GAC M8 vs Toyota Alphard – A Million Peso Question

It was clear from the preview last December on where the GAC M8 is aimed at. Now that it’s officially launched in the Philippines, we can compare it against its obvious rival – the Toyota Alphard. 

The Toyota Alphard only has one variant here in the country – the hybrid one – and it’s so strong that in 2023, it sold 618 units despite its hefty PHP 4,980,000 price tag (+20,000 for the Platinum White Pearl Mica and Precious Metal colors). Measuring up to that is of course the top of the line grade of the GAC M8, the GX Master that’s priced at PHP 3,948,000. Between them is a staggering PHP 1,032,000. Will the Alphard appear as overpriced, with the M8 being a great value for money? Or will the GAC lack some features, as seen in the price tag? Let’s find out. 


In any fight, you size up the enemy first. In that regard, the GAC M8 has the advantage in most areas. It’s 202mm longer, 43mm wider, and has a 70mm extra on the wheelbase. The only aspect the Alphard aced is the height with it having a 127mm more vertical. 


Here’s the tricky part in this comparison. The GAC M8 has a 2-liter turbocharged gas engine paired to an 8-speed automatic. It produces 248 Hp and 400 Nm of torque. On the other end, the Alphard has a hybrid powertrain. It produces 188 Hp, 233 Nm of engine torque, and 270 Nm of motor generator torque. Power is then sent to the front wheels via CVT. 

Some will see the advantage of the Alphard hybrid, though some will appreciate the response of the 8-speed auto in the GAC.


What I love about these two are they both look like luxury MPVs and not minivans per se. That’s simply because both brands did a good job of hiding the railing of the powered sliding doors on the side profile. 

The GAC M8 is more outlandish in its front and rear design, while the Toyota Alphard was more laid back in those areas. However, the Alphard has more style points on its sides thanks to curvy compliments to the lines on the window pane. 

Both have powered sliding doors, segmented sunroof, and powered tailgate. Automatic LED lighting is also standard for the two. The Alphard just has a few more toys in its cornering lamp, and heated side mirror with puddle lamp. 


It seems GAC has a more holistic cabin experience prepared while the Toyota focused more on the second row, where the boss usually is. 

Both have a digital gauge cluster at around 12-inches, huge infotainment touchscreen at around 14-inches, electronic parking brake with auto brake hold, and wireless charger. Their third row are almost similar as they are 3-seaters with a center armrest. Where it starts to differ is in the smaller details. 

The M8 has a 6-way powered captain seats for the second row, while the Alphard has an 8-way powered Ottoman that also has a remote control. The M8 enjoys a Tri-Zone climate control while the Alphard implemented independent dual-zone climate control in the first and second rows. There’s also a lot more USB-C ports in the Alphard compared to the M8 that only has one, since majority of the ports are still the old USB-A. The Alphard also has a better audio system with the 15-speaker JBL compared to the 8-speaker in-house of the M8. 


The fight is almost a stalemate when it comes to safety, only the M8 has a few more up its sleeve. Both vans have checked the basics of airbags, stability control, hill start assist, sensors infront and back, 360-camera systems, and ADAS or Advanced Driver Assist System. 

The M8 edges out the Alphard with a few nifty features like Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Hill Descent Control, and Automatic Parking Assist.

On paper, it doesn’t look like the GAC M8 came up short despite being significantly more affordable than the Toyota. It also goes both ways. It looks like you’re not being ripped off by the Alphard despite its higher price tag. It’s a hybrid, has a better sound system, more amenities on the second row seats, and a great suite of safety tech. Still, the million peso price gap between the two isn’t translating on paper. 

Maybe a drive between the two will produce a clear winner. For now, the winner will depend on your needs. 1 – are you looking to save on gas? If so, then it’s the Alphard. If not really, then you should ask yourself number 2 – are you satisfied with the comfort and amenities of the M8? Your answers to those questions will reveal what dealership you’ll be going to for a test drive. 

Most Popular


More Articles Like This