Previa on the out but still part of Toyota’s in-crowd

Toyota calls it popular and though the sales count suggests it’s anything but, they’re not yet ready to cull the Previa.


SURELY now cemented as the least popular model type in the Toyota family, the Previa will plug on with the country’s dominant brand.

Subsequent to providing detail about a facelift providing a richer specification – including privacy glass, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and an emergency stop signal – for a lower price in a press release that called the car ‘popular’, Toyota New Zealand provisioned a year-to-date sales count that suggests it has become a pariah.

Even though the car has been on the slide for some years, having been hit extra-hard by the shift away from people carriers and toward sports utilities with equivalent seat count, not even the TNZ spokesman who had to go into the company database to provide a year-to-date sales stat was prepared to discover just five have found homes this year.

Only after double-checking the counts was he prepared to accept the result was accurate.

TNZ’s registration’s data is accurate up to the end of July. In the same period of 2015, TNZ had found homes for 30 Previas. By the end of the year, that count had fattened to 134 units.

Despite Previa’s apparently precarious position, the brand has no thoughts about euthanasia for a nameplate that has been in the range for quarter of a century.

In a release entitled ‘popular people mover advances with smarter safety for less’ it says Previa in that time has become “synonymous with the dependability required of a people mover.”

TNZ general manager of product Spencer Morris also related in the brand’s media statement that “though the SUV segment is growing, the ability to cater to eight passengers plus storage is still an undeniable edge for Previa.”

The updated model is now on sale and costs $59,990, having retailed for $60,480 previously.

Other features going forward include a 6.1 inch touchscreen display for the audio and reverse camera and a new 4.2 inch LCD colour multi information with controls on the new three spoke steering wheel. The headlining is now a more serviceable black and the dual zone climate air conditioning now has electrostatic switches.

“Enhancing the quality of the interior and expanding the safety specification brings the Previa in line with other Toyota models that families and business owners will undoubtedly appreciate, particularly with the lowered price,” said Mr Morris.

The dedicated minivan with the feel, performance and comfort of car and adaptability of a wagon now achieves EURO5 emission compliance and gains the popular exterior colour, Wildfire, to its lineup. It has a combined fuel consumption of 8.9 litres/100 kilometres.

The Previa maintains a five star ANCAP safety rating with standard features including seven airbags, stability and traction controls, Hill Start Assist, ABS with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.

All eight seats have three-point seat belts and there are three tether anchors and two ISOFIX points. The second and third row seats provide plenty of practical people carrying or load options with their 60:40 split folding and the “walk in” system to the third row.

Other features include speed sensitive power steering with a manual tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column. There is cruise control, power windows, power mirrors with LED turn signals and eight cup holders.

Security is handled by an engine immobiliser with push button start and remote control smart wireless central locking.