A Throwback to the Toyota Previa
Starting with the 1936 Stout Scarab, minivans have been the face of family commuting for generations for their large amount of space, convenience features, and larger body styles. Today we have SUVs and larger sedans in addition to minivans to accommodate families and their needs on the road. Today, in the realm of Toyota, we have the Toyota Sienna which sports modern and unique features that you can’t find in most other Toyota vehicles that separate it as a family vehicle from other vehicles in the lineup. But, do you remember the Toyota Previa? Aptly named from the Spanish and Italian words that translate to “preview” in English, the Toyota Previa was meant to preview technologies to be used in future minivans. Today at Toyota of Clermont we’re chronicling the pre-Sienna Toyota minivan and how it paved the way for family vehicles.
Paving the Way for the Future of Minivans
The Toyota Previa preceded the Toyota Sienna with a run from 1990 to 1997 in the United States. However, the “eggvan” is still in production in Japan and Australia. What makes this minivan unique is the unique mid-engine structure and occasionally used supercharged gasoline and turbocharged diesel engines. Here are a few features that made the Previa unique:
- The Clermont Toyota Previa offered a driver’s side airbag, third brake-light, and dual airbags standard from 1993 to 1994. It was the first minivan to offer a passenger airbag standard.
- From 1992 to 1997 cam equipped with a swivel feature and optional middle-row captain’s chairs.
- Outside of the U.S., the Previa offered an ice-maker/fridge that could also be used as a beverage heater.
- Optional dual moonroof
- The Clermont Toyota Previa was the first van to pass all U.S. safety standards.
While the Previa created a preview landscape for minivans of the future, like the Clermont Toyota Sienna, the initial design had a few drawbacks during its production that, sadly, were never improved upon during the North American production.
- While the mid-engine layout provided several benefits to the Clermont Toyota Previa, like better access to spark-plugs, it made it difficult to perform a tune-up. Mechanics would need to take out the floor panels in order to perform a tune-up.
- An additional crash test revealed that, while the Previa passed all safety tests, the minivan had a host of issues when it came to a offset frontal crash. Namely, unstable cabin structure, upward moving steering column, and lab belt tearing.
- The large body design afforded a significant amount of room, but that combined with the diesel or turbocharged engine options yielded below average fuel-efficiency. The typical Clermont Toyota minivan model averaged about 18 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Drive a More Modern Ride at Toyota of Clermont
While the Toyota Previa was discontinued, it paved the way for modern minivans and family vehicles and you can still find some of the iconic features of this vintage minivan in modern Toyota models like the Toyota Sienna. Come check this iconic family vehicle out at Toyota of Clermont today! We’re open seven days a week and you can find us at 16851 State Road 50.