Toyota Australia has confirmed it will retire the long-serving Tarago people mover at the end of 2019, replacing it instead with a Hiace-based van dubbed the Granvia that will offer business-jet luxury for up to eight people.
Due to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Granvia will sell alongside the Tarago for a few months before the latter is discontinued at the end of 2019.
Available with a single diesel powertrain and sold in two grades, pricing has yet to be announced for Toyota’s new big-box luxo-bus. However, with the Tarago spanning from $45,490 to $65,261, we can expect the Granvia’s starting price to fall somewhere within that bracket.
Given the high-end posture that the top-spec model is expected to take, we’d anticipate the sticker price for that one to possibly reach up to the low $80K region, where high-spec Volkswagen Multivan variants and the Mercedes-Benz V-Class live.
Just how much luxury are we talking about? These images of plush power-reclining captain's chairs upholstered in quilted leather illustrate that the high-grade Granvia will be a few rungs above a humble Kia Carnival or Honda Odyssey, though obviously without flying too closely to Lexus territory.
Speaking of which, the Toyota Granvia owes little to the Lexus LM luxury van that made its debut last month at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Lexus shares its platform with the Japanese-market Alphard people mover, which is available with petrol or petrol/electric hybrid power and takes drive primarily to the front wheels.
The Granvia is built atop the Hiace commercial van platform, and sends power to the rear wheels and uses a four-link live axle rear suspension – albeit with coil springs rather than the Hiace’s leaf springs.
The Lexus LM, which can be had in an ultra-exclusive (or selfish?) four-seat configuration, is not slated for an Australian release.
Equipment levels are yet to be fully detailed, but the safety equipment on locally-delivered Granvias will include nine airbags, active cruise control, collision detection and warning, and autonomous emergency braking.
Other available safety features which have yet to be confirmed for Australia include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, auto high-beam and rear cross-traffic alert. Given the increasingly safety-conscious Australian market, we’d expect all of those features to be standard on locally-delivered Granvias.
What has definitely been confirmed is that power sliding rear doors, power-adjustable seats for the driver and second-row captain’s chairs and leather upholstery will be available (though likely confined to the range-topper). Infotainment will be provided by Toyota’s latest touchscreen system, similar to that of the Corolla and Camry, with a total of four USB charge points and 12 speakers.
Though based on the Hiace and using the commercial van’s cabin plastics as its basis, the Granvia will feature higher-quality surfacing on the dashboard and doors to elevate the cabin ambience, not to mention ambient light piping throughout the cabin to cast a soft glow on all that supple leather.
Pitched largely at corporate/airport transfer operators as well as high-end hotels, Toyota expects the Granvia will also find favour among family buyers looking for something that’s practical, physically huge on the inside and luxurious – buyers who likely would have found the Tarago to be wanting in those regards.
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