Out with the old and in with the new, that's what Toyota must have thought when they said goodbye to the Tarago and welcomed the Granvia to the range. The people mover has had a good run for many years, but it was time for something fresh. Indeed, the Granvia is a futuristic looking vehicle with sharp lines and a front and back that could belong to a Transformer. This premium people mover isn't going to transform though, only the way in which you'll drive around your passengers. More luxurious, saver and with all the tech they need.
Toyota didn't reinvent the wheel with the drivetrain of the Granvia, making use of the tried and tested 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel you can also find in the Hilux and Hiace. It puts out 230kW of power and 450Nm of torque, which together with the six-speed automatic delivers plenty of power to the rear wheels while staying composed and very quiet. This power is available at low-revs, so no need to push the paddle to the floor all the time, resulting in a very decent 8.0 litres per 100km. Of course this depends on how many passengers you're hauling around at any time, but considering the size and shape of the Granvia it's a pretty good score.
Talking about its size, you don't really feel like driving around a people mover. The opposite; the Granvia delivers a very smooth driving experience that makes you want to drive it instead of being a passenger. The handling is sharp, though it does feel like a van in that perspective. Because you sit up high the overview is great, with all the windows of course helping you to increase visibility.
It's the passenger that's really in the spotlight in the Granvia. You get in through the one of the double sliding doors and find not seats, but lounge chairs waiting for you. Especially in the top-shelf VX version they are lush, with nicely stitched leather, woodgrain and an even more upperclass name: captain chairs. Powered and heated, with ottomans. This only goes for the first row though, the second (and optional third) row have to do with 'plain' leather seats. With room for six passengers there is plenty for everyone, even when moving the seat all the way to the back and extending the footrest. In the 8-seater version it all becomes a bit more crowded and you lose most luggage space, but you can still make everybody fit comfortably.
In the cabin it doesn't only feel spacious, there are also smart storage compartments and cup holders abound. The dual zone climate control keeps you nice and fresh, while the rear passengers get sun shades. Like any modern car there are heaps of USB-outlets and in front we also find a 7-inch touchscreen that controls the entertainment system which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Toyota Granvia comes in two versions: the entry-level Granvia from around 67k and the top-shelf VX from around $80k. In the latter the option to make it an 8-seater is free, where it adds $2000 to the price of the base model. There isn't anything else to add or change, both have the same engine and five-star ANCAP rating because of their extensive safety features.
Toyota covers the Granvia with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty for private buyers, or five years/160,000km for commercial operators (including part-time and rideshare usage).There is also capped price servicing for each of the first six scheduled services with intervals at six months or 10,000km.
Moving people around has never been so luxurious as with the Toyota Granvia. A capable engine makes for a smooth drive, while you don't have to worry about safety because of all the available tech Toyota has put in. You're guaranteed your passengers will feel the same, because they're the real kings in the Granvia. Comfortable seats and plenty of options in the back to make live easy give them the feeling to be chauffeured around. It's a win-win for everybody.