Monday, March 5, 2018

Used Car Review - Toyota Previa (2006-2017)

One of the vehicles which that had started a craze in Japan got the axe recently.

2006-2017 Toyota Previa


Toyota's Previa minivan was one of the first vehicles to jump on a new concept which shed people movers that had no nose and has the ability of walking between rows with all the requisite sliding door. With minivans being a popular choice among the Japanese due to their narrow roads which makes an SUV impractical.

Although the original model was first launched in 1990, the third generation Previa came to life 16 years later. Unlike other Toyota vans, this vehicle was restricted among Asian markets with gasoline and hybrids (Japan exclusive) engines available. Oddly enough, this vehicle had a long lifespan than the first model, and as of this year, it is available in the Japanese market for twelve straight years with some cosmetic changes.

Competing in the luxury van market locally, this generation of the Previa arrived at the same time its Japanese model had its debut. While it was a favorite among the elite, the arrival of the larger and luxurious Alphard four years later ate its sales with Toyota Philippines not even bothering to put some love in this car. Without a 2016 facelift on our shores, it was quietly discontinued. Heck, it had outlived the first generation Innova and Fortuner in terms of selling life.

Value and Costs
With an 11 year run and one facelift occurred in 2009, if you want a Previa do focus on the overall condition rather than the equipment. Early models can be had for P560,000 with later releases costing P1,000,000.

Compared to its bigger brother, the Alphard, this one is decent in standards when it comes to maintenance costs. Things to check on this car include power seats and the sensors that come standard in this car. When it comes to fuel consumption, it may have the similar figures to a diesel competitor but definitely higher than a V6 gasoline.

Exterior and Interior
Remember the original model's looks? Its egg like shape makes the vehicle timeless but does not make it loud. Not much to be said outside, especially the magic lies inside.

Since this vehicle costs P2,000,000, the usual stuff expected on a vehicle priced that much comes standard that includes leather seats (a lower model with fabric velour is available), wood trim, leather touches, and the middle seats are captain's with foot rests. As expected, seating comfort is excellent and interior quality is top notch.

Only one engine is available: a 2.4 4-cylinder gasoline with 165hp at 6,000rpm and 224Nm at 4,000rpm paired to an automatic with four speeds. No V6 or a six speed matic is available locally, though. Even if the car is full, the engine is capable enough to deliver the goods.

Driving Impressions
Thanks to its larger windows coupled with a smoother but somewhat firm ride (thanks to increased insulation materials), the Previa is a delight to drive. Yes, this vehicle may be boring for some but thanks to a precise steering and excellent braking. One has to drive the car to fully explore its potential.

Despite the fact the Alphard had outsold and placed this car out of the spotlight, the Previa was an outstanding vehicle. Too bad, Toyota didn't put some more love on this van which became a rich family plaything.

The Good:
  • Manageable size
  • Interior quality
  • Presence
The Bad:
  • Firm ride
  • Motorized gadgets mean things to break
  • No diesel
The Pick: 2.4 Q

Engine: 2,362cc 2AZ-FE I4 gasoline
Power: 165hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 224Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 9-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear torsion beam

Price (New): P2,200,000-P2,773,000 (range from 2006 to 2016)
Price (Now): P560,000-P1,000,000
On Sale: 2006-2017
Rivals: Chrysler Town and Country, Honda Odyssey

Toyota Makati - (02) 897-3333

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