Foton Gratour MiniVan 1.5: The P570,000 8-seat MPV

Must Read

‘SEE YOU AT LTO’: Brokenhearted woman gets summoned for failure to wear helmet

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has summoned the woman in a viral clip for not wearing a...

WATCH: Scenic ‘Daang Kalikasan’ in Pangasinan nears completion

The worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila has long killed the fun out of driving for most...

WATCH: SUV rolls over in TPLEX vehicle collision

Several people are believed to have been injured in a vehicular accident on the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway...
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

Most car models that come with various engine displacements or seating configurations usually have substantially higher prices for the variants with the larger engine size or greater seating capacity.    

Five large doors including dual sliding doors make getting in and out of
the Foton Gratour MiniVan very easy.

Foton didn’t seem to get the memo — because its Gratour MiniVan, which previously had a 1.2-liter engine and seven-seater capacity, now has a 1.5-liter motor and eight-seat capacity. And it still retails for an eminently affordable P570,000.   

Generous outward visibility, push-button engine start/stop, easy to use controls, and an ergonomic dashboard make driving the new Gratour MiniVan a pleasant experience.

Since the seven-seat Gratour MiniVan 1.2 was unveiled in 2015, it has been sought after by first-time car buyers due to its versatility, generous space, and very affordable price. Aside from being able to serve as an efficient and reliable people- and cargo-mover for familes, it is also used for delivering goods for businesses, especially in the provinces. Although Foton has seen plenty of success in the area, the new iteration brings more than enough to the table to also make an impact in the urban settings of Metro Manila.

To this end, Foton concentrated on revamping the Gratour MiniVan’s packaging, making it more efficient in terms of space, comfort, and performance. 

Three-point seatbelts, ABS, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution enhance the safety of
the Foton Gratour MiniVan. 

From being powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine, Foton has powered up the all-new Gratour MiniVan with a 114hp, 150Nm Euro 4-compliant 1.5-liter engine. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. Engine noise is now much less, resulting in a more comfortable drive. Plus it now has electric power-steering to make maneuvering even more effortless. 

The exterior of the new Gratour MiniVan has been revamped with a new front grille, upswept headlights, sculpted character lines, taillights that extend up and flank the rear window, and new 175/70R14 tires mounted on alloy wheels. The versatile interior professes a sense of simplicity, tidiness, and overall comfort. 

Folding rear seats greatly increase the size of the Gratour MiniVan’s cargo-carrying capacity.

The new Gratour MiniVan 1.5 drives almost as easily as its smaller stablemates despite its larger dimensions. Although the wheelbase is the same as the first generation (a generous 2,710mm — about the same as most executive sedans), the new model boasts additional space for passengers and cargo, as the seating capacity was upgraded from seven to eight, maximizing or even further monetizing its utility and functionality. The third row seats are also designed to fold for maximum cargo space. 

The eight-seater Gratour also boasts of five doors, two of them sliding, enabling much easier ingress and egress — even in tight parking spaces. Its ground clearance makes it easy for small children or PWDs to get in and out of the vehicle as well.

When you throw in the seatbelt reminders, over-speed alarm, anti-lock brake system and electronic brake distribution, this practical Gratour MiniVan isn’t as spartan as it may first appear. It scores points with a keyless push-start button, too.

With that P570,000 price tag, this eight-seater makes an attractive choice over the other MPVs, which are some P200,000 more expensive. So while the Gratour MiniVan may not be shifting goalposts in its class yet, it does stand out in terms of space, purpose, and value for money.

Read More

‘SEE YOU AT LTO’: Brokenhearted woman gets summoned for failure to wear helmet

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has summoned the woman in a viral clip for not wearing a helmet while on board a...

A historic 2019 for Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered an historic annual sales record in 2019, with a global performance unequalled in the company’s 116-year history. A...

Toyota shows mobility solutions of the future

Entering a new decade, carmakers are facing a potential paradigm shift; one that brings challenges in the area of CASE or Connected Autonomous Shared...

LTFRB orders PUV drivers, conductors to wear face masks

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors to wear face masks as...

More Articles Like This