Do you remember the Toyota Previa?

When it comes to new Toyota minivans, the Orlando Toyota Sienna has pretty much everything you could want for a family-friendly vehicle. It’s spacious and versatile on the interior, boasts top-of-the-line entertainment and safety technology, offers exceptional performance, and even looks good while doing it. However, it hasn’t always been the go-to option on the market for the best minivan around – it actually replaced another great option, the Toyota Previa. Do you remember this unique Toyota minivan from back in the 1990’s?


What did the Toyota Previa have to offer?

The Toyota Previa was first introduced in 1990 and it definitely turned heads (whether good or bad). This Orlando Toyota minivan had an interesting shape that was different from most models out on the road at that time – it was best recognized by its rounded front and back ends and the pronounced curve on the top of the van. Additionally, it was a unique vehicle because it was a mid-engined platform, which meant the inline-4-cylinder engine was actually installed under the front seats of the van rather than in the traditional front engine bay or in the back of the vehicle. Why? Toyota wanted to create a vehicle that was more balanced for better handling and a more comfortable ride. Here are some other highlights from the life of the Toyota Previa.

  • This new Toyota minivan was introduced in 1990 to replace the Toyota Van and was significantly more popular than its predecessor.
  • It had a short lifespan in the US (1990-1999) but is actually still in production in other parts of the world – namely, Japan and Australia. There it’s known as the Toyota Estima. It’s actually even been produced as a hybrid model in these particular parts of the world.
  • It was replaced in the US by the Toyota Sienna, which was first introduced to the market in 1997 as an alternative option that was front-wheel drive and produced in the US on a Camry base.
  • There was a problem with the mid-engined design – it sounds like a cool concept, but it actually meant there was a space limitation and you couldn’t incorporate larger engine sizes (aka more horsepower and torque) into this Toyota minivan. Why was this an issue? Most of the competitors were putting V6 engines into their minivans and the Toyota Previa just couldn’t fit the larger option.
  • Toyota actually tried to fix the above problem by putting a supercharger into the mix, which brought horsepower to 158 and increased fuel efficiency.
  • Some other cool features up for grabs on this Toyota minivan included swivel second-row seats, a dual moonroof, and a small ice-maker and refrigerator that could double as a beverage heater. Additionally, all models offered an almost panoramic view from inside due to the large windows.

The Toyota Previa was officially retired in the US in 1999 to make way for the more practical Toyota Sienna… but we haven’t forgotten it!

Come see our selection of Orlando Toyota minivans today


Curious to see what the latest Toyota minivan can offer your drive time? Come on down to Toyota of Orlando today – we’re open seven days a week at 3575 Vineland Road, just off I-4 near the Millenia Mall.