Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Toyota Esquire

For the first time, the current-generation Toyota Voxy and Noah minivans have spawned a triplet to their family and for this triplet, it can be summed up as a fancier version of these two as well as its fancy name to call it Esquire (エスクァイア).

2015 Toyota Esquire

As expected, the brand new Esquire is based on the recently launched Toyota Noah and Voxy minivans, which they were launched since January 2014, although I'm not a hundred percent sure if this is the replacement to the stagnant Isis minivan but contrary to the rumors, the new Esquire, like the latest Noah and Voxy vans, is powered by a 2.0L 3ZR-FAE engine and the hybrid model with the 1.8L engine connected to an electric motor and nickel metal battery. Details on what's what about that will be explained later but first, let's examine the design.

Of course, this new Esquire van differentiates it from the Noah and Voxy vans because while the Noah is a bit more of a soccer mom fave and the Voxy is all about being a sporty minivan, the Esquire features a luxurious look that balances between them although one will notice the overgrown grille that looks like it came from the Crown Majesta flagship. Fancy, isn't it?

2015 Toyota Esquire interior

2015 Toyota Esquire interior


Because the new Esquire is related to the Noah and Voxy, you can expect the same interior layout as seen from these two and depending on the model, the new model can seat up to seven or eight people around you and while it may not be as luxurious as the big brothers, the Alphard/Vellfire and the Estima, the Esquire isn't half bad at all when it comes to spacing, although I would personally go seat at either the front or at the second-row because I still have strong hatred for third-row seats. With all three rows of seating present, there's still enough room for your grocery shopping but when you have more than just groceries, say your stuff you've bought from the garage sale, these seats can be folded for extra luggage. There's also a secret storage at the back but on hybrid models, you'll store less than what the petrol models have due to the battery that occupies it. Bummer but the secret storage is not bad at all judging when you want to store something not even your junior would know.

Just like the Noah and the Voxy, the new Esquire is benefitted from its class-leading interior dimensions thanks to its 1,400 mm cabin height, 360mm of ground clearance, 2nd row 810mm captain seats with Super 4-way Sliding Mode, and 500mm of rear floor (for 2WD models). Also, the sliding doors can be opened at 805mm wider, more than any other JDM minivans in its class. 

2015 Toyota Esquire

Now, the most important aspect for the Esquire; the performance. Because the powerplants were the same as from the Noah and the Voxy, the Esquire comes with a 2.0L 3ZR-FAE engine and the hybrid model with the 1.8L engine connected to an electric motor and nickel metal battery. On the hybrid model, combined power output is 136PS and fuel economy of 23.8km/L, calculated in JC08 Mode standards. As noticed, that's 7.8kmpl more than the Serena's, making it an excellent travelling companion if you want to go from one prefecture to another. For the 2.0L petrol variant, it produces 152PS of power and 193Nm of torque. It even comes with the idling stop system that cuts off the engine when stop and then starts it again when on the move. Fuel economy is 16.0km/L, again, calculated in JC08 Mode standards. Although this family-mover is not half bad, the suspension is not quite suited for a luxury-esque minivan like the Esquire especially when the suspension setup consists of struts on the front and torsion beams on the back, perhaps you really can't tell why this new model feels a bit...cheap.

Prices start at 2,622,857 Japanese Yen (around $27,000), which is more expensive than its Noah and Voxy siblings, but while the Noah is available at Corolla dealerships and the Voxy at Netz dealerships, the new Esquire is available exclusively at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships across Japan so you have a choice between those three.

Available colors: White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic, Black, Sparkling Black Pearl Crystal Shine, Bordeaux Mica Metallic, Ocean Mint Metallic, and Dark Violet Mica Metallic.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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