Toyota has launched the Majesty in Thailand. The Majesty is essentially a luxury version of the Commuter passenger van, a less expensive Alphard, if you like. However, it’s far from budget. Imported CBU from Japan, the Majesty is priced from 1.709 million baht (RM231,925) for the Standard and 1.899 million baht (RM257,801) for the Premium, to 2.199 million baht (RM298,528) for the range topping Grande variant.

Also known as the Granvia in Australia, the Majesty is based on the latest generation Toyota Hiace van, which made its debut early this year. The popular van, which passenger version is called Commuter, has Normal/Standard Roof and Long/High Roof bodies – at 5,265 mm long, 1,950 mm wide and 1,990 mm tall (wheelbase 3,210 mm), the Majesty is based on the Standard roofed van.

By the way, those dimensions put the Majesty 320 mm longer, 100 mm wider and 95 mm taller than the Alphard and Vellfire. The wheelbase is 210 mm longer than the luxury MPV’s. It also beats the Hyundai Starex in all dimensions.

It may be styled like an Alphard, but the Majesty’s powerplant betrays its roots. Under that new and more protruding hood lies a 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that Hilux owners are familiar with. The 1GD-FTV makes 163 hp and 420 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,200 rpm. Designed to take in B20 biodiesel, it’s paired with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

No leaf spring rear suspension here – the Majesty utilises front MacPherson struts and four-link rear units, with stabiliser bars at both ends. At each corner are disc brakes and 17-inch alloys with 235/60 tyres.

As for kit, this plush van gets projector LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lamps, auto headlamps and wipers, electric folding wing mirrors with turn signals, chrome door handles, twin electric sliding doors, keyless entry and push start, Optitron meter panel with 4.2-inch multi-info display, auto air con with nano-e and vents for all, selectable ambient lighting and sunshades for second/third row windows.

The entertainment system is a seven-inch touchscreen head unit with Bluetooth, navigation, 12 speakers and Toyota Thailand’s T-Connect telematics system.

As for seating, the Majesty is still a four-row vehicle, with 11 seats in a 3-2-2-4 formation. All are covered in leather, but the focus is on those two second row boss seats, which have plus headrests, ottoman, massage function and electric adjustment. The row behind also gets individual captain chairs, but they have fold down armrests and nothing more.

The fourth row, which has four pairs of headrests and seatbelts, can be folded away 50:50, sideways. Pearl white cars get a black tone cabin, while black cars can choose from black or beige interior colours. Wood trim is standard across the cabin and on the steering wheel as well.

Lastly, the Majesty is equipped with ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, auto limited slip differential, hill assist control, emergency stop signal and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

This big box also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beam. Also on are a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and a panoramic view monitor for parking. There are nine airbags including a driver’s knee unit.

The Toyota Majesty might be based on a van, but that’s also the case for people carriers by Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. If the ride comfort and refinement is up to scratch (there’s a diesel engine under there to tame), it might be an adequate (and more spacious) replacement of sorts for the Alphard, which by the way starts from a whopping 3.747 million baht (RM508,398) in Thailand. Seeing how popular the Alphard/Vellfire is in Malaysia, do you think the Majesty might work here?