Uganda: Head-to-Head – Toyota Alphard Vs Nissan Elgrand

Before we get into the comparison of the Nissan Elgrand and Toyota Alphard, here are four reasons someone might choose a van as their next new car.


Vans a lot of times trade style for function. Rather than worry about smooth lines and aerodynamic curves, many van manufacturers build cars with large, flexible interiors often seen as big boxes with sharp angles. For van owners, practicality is exactly what they are looking for. The stripped down interior has so much space for literally anything and everything.

Flexible seating options

Those boxy interiors allow seating that is more functional and greater flexibility. Most vans can easily sit five or more passengers. Where and how those passengers sit in the car can change, as well. In many models, drivers can remove seats to accommodate more baggage space or slide from one side of the car to the other and much more.

Sturdy but comfortable

It may seem as though van drivers trade performance and comfort for flexibility and function, but there are models, such as the two below, that are enjoyable to drive. Manufacturers base some van models on saloon and crossover models and ride similarly. Drive performance and manoeuvrability are also similar to more stylish models.

Finally, they are almost always easy on the budget. Unlike larger SUVs and luxury cars, the price of vans is often within a range affordable to most car buyers. The lower price point does not indicate a lack of performance, either. Many vans feature powerful engines and benefits found in cars that are more expensive.

Nissan saw the market and came out first with their Elgrand in 1997. The second generation Elgrand was launched in May 2002 and primarily competes with the Toyota Alphard which, too, came out in the same year.


Both cars are in generations that have spanned eight years proving that the market and the manufacturers both believed in the designs from both camps. The dual split headlamps on the Elgrand give it this futuristic look that is timeless.

The Alphard is good looking as well. However, the character lines across are always interrupted by curves that seem misplaced.


Both cars are vans intended to move people in ultimate comfort. This is a very close one and there are so many changes in terms of specification levels and optional equipment. Both are available in seven and eight seat configurations, depending on the trim levels.

Driving dynamics

The Elgrand is rear wheel drive while the Alphard is front wheel drive. As well Toyota’s undying quest to have its Alphard passengers in ultimate comfort applied a soft suspension which brings about extreme body roll in corners. The Elgrand on the other hand is a firmer ride and for what it is, sportier.


For the Alphard, there is a 2.4L 4-Cylinder engine and a 3.0L V6. There is also a 2.4L hybrid but that is hard to come by in the used car market. The Elgrand has only two engines, the 2.5L and 3.0L V6 Engines. While I would always recommend the higher displacement engines due to the weight of both cars, the smaller engines shall suffice considering the fuel prices even though they might struggle is some driving conditions.


This is key with both cars, however, it is of great magnitude with the Nissan for a satisfying ownership experience. With the Toyota you can get away with many maintenance misdemeanours as the spare parts are readily available. You might struggle a bit with the Nissan as it is a bit rare.


The Alphard tends to be slightly more expensive than the Elgrand due to demand and supply. The Alphard shares parts with several in the Toyota stable, so you are never hard pressed to find replacement parts at subtle prices, even that rare part making the true cost of ownership much lower. Still the average mechanic shall have an idea of what to do.

Both cars come with unique aesthetic parts for which I suspect the replacement bill is significantly high.

Owing to being rare, the Elgrand presents problems in trying to find spare parts which affects its demand. Additionally, its resale value is rather low.

Engine performamnce

Both these classy SUV have incredible specs and performance levels. The Toyota Alphard has 2.4 litre and 3.5 litres engine types that use gasoline. The engine produces a power of 6000rpm and a maximum torque of 4000rpm. On the other hand, the Elgrand’s VQ35DE 3.5-liter gasoline engine generates power of 6,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 4,400 rpm


The MPV luxury class of vehicles conforms to a shape that is boxy in the rear with a swept forward design in the front. Both cars emulate this shape which has a large grill with a large bumper and lower air foil. Both models integrate the headlights into the side of the grill while providing fog lights in the lower spoiler.


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Publish date : 2018-11-01 07:38:54

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