Following the preview of the all-new Toyota Harrier at the Malaysia Auto Show 2017 last November, UMW Toyota Motor received many orders for the model which is being officially sold for the first time in Malaysia. The first units, priced from RM238,000 (excluding insurance, Peninsular Malaysia registration) are now being delivered to customers who made bookings earlier.

“We are encouraged by the response to the introduction of the all-new Toyota Harrier in Malaysia. As the earlier generations were intended only for the Japanese domestic market, we were unable to sell them officially. However, Toyota Motor Corporation has now decided to offer it outside Japan and we are among the first countries to sell it officially,” said Ravindran K., President of UMW Toyota Motor.

The Harrier comes with a 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage. This includes availability of genuine replacement parts and aftersales support, an important reason for buying from authorised Toyota dealers as units imported by other parties would not have such support.

The latest generation of the Harrier has a sharp aerodynamically-angled grille and incorporates a hawk emblem which emphasises the aggressive and elegant image. LEDs are used for the headlamps, Daytime Running Lights, cornering lamps, foglamps and rear combinations lamps. The front signals show the driver’s intention to turn left or right, or change lanes, by a sequential display of lights.

Two versions are available – the Harrier 2.0T Premium and Harrier 2.0T Luxury which has additional equipment. Both versions use the 8AR-FTS petrol engine with a twin scroll turbocharger. This engine features D-4ST direct fuel-injection and a VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) system.

The maximum output of 231 ps/350 Nm goes through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The driver can also make sequential changes if desired, using the gated shifter. Intelligent programming ensures that the optimal gear ratio is selected during uphill or downhill travel for driving pleasure and control.

Two different upholstery materials are provided to complement the interior design – premium Nappa leather is used for the Harrier 2.0T Luxury while the Harrier 2.0T Premium has Ultrasuede, a premium upholstery material that is a combination of leather and suede.

Additional features for the Harrier 2.0 Luxury include panoramic moonroof, an electrochromic rearview mirror (reduces dazzle automatically), a memory setting for the driver seat and a seat ventilation system which keeps the front seat occupant’s body cool, and a nanoe generator to give a healthier environment in the cabin. Nanoe ions (nanoe is a term combining ‘nano-technology’ and ‘electric’) are moist ions and especially beneficial to hair and skin. Released from the vent on the driver’s side, the ions spread throughout the cabin.

Owners of the new Harrier will be well protected by the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) Package, a suite of Active Safety systems available in a Toyota model in Malaysia for the first time. Pre-Crash System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping System, Lane Departure Alert and Adaptive High-Beam System are part of the TSS Package.

Other safety systems include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Emergency Stop Signal (flashes the rear hazard warning lamps to warn following drivers in an emergency braking situation), Electronic Parking Brake + Auto Brake Hold, and Parking Sensors with Reverse Camera.

Additionally, up to 7 SRS airbags protection and cushioning for the front occupants, supplemented by side airbags as well as curtain shield airbags which deploy over the side windows (front and rear) during a side collision. There is also a knee airbag below the steering column to protect the driver’s knees during a frontal collision.

The Harrier model line was introduced at almost the same time in 1998 as the Lexus RX which had a similar design. However, while the Lexus model was sold outside Japan, the Harrier was intended only for the Japanese market. As a new generation SUV model with a premium image and quality, the Harrier gained popularity very quickly and there was even demand for it outside Japan. However, as Toyota did not export it officially, the units sold in countries like Malaysia were brought in by parallel importers. For the first two generations, the Harrier and Lexus models were similar but when the RX evolved into the third generation in 2009, there was no equivalent Harrier version. This was partly because Toyota was planning to introduce the Lexus brand in Japan and it appeared that there was no need for the same model to be marketed under two brands. However, after 10 years, the Harrier had become a very popular product and there were many requests by customers and dealers for a new model. Responding to the demand, Toyota decided to develop an all-new Harrier which was launched in late 2013. For this new generation, the platform is no longer shared with the Lexus model and the Harrier is now an independent development in the Toyota range although it shares certain mechanical components.

For more information or to locate a showroom, visit www.toyota.com.my.

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[Chips Yap]

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