I want to buy a Toyota GranAce

It has never happened in the last couple of years that I saw a press release about a new car and actually wanted it. Toyota announced today that they are bringing to market an MPV slotted above the HiAce.

Introducing the 2020 Toyota GranAce. The name is taking its meaning from the Spanish “gran” = big or great and the English “ace” = first person or excellent. That is straight out of the Google translated version of the press release. I couldn’t care less about what the name means. It’s a good looking van.

2020 Toyota GranAce Front-3Q

Toyota will be debuting this luxury MPV at the Tokyo Auto Show later this month. The GranAce is 208.7 inches long (8 inches longer than the Toyota Sienna) and is 78.3 inches tall. The GranAce is based on the HiAce and shares the same wheelbase (126.4 inches). The powertrain is going to be the 2.8L 1GD four-cylinder diesel engine. The specs for the GranAce are not released yet, but the same engine is available in the HiAce with three outputs: 154 hp/310 lb-ft, 161 hp/310 lb-ft, and 175 hp/332 lb-ft. The average fuel consumption is 26 mpg in the HiAce.

This is 100% the van that I have been searching for. I have seven people in my family and while all the minivans in the US will fit seven people, none of them do it with this much room, style, and predicted reliability.

Plush Interior

The GranAce will come in two configurations. The three-row six-seater version with six captain chairs is one option. The four-row, eight-seat version will feature eight captains chairs. Both configurations will feature premium materials, i.e. leather seats, wood and aluminum trim, a larger infotainment screen and new HVAC controls. The LED side cabin lights and excellent soundproofing are to make nighttime journeys more pleasant.

2020 Toyota GranAce Luxury Interior

2020 Toyota GranAce 8 seats

2020-Toyota-GranAce-Interior

Reality

The GranAce will not be on sale in the United States and waiting for 25 years to import one is too long. This van looks to be the perfect blend of a spacious van with the height of an SUV (4 inches taller than a Suburban) and somewhat decent gas mileage. Too bad we are not getting it.

Toyota-GranAce-Rear-3Q

I guess we’re moving to Japan.

12 Comments

  1. I love the brutalist square rear, even if it got a few busy random design elements strewn across. So this is not related to any PSA product at all? It seems a bit bigger than the ProAce:
    https://t1-cms-2.images.toyota-europe.com/toyotaone/nono/toyota-proace-2019-gallery-008-full_tcm-3017-1703661.jpg
    Fun fact: When Toyota announced the imminent death of the old Hiace in Europe, the outcry in tiny Norway was loud enough for them to deliver an extra 1000 pieces to us. Rust concerns aside, some people totally swear by now-ancient Hiaces in heavy daily use.

      1. Ha, made me laugh. 15+ years ago I worked at a mountain cabin rental, the nice kind. We had a Hiace, two generations back, to carry bedsheets up footpaths to the cabins. In that thing I learned that if you can’t get up straight, you might make it sideways.

    1. Not related to PSA at all. Outside Europe, Toyota takes it’s hard won reputation for peerless reliability very seriously and is very careful in joint ventures with the products produced. I can only surmise that, apparently, this is less important in Europe. Hence the plethora of JVs with PSA with less than true Toyota build quality and reliability. The HiAce and GranAce and HiLux are old school Toyota.

      On another note, my grandmother was very good at tennis, so perhaps she had the name Gran Ace first?

      1. Yes, several OEMs are starting to treat Europe as a backwater market with too much competition anyway. A bit odd.

        Appreciating a Gran Ace considerably more than a ProAce, for sure.

        1. It’s a small market compared to US and Asia with a love for diesel (which no-one else cares about) and incredibly punitive emissions rules. The Euro car market is going to get ever more grim.

  2. I like the overall shape, but the details are way overwrought. The gaudy grille, the over-chromed tailgate… it reminds me of what Lincoln always did to the otherwise handsome Ford Expedition in making their Navigator. It was just… too much. I don’t care for the triangular B pillars created by the odd window cuts, either (what’s wrong with right angles?).

    Maybe if they made a lesser base-model HumbleAce, I might be interested. Toyota styling these days is completely lost on me.

  3. I’m glad I won’t be seeing these fat-assed limousines blocking the bicycle lane in the US. I’m 100% sure if they imported here the majority of buyers would be Uber Pool, Lyft Line and livery drivers.

  4. I could import one tomorrow if I had the funds, but I’d also probably abolutely pay through the nose for it through a combo of CO2 based registration tax now supplemented by a NOx surchage.

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