Jump to content
Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Looking for a 8 seater family car


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I am looking for a 8 seater family car, my budget is between £8,000 - £12,000.

I have reviewed options of a Mercedes V class, VW Caravelle, Toyota Landcruiser and Toyota Previa/Estima.

Toyota Estima (Hybird) seems like a good option, it looks comfortable, well equipped, can carry a total of 8 people and also has the reliable Toyota Badge.

My concern is it seems to be  imported car so wondering if there are any disadvantages ?

Does anyone know whether there are any common faults with the Hybrid Models, anything I can look for when viewing the car ?

I've read online the Hybrid Battery, electric doors can be problematic ? Would this be in a particular model or age ?

Any pointers, advice much appreciated, I plan on regular family trips around the UK and looking for a safe, comfortable and reliable car.

Thanks all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Estima Hybrid is a really nice vehicle, very luxurious - The 7-seat ones can have swivel seats and the rears are fully moveable and can even have reclining foot rests! Dad nearly bought one but ended up getting a Verso instead as he got put off by it being an import car and stuff being in japanese.

Don't know why Toyota stopped selling them here, as there is clearly a market for them, given how many I see, esp. as cabbie vehicles! TBH I don't know why they do a lot of stuff like that, like why they make two different types of Yaris Mk4 (The JDM one and the Rest of World ones are different enough that a lot of the parts are not interchangeable!)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

The Toyota Estima was exported to Europe as the Previa up to 2006. Later versions in the UK are grey imports from Japan. 

Could also consider the Toyota Proace Verso.

iirc they are in the high £20k range still

Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, Cyker said:

Don't know why Toyota stopped selling them here, as there is clearly a market for them

Toyota stopped selling the Previa in Europe for two reasons:

1). The high exchange rate between the Japanese Yen and European currencies, made the Previa expensive; and, 

2). They couldn't compete effectively with heavily discounted competitors such as the Ford Galaxy, VW Sharan, Seat Alhambra, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting reason you give @FROSTYBALLS in the second. I suppose the 2nd-hand market would be lucrative then for the Estima model as just as @Cyker said, one sees quite a few of these on the road these days...

To the OP, @therealhyper, fwiw, I don't know that the Estima would make a comfortable 8-seater. I have a 6-seater version - well I suppose the rearmost bench could seat 3 young children, but certainly not 3 full grown average size adults, let alone 4. The middle row of seats (at least in mine) are 2 separate seats, not a bench.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi all, thanks for your responses.

The Toyota Estimas I have seen are 8 seater...as thats what I need.

I have seent the 7 seaters with captain seats in the middle row, they are very nice.

Going back to the Toyota Estimata, I went to see one, it was Hybrid, 4x4 and around 12 years old.

It did drive really well, for a 12 year car...I was suprised how well everything looked...the interior was a little dated but it there was very little wear and tear.

The electrics all worked, seats were comfatble enough, the middle and rear seats are bench seats, which you can fold over.

My concerns are:

1. Battery - this being a Hybrid, I assume the vehicle will need the batterys changing at some point ? Are these easily changed and what sort of cost would it be ?

2. Are the 4x4 system on the Estima good ? I assume so, its Toyota and thier cars are usually well build, but worth asking

3. Electrics...any known issues with any of the Electrics in the car ? the electric doors, seats, mirrors etc, etc

4. Can the language on the car system be changed to English ?

And, are there any other known issues that should be looked out for  ?

thanks all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) So far the Toyota hybrid batteries have proven to be extremely long-lived compared to expectations. This seems mainly down to the superlative Battery management; I've hardly seen anyone in this forum require a Battery replacement, even from Prius Mk2 owners!

2) TBH it's a bit of a gimmick - The E-Four uses a rear electric motor, but it's almost pointless as it can't actually move the car on its own so will only be of any help in very specific circumstances...

3) By and large seems to be up to the normal Toyota reliability levels.

4) Not sure - When we were looking some importers relabelled some of the buttons but the stock infotainment systems seemed to be stuck in japanese, although some of the importers we spoke to did offer an english system transplant (I suspect some sort of android-based system)


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/23/2021 at 9:38 PM, therealhyper said:

4. Can the language on the car system be changed to English ?

As far as I am aware, the original infotainment unit language cannot be changed. I (and many others) have asked the same question and have received the same response.

As @Cyker says, if you want a head-unit in English, your current option seems to be to go for some Android-based unit. I decided to stick with the Japanese head-unit because (a) I prefer to have the unit that was designed for the car in-situ, and (b), I can use the Google Translate app on my phone to translate.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much Cyker, very helpful 🙂

The head unit can be swapped out - I don't mind spending a little to buy a English/Modern head unit that will work with the latest gadgets....though I dont know what they cost...I assume they are a few hundred pounds ?

What about the speedo ? The error messages or general information displayed on the speedo, I guess that is in English ?

Would it be simple as changing the speedo to a English version (if there is one ) or best to leave the original in there ?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...