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Toyota Releases Two Boxy Japanese Minivans that are Actually Awesome

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Toyota Vellfire minivan

The super-bold Toyota Box… sorry, Vellfire

Minivans are never the most attractive vehicles on the road, at least when compared with fearsome machines from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. But minivans have a wide appeal, particularly to larger families and those who frequently transport a crap load of people. While in the US, automakers have tried to make their minivans emulate the looks of larger SUVs, that’s not the case across the world. Take, for example, these two box-like redesigned minivans that Toyota just released in its home country.

Toyota Alphard minivan

The luxuriously toastery Alphard

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The Alphard and Vellfire minivans have a certain toaster-like appearance (perhaps inspired by the Scion xB?), but Toyota insists that they exude luxury (Alphard) and boldness (Vellfire). Okay, Toyota.

To be fair, they do sound pretty nice from their descriptions. Each minivan is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle combustion engine that features electric four-wheel drive to create a hybrid system that’s capable of 19.4 km/L, which works out to approximately 46 mpg. 46 mpg! For a minivan! That boxy shape ain’t looking too bad anymore.

Inside, both minivans offer plenty of room and maneuverability to allow passengers of all ages, shapes, and sizes to get in and out without any difficulty. The seats are well spaced to ensure that passengers don’t feel cramped. A new standard feature on all trim levels is LED roof illumination, which features four brightness settings and 16 color variations. Take a look at the interior for yourself:

While the chances of these Japanese minivans making their way to American shores are slim-to-none, we can only hope that Toyota includes some of these nifty features on a future minivan—minus the toaster-esque exterior design, of course.

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