The Sunday News
The Ipsum’s getting old, so is the Nissan Elgrand. The Toyota Granvia’s a bit overused and so are the Nissan Serenas. The old are on their way out and in with the new. Zimbabwe always has phases for cars and you may be on the look out for the next batch of nice cars to come out of Japan and wondering what is the next best thing to come, well, lets try and find out.
I have always had a soft spot for Toyota Estimas. They have always been appealing and trouble free and that’s something Toyota has always kept standard. The old Estima had its run and it’s just about gone now. It had its own shortcomings but it served us well. Now, forget the old Estima, there is a new Estima which was first introduced in 2006. That’s a long way back but hey, we are a bit backward down here, this Estima is over ten years old but because we are down here it’s new to us.
It somehow never lost its original shape but gained some curves. I believe it’s better looking than its predecessor that was probably designed for use on another planet. They are not that ugly but are not that cute either, they are somewhere in between. Toyota always beats the odd with reliability than looks anyway.
Many reviewers have always said that the Estima always had a weird shape, I bet they have never encountered a Fiat Multipla! They never liked the egg shape, it wasn’t that appealing on the first model and the spaceship looks on the second model also never tickled anyone’s fancy. Coupled with high fuel consumption, they never really became a favourite for many for long.
Mechanics cried foul of the mid engine setup — it wasn’t very easy to work with. The designers then came up with something better on the new Estima.
From the front it still looks like it was designed in Space, the designers must have some spaceship fantasies of sorts. I’m not a big fan of the grill, it reminds me of the Toyota Will VS — a car designed with the anticipation that the space age was at hand.
The lights and the bumper curve out into the large fenders in a nice way, sort of like winking to the mirrors with indicators. These are all coming standard with HID technology.
Rear doors are all automatic sliding doors. The rear lights also curve out into the rear fender laser pointing to the front lights. The car accomodates seven people with two seats in the middle row. Unlike most seven seaters, this car actually has ample boot space with all the seats up. If there is need for more space, the rear seats fold right into the boot well.
This car has keyless entry and keyless start, quite modern hey. On some models you also get the navigation system with reverse cameras . . . you are supposed to enjoy these luxuries on those long journeys with family.
The 2006 Estima has two engine variations, the 2,4 litre and 3,5l, V6, the 2,4l also has a hybrid option. The Estima has always had big engines and I guess it comes with the call of duty — that is; carrying people and towing either a Caravan or a luggage trailer. Unlike the first generation Estima which had a mid engine propelling power to the rear wheels, the new one has got a front engine with front wheel drive layout. I’m not a big fan of the front-wheel drive setup and I’m still trying to understand why they chose that setup.
Oftentimes it is for space saving in the cabin, rear-wheel drive cars have to accommodate the rear differential and propeller shaft. The big boot in the well is evidence enough that they might just have managed to save space.
Overall, the 2006 Estima is an all round family car with ample space in the cabin. The first Estima wasn’t a favourite because the better part of the floor was uneven, it had to house the engine just below the front seats, the Propeller shaft running through the centre of the car. It took quite a bit of the space within the cabin and it was a big downside. They managed to change all that with the new Estima even though it meant making it a front-wheel car.
@lovert116 – Automart Used Spares Centre – Quality Used Japanese Spares -+263 772 33 99 38 – [email protected] – Facebook: @automartusc