Toyota Granvia VX 2020 road test review

Two Toyota Granvia VX parked out the front of a building

Greg Hill

Posted March 20, 2020


Greg Hill takes the eight-seat Toyota Granvia VX for a drive.

Toyota Granvia VX is a niche vehicle. While it fills the gap in Toyota’s line-up left by the retirement of the long-serving Tarago, the Granvia, particularly the eight-seat VX version we tested, is focused on a slightly different audience. Its size, luxurious seating and premium price are more suited to high-end hospitality and corporate buyers than everyday transport for a large family.

Starting from $62,990 plus on-road costs, it comes in two specification grades – Granvia and Granvia VX – with each offering plenty of standard equipment and the choice of six or eight-seat versions. Interestingly, both six and eight-seat VX models are $74,990 plus on-road costs, as the six-seater gets additional power adjustment on the third-row seats, rather than the fourth-row seats.

Thumbs up

Comfortable riding, luxury presentation and features. Superb individual captain’s chairs.

Thumbs down 

Limited luggage space. Can be awkward to park in tight spaces. There are traces of its commercial van origins.

Dash of 2020 Toyota Granvia
2020 Toyota Granvia engine
Steering wheel of Toyota Granivia VX 2020

 

Toyota has put a modern spin on the old concept of taking a commercial van, fitting extra seats and luxury features to create a people mover. Unlike the earlier people-movers though, the Granvia is quite civilised to drive and safety concerns are a thing of the past. Granvia has a five-star ANCAP rating and comes standard with nine airbags as well as a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features.

Based on the latest HiAce platform, the Granvia is a big vehicle, measuring 5.3 metres in length, almost two metres wide and two metres high, with the eight-seat VX tipping the scales at a hefty 2660 kilograms. Externally, Granvia is better dressed than the HiAce but its origins are unmistakable.

Climbing up into the comfortable, leather-accented front seats, the driver has a commanding view of the road ahead. The layout at the wheel has a clear, straightforward presentation similar-to the HiAce, but with upmarket trimmings and a few extra features.

Rightly so for a people mover, rear-seat accommodation is at the heart of the Granvia VX story. Power-operated rear doors on each side open wide to reveal large, luxurious captain’s chairs in the second and third rows, with a two-seat bench in the fourth row. The two big, opulent second-row captain chairs are the best place to be as they feature a multitude of power adjustments and ottoman leg rests. Slipping between the seats into the third row, the two Captain’s chairs are a similar size and shape, but only have manual adjustment and no ottoman. At the back, bench seat is a little more basic. 

For such a large vehicle, the leg room is not massive, but the ability to slide the seats fore-and-aft does allow a comfortable compromise to be found. With all seats occupied the luggage compartment behind the fourth row is disappointingly tiny and won’t hold much more than a folded picnic rug. This could be a problem for a family needing to carry luggage, a pram or sports gear. The fourth seat can be folded and flipped to increase the rear luggage space, but it’s still not great.

 

Side view of silver Toyota Granvia VX

 

Propulsion is provided by Toyota’s smooth 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel which can also be found in a variety of other models including Prado, HiLux and Fortuna.   It’s a proven unit that produces 130kW of power with 450Nm of torque from 1600 to 2400rpm to drive the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. This combination delivers good performance in the right areas – that is, strong pulling power and flexibility for appropriate driveability in everyday use, rather than tyre-chirping acceleration on take-off.

Official ADR fuel consumption is a respectable 8.0L/100km and, driven mainly around the suburbs, our test vehicle averaged 9.7L/100km. Given Granvia’s size, weight and potential carrying capacity, however, we would expect some noticeable variations in fuel consumption, depending on the operating conditions.   

For such a large, high-riding passenger van, the Granvia is surprisingly easy to drive and well mannered on the road. While you are always aware of the bulk, light and responsive steering provides good manoeuvrability, it rides comfortably, corners securely and the body roll is well controlled. Squeezing into shopping-centre carparks is when Granvia’s size becomes most apparent. A tight driveway at home might also be an issue for some.

Granvia is covered by Toyota’s five-year, 100,000-kilometre warranty with service intervals every six months or 15,000 kilometres. The first six scheduled services have a capped price of $240 each. 

 


The verdict

Eight-seat people mover drives well for such a big vehicle, accommodates passengers comfortably and more luxuriously than many, but the limited luggage space may deter some family buyers.

 

Toyota Granvia VX

Price

Price: $74,990 plus $7372 on-road costs
Model range: $62,990 to $74,990 plus on-road costs

Drivetrain

2.8-litre, six-speed auto, rear-wheel drive.
Max. Power: 130kW@3400rpm.
Max. Torque: 450Nm@1600 to 2400rpm.
Wheels: 17-inch alloys.

Fuel

Diesel, 70-litre tank.
Consumption: 9.7 litres/100km, 8.0 litres/100km.
CO2 emissions: 211g/km.

Safety

Five-star ANCAP, nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, road-sign assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear-view camera with guidelines, front and rear parking sensors.

Features

LED headlights, high-speed active cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, satellite navigation, quilted leather-accented upholstery.

Warranty

60-month / 100,000-kilometre warranty.
12-month / 15,000-kilometre services.


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