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2023 Toyota Vellfire Hybrid Review Singapore

The 2023 Toyota Vellfire Hybrid is a full size MPV powered by a 2.5 Litre 4 cylinder engine paired with 134kW electric motor and CVT for a combined 247 bhp of power and 239Nm of torque. The design of the car has been updated with a redesign of the front and rear appearance, along with a redesign of the interior cabin. The car features 2nd row ottoman seats, full automatic sliding doors, blinds, and panoramic roof. The car is equipped with wireless Apple Carplay & Android Auto, along with a multi function steering wheel.

Better Looking Than Before

Truthfully, nobody ever really expects a full size MPV like the Vellfire to excel in the looks department. The boxy and un-athletic shape of these MPVs seem to have been set in stone a long time ago, and there hasn't really been much effort to really reinvent this particular wheel. While that is still the case, and Toyota haven't reinvented the MPV template, the new Vellfire has received some significant styling upgrades on its exterior and interior, giving it just enough of a refresh to look modern and up to date.

Up front, a much sleeker front end sees the application of a more elongated bonnet, giving the car a less van-like footprint. Further down, redesigned bumpers with edgy bits of styling, paired with a large and solid-looking front grille give the car a sportier and more modern appeal. At the rear, a large Vellfire emblem takes centre stage and somehow elevates the Vellfire brand to a slightly different level than before. Inside, updated cosmetics and switchgear borrowed from the Lexus LM also help elevate the quality of the cabin. This theme generally continues into the rest of the cabin, exuding a certain first class quality when you take a seat in the car.

More Premium & Refined

Overall, the step up in quality and overall styling seems to be much bigger in this version from the last, compared to every previous version before it. As testament to Toyota's increased efforts to be less utilitarian, the car does actually look more premium and feels more premium. From an array of automated doors and blinds, to the high quality leather ottoman seats in the second row, I had a wonderful time lounging in the rear while listen to my favourite tracks on the JBL sound system equipped in the car.

Along with the range of amenities that make the Vellfire feel premium, such as the phone-sized tablets embedded in the ottoman armrests, through which you can control various comfort settings in the car, much of these features are also properly built and possess a level of refinement not previously found in earlier versions. For instance, the built in cup holder of on the ottoman armrests open with a smooth and weighted cadence instead of just flipping open, and the seat adjustment switches now feel better to the touch and more high quality. Essentially, what amenities and features available on previous generations of the Vellfire, have now been refined to a higher level in this current generation.

First Class Travel

While the drive of the Vellfire was never ever going to be dynamic, the hybrid drivetrain seems to have been optimised once more and delivers a silky smooth drive that your family will love. For a large car, it is surprisingly brisk, and with engine capacity kept the same as in previous generations, I can only attribute this to the hybrid drive system. This is something that Toyota holds the gold standard for. In fact, you'll probably be hard pressed to find a more seamless, more efficient system. Granted, the CVT does drone on under heavier acceleration as all CVTs do, but this isn't really a car you are going to be gunning off the line - or at least you shouldn't. It's a car that you float on by in and cruise along in.

Combine these qualities with the premium cabin, luxurious seats, and refined features, the Vellfire does somewhat live up to what Toyota claims is first class travel. I had an absolute blast driving my family in the car over the weekend that the car was loaned to me, and while I'd prefer to drive a more driver oriented vehicle in general, I have to admit that it was nice to see my wife and daughter chilling out in the ottoman seats in rear as we sang along to Westlife ballads from my youth. It makes me wonder though, if the new Lexus LM is any better than the Vellfire. Is it better than first class, or is it essentially the same car?

Who Will it Appeal to?

Family oriented buyers who love the idea of a family sized MPV to fit the whole family will definitely love the new Vellfire for the luxurious and premium qualities it possesses. What's better is the fact that the fuel consumption is actually pretty decent on such a large car, which means that you won't have to feel guilty when you're driving solo during a work day. Due to the fact that the car is more premium than before, the price does reflect this too, and might potentially price out owners of earlier Vellfire generations.


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