Hybrids from Japan
Davis Adams is a freelance journalist extraordinaire. Adams and Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, went for a ride in the Toyota Alphard hybrid from Japan.
At the 2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour Satoshi Ogiso, Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation told us that, “About the same time Toyota launched Prius in the U.S. they set in motion a long-range hybrid development plan. Here in the U.S., we began with the simultaneous development of hybrid versions of the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX. In Japan, we added the Estima and Alphard.”
All hybrids are currently produced at the Tsustumi plant in Japan. The Alphard is a seven- or eight-seater with either a 2.4L or 3.0L gasoline engine. There are three trim levels, Alphard G, Alphard V, and the Alphard Hybrid. Adams shows us the parking sensor that is used in Japan and how it works.
Both of us loved the vehicle and in particular the passenger seats that are ultra-lux. This is the not type of vehicle one thinks of when they hear the word minivan, ottomans that fold out, sunroofs that span the entire length of the vehicle, but how much does it cost and what is the fuel economy?
If it did come to the United States it would be the only hybrid minivan in the United States. There was a rumor that a Sienna hybrid was going to make it to the United States but that hasn’t happened yet.