2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

The fourth-generation Toyota Alphard and Vellfire has been officially launched in Malaysia. UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) is once again providing two options for the country’s most popular luxury vehicle – the Alphard in Executive Lounge spec and the ‘entry-level’ Vellfire. This post looks at the Vellfire 2.5L, which is yours for RM438,000 on-the-road without insurance.

That’s RM100,000 less than the Alphard 2.4T Executive Lounge, but you do get less, of course. The biggest change from the previous template – aside from the use of the GA-K version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform – is a turbo engine to replace the familiar 3.5-litre V6. In Malaysia, only the Alphard gets the turbo engine.

The entry level

The Vellfire gets a carryover 2AR-FE 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 182 PS and 235 Nm of torque at 4,100 rpm. The naturally aspirated Dual VVT-i unit is paired to a Super CVT-i gearbox with seven virtual ratios in the manual mode. Top speed is 170 km/h and claimed fuel consumption is 9.1 litres per 100 km.

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

The Alphard’s 2.4-litre turbo engine not only incurs lower road tax, but it has a substantial advantage of 96 PS and 195 Nm, and max torque (430 Nm) is made lower and sustained for much longer. It also has a higher top speed (by 10 km/h) and better fuel consumption (by 0.1 L/100 km), so it’s clearly superior in both luxury (Executive Lounge) and performance. You’re getting a lot for your RM100k premium, actually.

Speaking of powertrains, in Japan, the latest Vellfire comes with the choice of hybrid or turbo. The HEV, which we covered at GIIAS 2023, is a series-parallel hybrid that pairs a Dynamic Force engine (specifically the A25A-FXS 2.5L NA with 190 PS/236 Nm) with an e-motor with 182 PS/270 Nm. Total system output is 250 PS. The turbo option is our Alphard’s 2.4T unit.

We’re getting an unusual combo. In Japan, the Alphard is only available with the 2.5L NA and HEV, while the Executive Lounge is hybrid-only. Here, we get it with turbo. There, the sportier-flavoured Vellfire is HEV or turbo, but Malaysia gets the 2.5L NA Perhaps it’s due to the Alphard being given a higher positioning by UMWT, but we get inverse combos – Alphard EL turbo, Vellfire NA, both not available in Japan.

Also, since the Vellfire is the sportier twin, its suspension gets a front performance brace and the tyres are UHP Dunlops. Those would be more suited to the 2.4T and not the most junior engine and a CVT. No hybrid in a country where petrol is cheaper than Coke – and where Vellfire drivers idle most of the day without a care about FC – is understandable though. The hybrid is sold in both Thailand and Indonesia, by the way.

Maxed out in size

The AH40 might be immediately recognisable as the Alphard/Vellfire, but it’s all-new underneath with the TNGA platform. Dimensions wise, the Vellfire is a touch over five metres long at 5,005 mm, but the 1,850 mm width and 3,000 mm wheelbase are unchanged. Ditto the height, which tops out at 1,950 mm.

Why didn’t they go bigger? The Alphard/Vellfire may be ubiquitous on our roads, but it’s primarily a model for Japan. The box on wheels needs to fit standard automated parking systems in its home market, so this is the limit. However, interior space between the front and second-row seats, and between second- and third-row seats, are up by 5 mm and 10 mm respectively.

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

Toyota claims more comfort and a better drive. The new Alphard/Vellfire features straight rockers and a V-shaped brace in the rear for a 50% improvement in rigidity. Toyota also optimised the use of structural adhesives to limit deformation of the body and achieve ‘outstanding manoeuvrability and stability’.

Ultimate comfort is the mission here, and measures like the use of rubber bushings in the attachment portions of the cushion frames, and memory foam in the seats, combine for approximately 30% reduction in vibration.

Much-improved cockpit

The outgoing Vellfire is already a very luxurious machine but this one takes things a step further. And it’s a big step. Before heading to the main hall, let’s take a look at the cockpit, which is very Lexus in design and even materials. All-black is the sole option here (Alphard gets a beige-brown-black combo too), and all touch points are covered in soft materials. The Vellfire uses synthetic leather while the Alphard EL comes with Nappa leather.

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

Your chauffeur (or yourself during the weekends) will be looking at a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel (no head-up display), but the dashboard’s centrepiece is the 14-inch touchscreen that integrates AC (auto with front Nanoe X) and seat ventilation/heating controls. From the previous-gen’s UMWT double-DIN, this factory unit is leagues ahead in both function and appearance. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless charging and a 15-speaker JBL sound system.

The steering wheel has woodgrain trim, heating and powered tilt/telescopic adjustment with memory, but it does without the Alphard’s electrostatic switches and paddle shifters. The steering controls are minimal, just like the very clean centre console, which aside from the head unit/AC, has only a few driving-related buttons behind the gear lever.

Another upgrade over the previous car is the digital rear view mirror, which is fed by a discreetly integrated camera above the rear Toyota logo. Lastly, the driver’s seat is eight-way powered with memory while the front passenger chair is four-way powered, both with heating and ventilation. The driver gets all kinds of views to assist in parking, and you can choose the colour of the avatar to match your Vellfire’s colour. UMWT has added front and rear dashcams.

Airplane-style ambience

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

It’s a plush workspace for the driver, but the Alphard/Vellfire is all about the boss seats in the rear. The Vellfire’s ‘Executive Power Seat’ may not be as wide and feature-rich as the VIP seat in the Alphard Executive Lounge, but they’re still very comfortable. You get powered adjustment, ottoman, ventilation and heating, a USB charger and a shared flip-up tray between the seats. Fold away the tray and you can walk through the boss seats to access the third row – this is not possible with the Alphard EL’s wider seats.

Adding greatly to the airplane-style sense of occasion are the glass roof panels, bisected by a panel that has two flip-down sunglass bins, lights, controls and air con vents. No screen though, as that’s Alphard-only. This means that each VIP seat gets its own (fixed) roof glass panel with shade. Speaking of shades, the electronic side window shades come down instead go up – a small thing that I find really cool. No more sunroof for the driver in this generation.

There’s no shortage of charging and storage spaces. Below the inner armrest is a USB-C port. The outer armrest has a flip-open cupholder. Behind the cockpit’s centre console lies AC vents, an AC plug and a bin, and below the front seats are slim trays that I can imagine “hotel slippers” in.

There’s nothing much to say about the third-row seats other than the fact that technically, this is a bench for three people and the Alphard is a seven-seater. Best for just two though, and occupants have their own USB-C ports (seven in total), cupholders and electronic sunshades.

Safety as you’d expect

As the AH40 Vellfire is a high-end model that’s just a few months old in Japan, you’d expect it to come with the latest safety features and it does. The Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver assist suite includes Pre-collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).

Those features are supplemented by Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Isofix child seat mounts. By the way, the headlamps are tri-LEDs with sequential signals (rear too), cornering lamps and daytime running lights. UMWT’s standard issue dashcam (front and rear), vehicle telematics system and solar/security window film are included.

Differences with the Alphard

Finally, the design differences between the Alphard and Vellfire. Both have a much larger grille area than before, and the Vellfire’s is filled with thick, chromed horizontal slats from top to bottom. They’ve integrate the Vellfire’s signature split headlamps into the design. Compared to the its twin, the Vellfire’s ‘jaw’ is square and prominent thanks to a chrome border, which is repeated at the rear bumper.

At the back, it’s easy to tell both apart. Vellfire is spelled out prominently above the number plate, and the tail light pattern is a ‘double-U’ with a full-width light bar. The latter is traced by a straight chrome line. The Alphard’s chrome trim is contoured, and it gets ‘dash lines’ as LED DRLs and tail lamps, with no light bar.

The side profile of the box sports a prominent beltline that looks like a ‘Z’. It’s at this Z intersection that you find the new Vellfire ‘V’ logo, which also can be found on the key fob.

No difference in the 19-inch two-tone wheel design, but the 225/55 tyres are different – Michelin Primacy SUV+ touring tyres for the Alphard and Dunlop SP Sport Maxx UHP rubber for the Vellfire. As the sportier twin, the Vellfire also gets a front performance brace that connects the radiator support and side members for extra rigidity.

The sporty one also comes with an all-black interior theme, from the seats to the dashboard, pillars and headlining. The Alphard gives you a choice of this safe, or a brighter, warmer combination of black (headlining and upper dash), brown and beige upholstery. As for exterior colours, Vellfire buyers can choose from pearl white, silver or black.

Once again, the Vellfire 2.5L is priced at RM438,000 on-the-road without insurance, RM100,000 less than the Alphard 2.4T Executive Lounge at RM538,000. Buying these CBU Japan imports from official importer UMWT will get you a five-year unlimited mileage factory warranty and reliable after-sales support. What do you think of the Alphard/Vellfire as a luxury business machine versus big sedan limos like the BMW i7? Click on the link to go to the Alphard post.

2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L AH40 launched in Malaysia – RM438k ‘entry-level’ model 100k cheaper than Alphard

Toyota Vellfire spec sheet; click to enlarge

GALLERY: 2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L

GALLERY: 2024 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L official photos

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Dah Menang Semua on Oct 23, 2023 at 9:04 am

    (Like) brand-new 440K Vellifire 2.5L
    (Dislike)2021 280K 15K Alphard 2.5L

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6
  • PHBN Korup on Oct 23, 2023 at 9:28 am

    Suitable car for corrupt ministers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4
    • Like Najib

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7
    • hazri on Oct 24, 2023 at 3:56 pm

      you mean ex minister who has alphard plate no PA 5, drive like crazy dont follow rule, potong double line, and tak reti parking tempat yg betul? yes you right.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • Finally, the slotted/stacked/jagged gear lever is gone. Is that term correct? Anyway, u know what I meant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Bit too late to launched it now. Many people probably have a parallel import unit from Japan already. Not to mention cheaper than RM438k.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 16
    • Squid on Oct 23, 2023 at 1:54 pm

      Telling us u know nothing about parallel importing without telling us u know nothing about parallel importing…

      You can only parallel import a car that has been registered for a minimum of 1 year in Japan. The Alphard & Vellfire was launched in Japan in June this year. That means the earliest parallel import to arrive here will be in July next year.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
  • alibaba902 on Oct 23, 2023 at 10:21 am

    cheaper 100k price tag @ 438k, like RM400k is something value as RM400.00 to everyone, BRAVO

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • Zenix seems to be better option with more power hybrid, better fc and n macho look

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
    • Peppa on Oct 23, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      Zenix macho look? It looks dated already. And the zenix is also overpriced horse shit made by indon. While these things are cbu Japan

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
  • Unker Sammy on Oct 23, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Not buying if not having a corporate driver, just to lagak and using as onli car is not my style. Unfortunately a lot of kaki tayang buy for balik kampung very year just to show off, every festival if can’t buy, rela sewa. Really oversized for our roads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
    • Biar papa asal bergaya on Oct 24, 2023 at 4:14 am

      Sewa pun sewa la. At least the kampungs relatives will think we’re doing so well we change new car every raya

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  • who am i on Oct 23, 2023 at 10:46 am

    despite all the hype. Whenever the company offers the Alphard for my business trips, I usually opt for a regular s5-series instead. It is just more comfortable. The alphard sways a lot in turns. Dizzying

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12
    • Sapot on Oct 23, 2023 at 11:23 am

      My parents eat salts more than I eat rice.
      They know what to choose for superior comfort,

      Either the BMW X7 or the LM to match this new TNGA Vellfir3

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  • Total rip-off at half mill for a box toyota mpv.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
  • DonkeyKong on Oct 23, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Every new iteration looks uglier and screams “asshole” louder and louder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12
    • can't stop a donkey from being an @ss on Oct 23, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      of course, donkey ears should be extra sensitive to ‘@ssh0le’..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
  • ALFATT on Oct 23, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    UMWT purposely repositioned so that the local consumer who can afford brand new car can be differentiated

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Gerardo on Oct 23, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    Another lalapek, lalapiang design.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • VellFarts on Oct 26, 2023 at 9:34 pm

      Some say Jinjang Beng style. But yes, really Asean looking and faggot looking van.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • SUV are cool vs Van on Nov 21, 2023 at 7:38 am

    That kind of price for a van? might as well get a Lexus/Audi/BMW/Merc/bentley/porsche/Lambo Big SUV. more stylish than a van. Yuks, cannot imagine myself driving this van, horrible handling and looks like an old man…hahahahha…seriously no way i will get caught driving this van…zero style vs a premium SUV

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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