Today, minivans are the standard family car. Among the minivans, box-shaped minivans such as the Alphard/Vellfire with a large front grill are popular.
However, before the box-shaped minivan with this large front grill became popular, the Toyota Estima had a strong brand power among minivans.
The third-generation Estima, the current model, went on sale in January 2006, and a hybrid model was added in June of the same year, making it a long-selling model that has been sold for about 13 years.
Innovative first generation, solid second generation
The first generation Estima appeared in May 1990. In the era when cars called 1BOX such as Hiace were the mainstay, the Estima appeared with an exterior design that adopted a stylish one-motion form called “genius egg”. The engine is laid out at 75 degrees under the driver’s seat to create a flat floor.
The stylish minivan Estima became an explosive hit, but due to its high price, the 5-number size Estima Cida Emina was set and swept the minivan market at the time.
In 2000, the predecessor model that followed the one-motion form appeared. In June 2001, the Estima Hybrid appeared as the second hybrid vehicle after the Prius. The 2.4L gasoline engine + motor hybrid system that is installed achieves 18.0km/L in 10-15 mode fuel consumption, and not only is it excellent fuel efficiency, but it also emphasizes the compatibility between a heavy minivan and a hybrid.
A nice big minivan that is not intimidating
Then, in January 2006, a full model change was carried out, and the current model, the third generation, appeared. At the time the current model appeared, the first-generation Alphard, which appeared in 2002, and the Nissan Elgrand, the minivan flagship model showdown, were unfolding. Grills were popular.
However, not all users who want a minivan want a car that intimidates others like the Alphard or Elgrand. It was the Estima that attracted the support of users who sought good quality.
Updated with major improvements from 3 years ago
Since its launch in 2006, the current Estima has evolved through minor changes and partial improvements. And the most recent major improvement was in June 2016, 10 years after the start of sales. In this minor change, there are a wide range of changes, including changes to the interior and exterior, consolidation of grades, and enhancement of safety equipment.
More avant-garde style
The exterior has a completely new front design, from the engine hood to the radiator grille, bumpers and fenders. The thin headlamps that extend from the upper grille to the sides, the distinctive large-opening under grille, and the overhanging bumper corners accentuate the wideness and good stance of the vehicle, giving it a distinctive presence. .
In addition, the one-motion form is characterized by a more relaxed front nose that emphasizes the protruding feeling.
High quality and sophisticated interior
The interior features a synthetic leather instrument panel with accent stitching to create a modern, high-quality interior space. In addition, the horizontal satin-like decorative ornaments give the interior a feeling of spaciousness in the horizontal direction and express a high quality feel.
The newly designed Optitron meter ensures advancedness and visibility. A 4.2-inch multi-information display is also standard equipment. The interior color is white with antifouling treatment, and the seat upholstery is set with smooth-to-the-touch Blanc Nove to create a sophisticated space.
The engine remains the same, 2.4L gasoline and hybrid
There are two types of powertrains: a 2.4L in-line 4-cylinder DOHC engine + CVT that generates a maximum output of 170ps and a maximum torque of 224Nm, and a hybrid that combines a 2.4L gasoline engine with a motor. The drive system is 2WD (FF) and 4WD for gasoline vehicles, and only 4WD for hybrid vehicles. Fuel efficiency is 11.2-11.6km/L for gasoline vehicles and 18.0km/L for hybrid vehicles.
The footwork of the front performance damper equipped model is good
Although there were no changes to the powertrain in the minor changes, we optimized the tuning of the suspension to achieve both steering stability and ride comfort. In addition, some grades are equipped with a front performance damper that quickly absorbs small deflections and slight vibrations that occur in the body while driving, realizing sharp handling.
Advanced safety equipment slightly left behind in the speed of evolution
Although it was updated three years ago, the fast-developing safety equipment is now out of date. All models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense, a collision avoidance support package that includes pre-crash safety (low-speed range, vehicle only), lane departure alert, and automatic high boom. No device installed.
Premium or Premium G with a good running gasoline car is recommended
The grade composition is standardized to the popular grade “Aeras” equipped with aero parts for both gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
*The content of the article is based on information as of August 2019.
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