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Available Previa Minivan Models
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All Previas now have supercharged power.
What runs supercharged power, has available all-wheel drive, met 1997 passenger car side-impact standards six years early, is as reliable as a Retriever, and boasts one of the most uniquely attractive shapes on the road? A high-profile sports car? A concept vehicle from the early '90s? Give up? It's the Toyota Previa minivan. That's right. A minivan. And in addition to all of these fine attributes, the Previa adds dual airbags, comfortable seating for seven, optional antilock brakes, and up to 152.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
Toyota minivans come only with a supercharged engine this year; a wise move by product planners since the old base four-cylinder engine was a wheezemeister when it came to traversing anything with an incline. Previas are sold in DX or step-up LE trim, either rear-drive or with permanent All-Trac four-wheel drive.
Acceleration with the 161-horsepower, 2.4-liter supercharged engine is strong. However, it tends to be noisy, and gas mileage isn't the greatest. Worse yet, premium fuel is recommended. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. The engine is mounted amidships, below the floor, but major service points are accessible from under the front hood.
Seven people sit in reasonable comfort, with a fair amount of cargo space out back. Either or both sides of the split rear seat folds outward against the bodysides for extra cargo-hauling capacity, while the two-passenger center seat can be removed completely. Swivel-recline captain's chairs can be installed instead, and two-wheel-drive LE Previas can have dual power moonroofs--that's right, a pair of openings to the sky. Standard LE fittings include power door locks and windows, as well as dual air conditioners.
Unlike some competitors, Previas exhibit a distinctively rounded profile--one of the first minivans to go with curvaceous lines rather than a boxy shape. Previas aren't exactly cheap, and lack a V6 engine option, but like other Toyotas, they provoke relatively few complaints from owners.
Vehicles like this make us wonder why so many people are scooping up underpowered, less capable sport utilities. We like the Previa. You might too.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.