1995 Toyota Granvia 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A reliable huge people carrier that you can fit heaps of stuff in. So comfortable!


New starter motor.

New alternator.

New exhaust.

Various light bulbs.

3 sets of tyres.

Aircon has just started to misbehave.

General Comments:

A beast. Brilliant. Reliable. You can get a lot in it, both people and stuff. Will carry 8 x 4 sheets of plaster board. Fits 8 people comfortably. Best vehicle we have had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2017

1996 Toyota Granvia 3.0L turbo from Australia and New Zealand





General Comments:

A very good van. In fact I like it so much that I have kept it, even after buying a Nissan EL Grand van.

I have so much trust in the Granvia, I would go anywhere in it, and being a 4x4, nothing seems to stop her, and I feel safe driving it.

Many friends use it, and rave about how good of a van it is.

I have owned 54 vehicles, and rate this van in the top 3.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2013

1997 Toyota Granvia 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A fabulous family and friends mover, but juicy with a heavy right foot


Rear shock absorbers replaced at 85k miles.

Engine thermostat replaced at 95k miles.

Gear box mounting bush replaced at 100k miles.

Transmission shaft centre bearing replaced last year, along with universal joints.

Differential mounting bushes and bracket replaced 3 years ago.

Secondary Restraint System warning light flashes due to minor sensor fault in the passenger seat belt.

Differential pinion bearings now need replacing.

Some water leakage through the moon roof seal.

General Comments:

The above list looks like quite a list of faults, BUT these are the sort of items that wear on all vehicles (except the SRS fault light - not an MOT failure, just a pain to get fixed).

The theme in the faults we have had is with the transmission. The engine and gearbox have been faultless. I guess all that torque takes its toll on the transmission. We have the 2 wheel drive version. This gives better MPG than the 4WD version. In my experience 2WD is fine. We live on a steep dirt track, and the Granvia performed excellently in the snow. Every year I take 6 adults and all kit on an alpine ski trip. I have done Alp D'Huez to South Wales (nearly 900 miles) in just under 16 hours with one change of driver. Driving this car long distance is effortless. If it had cruise control, it would be unbeatable as a mile eater.

The seats are super comfortable, the heating / air con system is excellent. (testimony to build quality is the air con works fine after 15 years). Fully laden, this cruises comfortably at speeds well in excess of UK limits - but you do pay a penalty in MPG!

Most of the time my wife uses it as her 'van' for her decorating business. Plenty of room for ladders etc. as well as the kids.

The bodywork is in great condition, and each year the MOT tester comments how 'tidy' it is underneath.

We have it fitted with light truck tyres, which just go on and on and on. With a pair of snow chains on, it will go anywhere, but even on the winter alps trips, I have only rarely had to put them on. With plenty of weight in the back, the traction control system rarely loses grip.

I am saddened that Toyota appear to have stopped making the Granvia, even though it was only ever a Japanese Domestic Market model, as when this one has had its day, I would get another one.

As it shares much in common with either the Landcruiser (engine) and the HiAce (running gear), parts are more obtainable than might first be thought. The transmission shaft parts I got from Bailey Morris Transmission Specialists - my mechanic was so impressed with the quality and price, he now uses them, and gets me to hunt out parts. The bushes and mountings were expensive via Japparts, but I have recently discovered Amayama Trading, who sort out parts direct from Japan or UAE. I have the differential pinion bearings on order with them. Their price including carriage, was £170 less than the price for the same Toyota part numbers from a local main dealer.

One interesting fault happened when the brake pedal light switch failed. This caused the brake lights not to come on - MOT failure!!! A diagnostic readout indicated a faulty decelerometer, which was fantastically expensive when priced (local Toyota dealer parts guy advised I sit down before he told me what they would have charged!). That said, it was my non electronic diagnostic mechanic who figured it was the basic sub £20 brake pedal switch. The brains of the ABS system takes a feed from the brake pedal switch to tell it that the brakes have been applied; it then logs the rate of slowing from the decelerometer sensor. As it was getting slowing down messages from the latter without being told the brakes were being applied by the former, it decided it was the hugely expensive part that was faulty. More evidence that such fancy electronics are ideally avoided if possible - or use common sense and look for the cheap simple problem first!

So, in summary, if you want a roomy, carry anything vehicle that will cruise with 6 adults in comfort with kit for a week's self catering ski holiday, or a bunch of kids plus decorating clobber, you can't go far wrong with the Granvia.

It is surprisingly sprightly, thanks to the hugely powerful and bulletproof Landcruiser engine, but expect to get spanked at the pumps if you drive it like you stole it. Range is not great either, as the fuel tank is only about 60 litres (also, don't let it get much below the quarter full mark, as our experience is the low fuel warning gives you a very short time to fill before you come to a halt on the roadside - though pumping fresh fuel through the system is not a problem as it self bleeds!).

Repair costs are not too bad if you hunt around the net for parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2012

13th Jun 2013, 04:20

Thank you, a fantastic review.

5th Jul 2014, 09:56

Excellent review, thank you.

13th Mar 2016, 06:27

It seems a fabulous deal. I want to own my Granvia very soon. I'm in Zimbabwe. I love Toyota models too.