It’s Christmas Day, but clearly the folks at Toyota do not know the concept of a holiday, as they have unveiled the facelifted Toyota Alphard and Vellfire today. The luxury MPVs, which go on sale in Japan on January 8, receive a freshened look, a revised V6 engine and numerous driver assistance features.

The biggest change is the adoption of the second-generation Toyota Safety Sense, now fitted as standard across the range. Announced earlier this month, the system now incorporates pedestrian and cyclist (daytime only) detection for the Pre-Collision System, along with Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA) and a front departure alert function at jams and traffic lights.

Another revision can be found under the bonnet, with the new 2GR-FKE 3.5 litre V6 adding direct injection to the mix. Output figures have not been released, but Toyota naturally claims improved performance with the new engine, as well as better fuel economy – consumption is quoted at between 10.4 and 10.6 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle, down from 9.5 km per litre previously.

The V6 models also move from a six-speed automatic transmission to an eight-speed Direct Shift unit. The 180 hp/235 Nm 2.5 litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder and CVT combo has been retained, as has the Hybrid model that combines a 150 hp 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle engine, a 141 hp electric motor and a 67 hp rear motor to provide all-wheel drive and a claimed fuel consumption figure of 19.4 km per litre.

Elsewhere, greater use of structural adhesives as well as high-rigidity glass adhesives have resulted in increased body rigidity, contributing to better handling stability and ride comfort.

Other changes are largely cosmetic in nature, with both the Alphard and Vellfire gaining a redesigned front fascia. The former receives an even more prominent full-height grille, with chrome trim that moves outward to bisect the headlights. Those headlights themselves have also been given new internal graphics with either two or three LED projectors, depending on specification.

Meanwhile, the Vellfire gets a giant chrome plated grille and triangular fog light surrounds, giving it an even more distinctive look. On both vehicles, the Aero models gain a sportier front bumper with larger fog light surrounds, with the Vellfire taking after the facelifted Voxy. Lastly, there are new tail lights (with square light guides in the case of the Vellfire), tailgate garnish and wheel design options.

Inside, you’ll find a new instrument cluster design, leather upholstery and wood grain options, plus a new black and white Nappa leather option. Wellcab models for disabled users also gain a new tilt mechanism for the seat to ease the load of the carer, and the seat also sticks out less when extended outside, making entry and egress easier in tight parking spaces.

The variant lineup has also been rejigged, with the ultra-luxurious six-seater Executive Lounge models now available on the Aero models as well, badged the Alphard Executive Lounge S and Vellfire Executive Lounge Z. At the other end of the spectrum are new base variants for the Hybrid Aero models, the Alphard Hybrid S and the Alphard Hybrid Z. So, what do you guys think of the new Alphard and Vellfire? And Merry Christmas!

GALLERY: Toyota Alphard facelift

GALLERY: Toyota Vellfire facelift