Toyota Granvia VX 2020 review

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Describing the all-new 2020 Toyota Granvia as the successor to the trusted Tarago is perhaps a bit misleading.

Yes, both are primarily designed as multi-person transport, but while the last few generations of Tarago were through and through passenger cars, the Granvia is spun from the new Toyota HiAce.

There is no real harm in that. The first Tarago was of commercial origin, and many of Granvia’s rivals are also work-of-based, such as the Volkswagen Multivan, and at the top the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.

For Toyota, it creates an evolutionary slip – but more on that later.

The Granvia arrives as a luxury movement for the range of people that Toyota is moving. The price starts from $ 62,990 plus on-road costs for the entry-level six-seat Granvia and adds $ 2000 for an eight-seat version. The top-level Granvia VX seen here comes to $ 74,990 with six or eight seats.

That starts the new model with more than $ 17,000 above the list price of the cheapest Tarago, although in this case you get a much larger car with a more stubborn diesel engine instead of the timid four-cylinder gasoline or thirsty, but rather charming of the Tarago V6 .

The engine itself is the same as you’ll find with the HiLux and HiAce – a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel with 130 kW at 3400 rpm and a grunty 450 Nm from 1600 to 2400 rpm. It is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and provides power to the rear wheels, rather than the more compact and space-saving layout of the Tarago before.

Lists with fuel consumption of 8.0 liters per 100 km in the combined cycle, but after nearly a week of commuting passengers, start-stop city trips and highway cruises, the Granvia has chosen a less impressive 11.3 l / 100 km – even with its fuel-saving idle-stop system in use.

Although a number of technical reasons mean that the Granvia should not be compared directly with the Tarago, it is difficult not to draw parallels between the two people who move. Especially for previous Tarago owners, the Granvia puts the tape on a considerably 50.5 cm longer, 24 cm longer, 17 cm wider and rides on a wheelbase 26 cm longer, making the newcomer a noticeably larger vehicle in all dimensions.

Although in some situations the Granvia will undoubtedly be used for family duties, the Granvia now moves it away from the family and fleet focus of the Tarago.

Instead, the new model better meets the needs of business customers: hotels, golf clubs, drivers and the like are likely to benefit the most from the repositioning.

While the Tarago placed occupants over three rows, the Granvia opts for four rows of seats, with rows one, two and three in separate “captain’s seats” with a full-width two-seater sofa at the rear. Choose a six-seater model and the rear seat has been omitted, or the base can be folded up and the seat can be shifted into eight seats for more cargo space.

The Granvia VX eight-seat models feature leather upholstery and electrically adjustable second-row seats with an electrically foldable ottoman, while the third-row seats hold with manual operation. In the six-seat versions, the third row has been upgraded with the same power control as row two, along with seat heating for those four seats.

The entry level Granvia adapts a simpler approach, with fabric seat covers and manual seats without Ottomans, but with folding armrests in the second and third rows.

As you can imagine with the seating arrangement as it is and the large dimensions of the Granvia, there is no shortage of headroom or width, although strange legroom is quite tight in eight-seat models. Without using row four, seats can be moved individually to free up more space.

Think of it as an ideal long-distance tourer for six people, or a short-distance shuttle with all seats occupied.

While the second row can be turned and slid forward for easier access to the rear seats, the third row does not move out of the way, leaving only the narrow aisle in the center of the car for access to the fourth row.

The fourth row has its own problems. It is not designed to be removed, so there is no clipping and storage in a whim to increase the luggage space. That may not be a problem for companies, but it is worth considering for private buyers.

At the front, the huge center console offers a ridiculously large amount of space with an open drawer that hides a lid with lid, more storage on the floor and limitations to hold a bottle up to 1.5 liters, but passage from front to rear is no longer possible.

The cabin itself has been carefully prepared. When you are at the front, there is a big step in the cabin, where the front seats are soft and comfortable, but despite being a completely new design, the Granvia’s dashboard is hardly progressive in the way the Tarago’s sweeping interior looks. used to be .

There is no shortage of glossy fake wood finishes in the Granvia VX, an attractive black-on-black color scheme (with optional beige leather available) and more refined surfaces, including padded door sections and soft touch pieces.

The driver is confronted with traditional dials with a multifunctional color display in between, and there is sufficient adjustment to the seat (powered by VX) and steering wheel – but strangely a lack of front seat heating or lumbar support. The gear lever mounted on the dashboard is easy to hand, but there is not as much dashboard storage as professional drivers or tour operators might like.

Climate control for the cabin is divided into two zones, front and rear, while the outlets extend to all four rows of seats. However, map lights are only supplied to rows two and three, although the target lenses can be rotated as desired.

Hand-operated sun protection is provided on the rear glass behind the B-pillar. The Granvia VX has electrically operated sliding doors and versions with six seats also include seat heating for the second and third row of seats.

Everywhere in the rear cabin there are six 2.1-amp USB outputs to keep everyone’s devices charged, and in advance Toyota has improved its infotainment game by adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the 7.0-inch touchscreen system in addition AM / FM / DAB + radio, CD player, Bluetooth, built-in satellite navigation and audio with six speakers in the Granvia or a Pioneer sound system with 12 speakers in the Granvia VX.

In general, the Granvia is not without mistakes. Yes, it is large, but it doesn’t really make sense if the inner leg space between the rows is still relatively tight and the equipment is not particularly high. In the Granvia VX, passengers in the second row are treated like kings, but go further back and you end up in a number of cheap seats – especially the flat and sturdy fourth row.

There is really no luggage space with all four rows up, but sufficiently with the fourth row folded away. But if it were easy to remove completely, it would be better again.

It would also not be a bad idea to expect a powered tailgate, given the high tailgate of the Granvia when it is open and how much effort it takes to swing shut. At least one soft close function closes the door as soon as it rests against the peak.

Otherwise, the seats of the supercushy VX captain are a wonderful place to be, there is ambient lighting for the feeling of luxury after dark, and Toyota – as always – has a climate control system that is easy to use and incredibly effective to keep the cabin fresh on even the hottest days.

On the road, the diesel engine does not meet the refinement benchmarks of its predecessors in the area of ​​gasoline, but more than makes up for it with effortless torque available right from the start. The Granvia is certainly not fast, but it is certainly muscular in the way it builds up speed.

Long driveways to driveways on the highway and extensive overtaking options are preferable, but it is not really necessary to rush. Fortunately, the pace does not decrease dramatically when it is loaded.

The enormous size can count against the Granvia within the city limits, but a surprisingly tight turning circle makes it much more agile than the size suggests. The hydraulic steering is damped on public roads to make it stable and free of tension.

Without adding passengers, the huge rear area can echo road and tire noise, but add to bodywork and luggage and road noise seems out of place. Given the diesel engine in front and the more bluff shape in general, the refinement of the Granvia is not entirely in line with the Tarago.

The trim quality of the eight-seat VX with which we spent our time did not fully meet expectations. Rattles from around the sliding doors and shuffling seats provided some shine while driving, while the multi-part floor mats release too easily from their mountings under the seat rails as passengers get in and out.

However, apart from those relatively minor complaints, the Granvia functions fairly well in its intended role.

That role is not like a family car. Toyota seems to have admitted that market, together with rental fleets, to the Kia Carnival. Instead, the Granvia arrives as the perfect companion for the business hospitality market. It can of course still be filled in for families, although required.

The specification focused on the rear occupants, but offers relatively little for the driver and calls ‘thanks for traveling’ instead of ‘if your children don’t blow down, we’ll go home’. In that sense, the safety kit is decent, but perhaps not fantastic for families. Although not officially classified by ANCAP at the time of writing, the comparable HiAce bears a five-star rating

The equipment list of the Granvia includes functions such as lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist, fast adaptive cruise control and nine airbags.

Seats in the second and third rows include top tether and ISOFIX child restraints, but the fourth row (if any) lacks features, limiting the number of capsules to four.

Toyota covers the Granvia with a five-year guarantee, unlimited mileage for private buyers, or five years / 160,000 km for commercial operators (including part-time use and journeys). Service prices are limited to $ 240 for each of the first six scheduled services; however, the intervals are slightly shorter than the industry standard at six months or 10,000 km.

In the end, the Granvia hits the nail on the head.

It does not want to fill the gap left by the departing Tarago, but instead cuts a new niche as a business shuttle. It is designed to flatter passengers and impress the kind of short journeys that move them from A to B while keeping the driver happy, although not spoiled in the same way.

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