems a tight squeeze for anyone who’d like to sit in the last row. However, once you’re seated, there is ample room. Even tall occupants will be comfortable. The passenger sitting in the middle though, might find legroom a bit cramped. The rear-most row even gets foldable armrests and the reclining backrest is more than what you can ask for. The seats can also be split, moved forward and folded upwards, giving you more room for your luggage at the back. And thanks to the low loading lip, putting in luggage won’t be a strain.
Toyota Cars have decided to sell the Toyota Vellfire with a hybrid powertrain that includes a petrol engine working in sync with a 141bhp front axle motor. There is also a 67bhp rear axle motor that works only if extra grip is required, making it seem like an all-wheel-drive system. Under the bonnet lies a 2.5-litre petrol engine, developing 115bhp and 198Nm of torque. Performance feels sufficient, and in order to have the EV mode activated, you’ll need a light right foot. Toyota Cars state that the Vellfire is capable of running on battery power solely for 60% of its life in our driving conditions. Behind the wheel, you are seated comfortably; the steering isn’t heavy and you get a good view around, thanks to the big glasshouse and the 360-degree camera. We liked the 10-inch touchscreen unit, featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The front seats literally pamper you and the front passenger is bound to love the powered leg rest function. The quality of plastics is what you’d expect of a car costing more than a crore of rupees, despite there being leather lined and padded surfaces. Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.