There’s a slight climb to get into the Vellfire. But once in, the first thing that catches your attention is the excellent visibility from the driver’s seat. This is thanks to it being perched so high up, with large glass panes to look out of, and a big quarter glass that’s shoe-horned into the A-pillar which negates blind-spots. Thankfully, the panorama camera view comes quite handy when negotiating tight confines or while backing-up.
As for the soft-touch dash, the design flows onto the door pads and the centre-console looks premium thanks in part to the chunky silver trim that runs around the large touchscreen infotainment system. Whether it is the physical controls for the player or the air-con controls, below it, everything is within reach on-the-go. This section then flows downwards onto a raked panel that holds the gear-shifter and other buttons to the various functions of this MPV.
Now, let’s talk about the seats. Interestingly, the first and second row benefit from both heating and cooling functions, plus memory settings. That apart, the front seats are quite comfortable thanks to ample back and shoulder support. What’s nice is that the passenger’s seat also benefits from the Ottoman feature, which is essentially a powered leg-rest.
So, is there enough space to keep your belongings at the front? Yes, inside the unique ‘both-sides’ opening large storage box between the seats, the spacious door pads, inside the two smaller cubbies around the gear shifter, and the glove-box. As you get past the powered sliding doors and onto the middle row, you can’t help but relish the enormous captain seats that offer great cushioning and support, along with the extravagant legroom.
This made it possible to liberate room needed for the adjustable leg-rests to pop-out from underneath; the electric adjustments for which are situated on the armrest. It just elevates the comfort quotient by a few notches. In fact, there’s a variety of electrical adjustments; some that also get the middle-row seats to drop-flat (business-class style)! What’s more, a compact retractable table folds out of the arm-rest, for say holding a tablet, and the cup holders are quite usable too. The door pads however are only good to hold a one-litre bottle.
Spending extended periods of time in these comfy seats shouldn’t pose a concern as the flattering real estate ambience is created by the big windows that can also be rolled down for some wind-in-the-hair experience. And in case you’d prefer some privacy, they have sun blinds too. As you slither behind the middle row to get to the third row, you're welcomed by the comfortable and adequately-sized seats (50:50 split) that can be reclined for a favourable seating posture.
What’s more, there’s adequate knee-room, and generous head and shoulder room (for two occupants). Come to think of it, although there’s space for three here (there’s a centre headrest), the gap where the two seats join can feel odd for the middle occupant. Passengers in the third row also get fold-down centre armrests, storage space under the window, sun-blinds, and their own AC vents. When it comes to the boot, loading luggage should be a breeze as the loading lip is quite low.
Likewise, boot space can expand from a minimum of 300-litres, which includes a covered section on the left where the spare wheel would ideally sit (spare wheel is placed on the right). And, as one slides the third-row seats back-and-forth or folds them upwards at either ends, the boot space swells accordingly. As for the JBL music system (17 speakers), sound quality is reasonably okay, and also plays off Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In terms of safety equipment, you get seven airbags, vehicle stability control, VDIM (vehicle dynamic integrated management), hill assist, auto-hold, tyre pressure monitoring and parking sensors along with a panorama view camera. Other highlights include rear ceiling screen (powered open/close, power tilt adjust, HDMI/WiFi connectivity), leather upholstery, 16-colour roof ambient illumination, three-zone climate control and heated steering. There’s also the powered side doors and boot lid, second and third row sun-blinds, twin sunroof and chauffeur controls (key-operated slide of side doors, one-touch seat upright etc).