Also known as the Canarado, the Tarago and the Previa, the Toyota Estima has been manufactured by the Japanese car maker since 1990. The Estima is the second biggest minivan in the manufacturer’s range and it comes in after the grander and more luxurious Vellfire, although this car is not offered in Europe. There have been three generations of the Estima that have been produced with the current one being offered from 2006 until today.
The initial Estima had only one sliding side door for rear passengers in its design. Powered by a 135 horse power four-cylinder 2.4 litre fuel injected engine, the Estima was originally designed by Tokuo Fukuichi and David Doyle in 1987. The engineers designed the car so that all of the major accessories, like the power steering pump, the air conditioning unit and the radiator fan were easily accessible from under the front bonnet. All of these car services were driven from the engine by an accessory driveshaft which Toyota called the Supplemental Accessory Drive System. This design allowed for even weight distribution across the chassis which benefited handling.
The third version of the Estima was introduced into the Japanese and Australian markets at first. Some innovations with the model included automatic parallel and reverse parking systems. The Estima also now boasted track-mounted reclining seats in the second row with footrests. The back seats also had a redesign and were given a power folding system. A 3.5 litre V6 version of the car was also offered by Toyota at this time.