China's luxury MPV market has witnessed significant growth in recent years, reflecting the country's booming economy and the rising purchasing power of its affluent population. To a certain extent, minivans have become more than just people movers as they are now more of a status symbol for wealthier buyers in the People's Republic. That trend started with the Toyota Alphard and several automakers now also have their own luxury MPVs. An especially attractive offering comes from Voyah, the premium division of Dongfeng.
That model is called the Dreamer and takes the shape of a giant minivan with a 2+2+3 seating configuration. Our friends and colleagues at Wheelsboy recently had the chance to drive one of the model’s flagship variants and they had pretty good things to say about it. For starters, it looks different compared to the Denza D9, Trumpchi M8, and the likes – some of China’s latest entries into the MPV segment – with a somewhat more restrained front fascia. The machine sits on 20-inch wheels and has air suspension that lowers the rear axle when you open the electric-operated tailgate.
Gallery: Voyah Dreamer
Get inside the cabin and you’ll find a massive three-screen digital dashboard layout. It is split into three different displays – the instrument cluster, the infotainment screen, and the entertainment area for the passenger. The overall design language of the interior is simplified compared to the Dreamer’s competitors and features just a few capacitive touch buttons on the center console. Plenty of soft-touch materials can be found throughout the door panels and the dashboard, making the vehicle feel quite premium, according to Wheelsboy.
But the most important places in a minivan are always the second and third rows of seats. In this case, the two seats in the middle offer impressive adjustability, as well as heating, cooling, and massaging functions. But the third row of seats is probably the highlight of the Dreamer – it has massive amounts of headroom and legroom. Also, each passenger gets their own individual USB charging port.
Performance may be not the most important selling point in the MPV segment but the Voyah Dreamer delivers much better than you’d probably expect. In this plug-in hybrid configuration, the model has a peak output of 560 horsepower and 621 pound-feet of torque. There’s a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, supported by two electric motors – one for each axle. That setup provides a 0 to 62 miles per hour acceleration in just 5.9 seconds, according to the manufacturer.
Last but not least, we should also mention that Voyah will have the Dreamer on sale in certain European markets before the end of this year. In China, the minivan starts at the equivalent of about $46,500, while the range-topping model kicks off at $64,300. For now, there’s no word regarding a potential US launch, though.