Toyota has been providing the Sienna minivan for just about a quarter-century now, and it’s a nicely-crafted, sizeable equipment with its engine in the anticipated location. Its significantly scaled-down predecessor, on the other hand, was intended with the Japanese current market in intellect and had its engine mounted sideways beneath the front seats. This was the Estima, badged as the Previa in North The usa, and these vans had been bolted alongside one another so well that they turned commonplace in the significant automobile graveyards I regular for the duration of only the previous several several years. Modern Junkyard Gem is an early Previa with a ultimate odometer reading through that is very impressive even by Previa expectations, observed in a Northern California self-support garden a several months back.
This is just not the best-mile Previa I have at any time observed in this sort of a location (that honor belongs to a supercharged ’94 Previa that I uncovered in a Colorado boneyard with 376,407 miles), and actually the fourth 300k-mile-additionally Previa I have uncovered (just edging out a 318,601-mile All-Trac ’91 Previa with a 5-speed manual transmission and a 304,211-mile All-Trac ’96 Previa). For what it can be really worth, the biggest odometer reading through I’ve ever located on a discarded Toyota was in a 1988 Tercel 4WD wagon with 413,444 miles my all-time Junkyard Odometer Winner right now is a 1990 Volvo 240 with 631,999 miles.
Though the early Sienna seemed a bit like the Previa, it was developed with the American industry in brain and built in Kentucky (and you nonetheless can not acquire Siennas in Japan, wherever they have the Alphard/LM300 as an alternative). The 1991-1997 Previa was an Americanized edition of a van optimized for the streets of Japan, and so it appeared small and strange to possible buyers of, say, Chrysler minivans of the era.
1st of all, the Previa experienced the engine amidships, a straight-4 tilted just about 90° sideways in a compartment below the entrance seats. It was available with rear-wheel-drive or with Toyota’s All-Trac all-wheel-drive method (which also went in Celicas, Camrys and Corollas). A 5-speed guide was base devices, and a shocking proportion of Previas sold below experienced 3 pedals. This van is a rear-wheel-drive variation with automatic transmission.
The emissions tag exhibits that this a person was a California design, rather than a “49-state” version presumably, it invested most or all of its lifetime in the Golden Condition. The 2.4-liter 2TZ-FE engine was rated at 138 horsepower, which turned out to be a trouble here that’s not significantly power for a van with a curb bodyweight around 3,700 kilos hauling a significant loved ones at American highway speeds, and the bizarre motor place intended that there was no useful way to put in a V6.
All through the 1980s, Nissan tried using to remedy a comparable issue with its Americanized edition of the Vanette (badged as the “Nissan Van” right here, in line with the naming devices for the “Toyota Van” and “Mitsubishi Van”) by shoehorning a major engine into its restrictive motor compartment. The result was persistent overheating and motor fires, ensuing in authorized unpleasantness that compelled Nissan to get back again and crush practically each illustration marketed here. Toyota, wishing to steer clear of such a catastrophe, upgraded engine electrical power for the 1994-1997 Previas by putting in a small Aisin-built Roots-variety supercharger to get an further 20 horses. The blower is mounted on the hard-to-get to Supplemental Auxiliary Driveshaft rig (aptly referred to as the Sad by the mechanics who experienced to get the job done on it) behind the entrance bumper.
The supercharger solved the electric power scarcity effectively enough in the later Previas, but lots of the early kinds have been marketed in spite of becoming on the poky facet. Presumably, Previa consumers did not intellect the odd-on the lookout egg shape and absence of power, due to the fact they needed Toyota construct high quality and major inside space on a compact footprint.
Because of the goofy motor placement, the Previa’s interior was pretty roomy.
The chassis format manufactured the Previa handle startlingly effectively, much too. Here is a ’91 All-Trac product seeking fantastic on an Arizona race observe.
Welcome to… Previa adventures.
As the Television commercials in its homeland confirmed, it was really a System 1 automobile inside an egg.