The Esquire is Toyota’s latest “luxury minivan”, based on the new Noah and Voxy. The frontend gets a large grille with the letter “T” as its motif and is quite eye-catching. This is one 5-Number minivan with the vitality like no other.
It would definitely appeal to different kinds of buyers compared with the Noah/Voxy due to its design. It might just be the right car for someone seeking something like the Alphard/Vellfire, but can’t due to its price.
The combined sales figures of the Noah/Voxy is comparable to that of the Aqua; a fact that should be enough for it to be called Toyota’s flagship model in Japan.
However, more than its exterior design, the Esquire greatly differs from the Alphard/Vellfire due to its interior specifications and equipment. Its highend feel is also related to its price differential due to its exclusive specs; though the Esquire is roughly 150,000 to 200,000 yen more compared to the Noah/Voxy, it is something that is reasonable considering these differences.
The synthetic leather used in the seat upholstery, instrument panel, door trim and the like has a better quality than that of cheap leather. In addition to its quality, the leather has been designed to not feel too hot during the summer and not too cold in the winter. Further, seat hold has improved due to its new seat construction.
Features included in the premium Gi grade is the adoption of genuine leather and black wood tone steering wheel and shift knobs. In addition, the air conditioning control panel portion uses a piano black finish while all the other parts are in a decorative metallic tone; the stitches also add a level of luxury to the texture.
Its basic powertrain is similar to that of what you get in the Noah/Voxy. Accessibility is great due to its low floor line, and the 7-seater specification offers long rails for the 2nd row to slide back and forth. For a minivan, its level of functionality and usability is top notch.
Both the gasoline vehicles and hybrid vehicles achieve a low fuel consumption for a number five height minivan. The gasoline model is actually on par with the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid, while the hybrid model is at the top of its class when it comes to fuel consumption.
The only point where it loses to the Serena is its lack of a collision mitigation feature in the safety department. However, in terms of safety, we can only wait until Toyota’s Safety Sense becomes available on more production models in 2015.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Hiroshi Matsushita | Car Critic
Born in 1951 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. He was a former journalist for the automotive industry and editor of a car magazine before becoming freelance. He is known for his strength in economical discussions related to car and money such as tax, insurance and miscellaneous expenses. He writes an online diary almost every day.
(Translated by Michael Sabaldan)