2012 Toyota Alphard Review
The Toyota Alphard was introduced to the Japanese market in 2002 as a direct competitor to the Nissan Elgrand. Up until that point, the Nissan Elgrand was dominating the 8 seater luxury category and its nearest competitor, the Toyota Hiace was woefully outmatched. Toyota went to the drawing board and answered with the Alphard and later its sibling the Vellfire which showed up in 2008. Together, they blew the Nissan Elgrand out of the water. They come with all imaginable luxuries such as remote controlled double sliding doors, lie flat seats, roof mounted Alpine monitors, dual zone climate and many more.
The Toyota Alphard has been in production for three generations and the Toyota Vellfire has been in production for two generations. The first generation Alphard known as AH10 was in production from 2002 to 2008. The second generation Alphard and first generation Vellfire known as AH20 were in production from 2008 to 2015. The third generation Alphard and second generation Vellfire known as AH30 have been in production from 2015 to present.
In 2008 Toyota Introduced a customized version known as the Vellfire that targets a more youthful clientele. The Alphard and the Vellfire are virtually the same save for minor differences which we will highlight later on in this review. In Kenya, the Alphard competes with the Nissan Elgrand, Mercedes Benz V-Class, and the VW Transporter.
The 2012 Toyota Alphard is offered with 2 engine options; A 2.4 Litre 2AZ-FE engine and a 3.5 Litre 2GR-FE engine that are available in normal and hybrid configurations. These are linked to either a 6-speed automatic, a 7-speed Super CVT-I or a CVT Automatic. Its available in both 2WD and 4WD.
2012 Toyota Alphard Grades
- Toyota Alphard 240X – This is the entry level grade that comes with the 2.4L engine, 17-Inch alloy rims, 8 Seater, Smart Start, Automatic AC, DVD Player,
- Toyota Alphard 240G – This is the mid level grade that comes with the 2.4L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims, Smart Start, Automatic AC, DVD Player, monochrome seats and idling stop. This is further graded into Premium Seat Package that comes with 7 seats with lie flat seats on the second row and the L Package that comes with 8 seats without lie flat seats.
- Toyota Alphard 240S – This is the luxury grade that comes with the 2.4L engine, 18-Inch alloy rims, and an optional 2 panel sunroof. Its further graded into the C Package that comes with 7 seats with lie flat seats on the second row
- Toyota Alphard 350G – This is a mid level grade that comes with the 3.5L engine, 17-Inch alloy rims, Smart Start, Automatic AC, DVD Player, monochrome seats and idling stop. This is further graded into Premium Seat Package that comes with 7 seats with lie flat seats on the second row and the L Package that comes with 8 seats without lie flat seats
- Toyota Alphard 350S – This is a luxury grade that comes with the 3.5L engine, 18-Inch alloy rims, and an optional 2 panel sunroof. Its further graded into the C Package that comes with 7 seats with lie flat seats on the second row
Toyota Alphard Hybrid Grades
The Hybrid is graded as Hyrid X, Hybrid G, and Hybrid SR with similar equipment as the grades above
Legroom & Space
Without question, the Toyota Alphard is one of the most luxurious vans we’ve seen in the market. The seats are spacious and comfortable and comparable only to business class seats on airlines. I mean, how many cars have you seen with lie-flat seats? The cabin is well insulated from external noise and you can have a conversation while cruising down a highway without having to raise your voice. The legroom for all the three rows is excellent and you really can’t ask for anything more.
There are plenty of storage compartments doled all over the cabin to store all manner of things. There are even secret compartments for hiding valuables that can only be found with the help of the user manual.2012 Toyota Alphard Boot Space
With all the three rows in use, there’s sufficient boot space to store about three medium sized suitcases. With the third row seats folded up, the boot space is really big cavernous. Additionally, the second row seats can be slid forward to create an even bigger boot space.
Other Extras: Anti glare rearview mirror, all auto windows, Alpine roof monitor, navigation
Safety Features: SRS Airbags, ABS, EBD, 3 Point seat belts with ELR, Steering Assisted Vehicle Stability(S-VCS)
The Toyota Alphard is a tall bulky van that comes with alloy rims and fog lights as standard. The second generation features a sharper styling with bi-level headlights and a massive aero bumper.
2012 Toyota Alphard Fuel Consumption
2012 Toyota Alphard 2.4L fuel consumption: 12.0 Km/L
2012 Toyota Alphard 2.4L Hybrid fuel consumption: 19.4 Km/L
2012 Toyota Alphard 3.5L fuel consumption: 9.5 Km/L
2012 Toyota Alphard Acceleration
2012 Toyota Alphard 2.4L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.9 sec.
2012 Toyota Alphard 2.4L Hybrid accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.3 sec.
2012 Toyota Alphard 3.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 sec.
2012 Toyota Alphard 3.5L Hybrid accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.0 sec.
2012 Toyota Alphard Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 Litres
2012 Toyota Alphard Ground Clearance
The 2012 Toyota Alphard has a ground clearance of 6.1 Inches(157mm), a few inches shy of the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads. It’s not equipped for any off-road driving and we strongly discourage it. Even for on-road driving, it may be necessary to make some height adjustment to avoid scrapping speed bumps. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.
2012 Toyota Alphard Stability and Handling
We drove the Toyota Alphard and it was nothing short of spectacular. Don’t let its outsize demeanor fool you, the Alphard can outpace most saloons on the road. It grips the tarmac surprisingly well and the ride quality is exceptional. Off the tarmac however, the Alphard is like a fish out of water. We strongly discourage from venturing anywhere out of the tarmac with this motor. The body sits pretty low and scraps every imaginable protrusion on the road.
Minor Service: At 5,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 10,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil
Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
As is a common practice with Toyota, most parts are widely shared with other Toyotas. Mechanical parts and service parts are easily available in major towns in Kenya. Body parts are easy to find in Nairobi but can be difficult to find in other towns. Most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops on this link
2012 Toyota Alphard Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.
The second generation Alphard is a complex car with a lot of sensors and electronics that requires extra care especially in maintenance. The 2.4L 2AZ-FE and 2AZ-FXE engines are particularly sensitive to bad maintenance and will develop problems if not properly maintained. The hybrid systems are generally reliable at low mileage but tend to develop problems as the mileage increases. It is important to carefully read the owner’s manual if you are planning to own the Toyota Alphard.
To download the 2012 Toyota Alphard Owner’s Manual, click here.
Resale Value: Good
Toyota Alphard Competitors: Nissan Elgrand, Mercedes Benz V-Class, and the VW Transporter
Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: See Latest Toyota Alphard Prices here
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 92,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 32,000/- for 4 Tyres
What we like about the 2012 Toyota Alphard
1. Spacious first class cabin
2. Lie flat seats
3. It can carry 8 passengers in absolute comfort
What we don’t
Low ground clearance
There are very few vans in the market today that can match the luxury and comfort of the Toyota Alphard. Whether you are buying for your family or for business, you will not be disappointed with this car. Your passengers will be treated to a spacious cabin that is comparable to first class . The low ground clearance is an issue you will have to deal with and you will have to be selective on the roads you drive on. Besides this, everything else is the Toyota Alphard is a limousine fit for loyalty
Get More With TopCar
If you have a question about this model or any other automotive questions, you can now get answers on our forum.
If you want to sell or trade-in you vehicle, you can list it for free via our seller portal.