Sign in to follow this  
ahmurray

7 Seater Toyota Mpv Wth Flexible Seating - Advice Please

Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

I am looking for a 7 seater to replace our existing Rav4, and know that Toyota do the Verso models which offer this many seats.

However, I have also noticed that there are vehicles around which offer flexible, minubus style seating, where the seats face each other in the back.

Most of these vehicles appear to be Japanase, and mostly seem to be grey imports as I don't recognise the model names (or even the manufacturers). They also mostly seem to be H or J reg.

My question is, are there any current or recent models that seat seven with this sort of seating arrangement - it just seems much more sociable to have an area in the back where everyone can sit and face each other, and would be great for holidays (you know the sort of thing, sitting having lunch in the car at the beach while the rain pours down!)

I'm surprised none of the MPV makers have cottoned on to this - all you'd really need is for the drivers and passengers seats to swivel round, which can't be that hard to do?

The only other "car" I've seen that offers this is the VW Caravelle, which is a bit pricey and van-like.

I'd be grateful for any info so I can research it further.

cheers,

Ali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you may find the Renault Grande Espace has the flexible rotating/removeable seats as you describe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks - took a look and it does have the seating, but being French it will break down all the time, so not my cup of tea!

Cheers,

Ali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there.

Both the Townace and the Estima have the seating that you need.

The Townaces are the earlier version of the Estima.....but there are still some good ones about. Mine is 18yrs old and has just flown through an MOT...... :D My mate's is an L reg and is immacutlate.

The youngest Estima will be about 10yrs old.......but as there is no salt on the roads in Japan, you will be getting a virtually rust free vehicle.

These are the second row of seats facing the rear in my mate's van....

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c361/AFL...27022007001.jpg

And this is the rear on my van.....

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c361/AFL123/PICT0006.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c361/AFL123/PICT0004.jpg

The thing you have to watch out for on these is head gaskets. Some have not been maintained too well pre import and you need to get clued up as to what you would be buying

A good chap, highly recommended for getting you an import is www.tapagencars.com

Ang x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, will do some more research - any idea how these fare in terms of crash protection?

Cheers,

Ali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, will do some more research - any idea how these fare in terms of crash protection?

Cheers,

Ali

I don't really lmow to be honest. Your legs are in the crumple zone on the Townies for certain......not sure about the Estimas though.

You could ask a few questions at www.estimaownersclub.com

or www.estimaownersclub.org

Ang x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned, the Estima/Lucida/Emina's which are narrower versions of the old UK spec Previa do the seat tricks and can be had with 7 or 8 seats (if 7 the middle seats are captain's chair type).

These have 2.2L TD (occasional petrol model to be found) engines, but suffer from the mid-mounted engine configuration (overheating) and turbo problems (both of these may just be an age thing) - check well before you buy.

I the above is too small for you, then try the Granvia/Regius, these are based on the UK HiAce Power Van platform so quite big & no problem getting hold of (say) replacement front windows, headlights etc

Same seating options as above but with a 3.0L TD (2.7L petrol also avalible) and mainly Auto - both higher spec than the Estima's & more room + no known problems (so far).

There's also a Noah (townace or hiace) - a more down-market model but front engined, I don't know much about these

All the above types can be had in 4WD if wanted, and Dual Climate control (A/C) - really a 'must have'

don't be put-off by age, as also mentioned Japan doesn't use salt on it's roads so all the vehicles are damn-near immaculate!

Slightly smaller than the Granvia/Regius but newer (and therefore more expensive) is the 'New' Estima (2000 on) - this is the JHM version of the current UK Previa.

If you don't need the rear-seat swivel trick, look at an Ipsum - the early ones are a better spec'd Picnic (2.0L), and the later ones are a better spec'd Avensis Verso (these are only just starting to come over).

Lastly, don't be influenced by a flashy SatNav/TV/CD/Radio - the JHM radio's have a narrower FM band, so all import radio's need a band expander (frequency shifter) to work over here. The Sat/Nav is usually not convertable for use in the UK, and the TV isn't PAL (NTSC I think) so it won't work either - the CD should be OK though!

Take a look at here http://english.auto.vl.ru/catalog/toyota/ at the MV&1box section - most of the MPV's are classed as this type, should give you somthing to do for a while :thumbsup:

One point to mention: Underbody protection - if you plan to keep the vehicle for some time, get it undersealed/waxoiled as the UK does use salt.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crash safety on the estimas seems good from this:

http://uktoyotaestimasite.tripod.com/Safety.htm

We have a toyota hiace which is a bigger car than both the estima or the townace. It is very well equipped and the seats do all the magical things :)

Good luck with choosing,

Kyle

Hi

Have just seen the picture of your Hiace and wondered if you still have it. I have one similar and would like to swop notes.

Dodmobile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay away from the diesel Estima's, Lucida's or Emina's. If you want an import rather buy the Hiace, Regius or a Nissan El Grande.

The diesel Estima family suffer big time from cracked cylinder heads. If you can find a petrol one then you will be ok but the fuel consumption will be heavy.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this