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  1. #11
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    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    This is an insanely frustrating experience and shows that people who claim "the market" will take care of everything are nuts! People are clamoring for efficient, low-polluting and somewhat roomy vehicles such as the Estima hybrid, and nothing is available!

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  3. #12
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    The marketing people at Toyota are nuts. Most Camry buyers could use a Prius, but the Highlander is no alternative for the Sienna everyone should call 800-go-toyota (468-6982) requesting the Sienna hybrid (AWD 8 passenger) chances are they will wake up;-)

  4. #13
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    I am frustrated over the lack of vision of American automakers. Why don't they be the first at something and produce a hybrid van. I would buy one if I could get one. I don't see hybrids with big discounts to get them moving. Wake up GM!!

  5. #14
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    My wife and I recently (March-April, 2005) visit Japan as tourists and when we were in Tokyo we spotted an Estima minivan with a "hybrid" embossed chrome logo on the back. We stopped and talked to the business men standing near the van (who looked like corporate executives, judging from the quality of their suits).

    At that time I had never heard of a hybrid mini-van, nor the Estima, but it was awesome. The gentleman told us it was a company car, it was full of executive luxury options (it had six independant lounger seats instead of any bench seats, and really large cup-holders and individual lights, cell phone charging plugs, and a shared video screen). It was amazing to look at and we wanted a more normal market one right away.

    So far no one at our local Toyota dealer has been able to tell us much about our enquiry to "grey-market" import one for us, but they claim they are still researching it. It was a smidge smaller than the Siennas we see here in the states (eg: not useful for carrying 4x8' sheets of drywall/plywood), but plenty tall - I suspect the executive model we looked at may have been taller than a normal Estima, as it did not look normal.

  6. #15
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    I just want to add our voice to the clamoring for a hybrid minivan. All Toyota seems to be offering us in the US is the Highlander, which at 33mpg is not as fuel efficient as we want, plus doesn't have the seating we need (2 baby seats, plus older child, plus friends, plus cargo!). I will be calling the Toyota number listed earlier on this forum to register my demand for a hybrid minivan. Has anybody thought of a petition to Toyota? Since they are already producing these vehicles, it seems that with enough direct customer input they might be persuaded.

  7. #16
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    http://toyota.jp/Showroom/All_toyota...rid/index.html

    Might be interesting to see this - even though it's all in Japanese.

  8. #17
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    I just called go toyota and the man I spoke with said that the hybrid mini-van will be released after the camry is released. The camry is set to release February 2006 and the mini-van has no release date but is in the line-up for right after the camry.


  9. #18
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    Did a google and found this article on Estima. Doesn't sound like it will be sold here anytime soon.

    http://www.toyota.com/about/environm...y/minivan.html

  10. #19
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    Add me to the list of those who would buy a hybrid minivan in a second if I could get my hands on one. The Highlander isn't what my family needs. What are they waiting for???

  11. #20
    Guest

    Hybrid Minivan US Availability?

    I followed up on the Estima link in Japanese and it showed the interworkings of this 4-wheel drive marvel.
    http://toyota.jp/Showroom/All_toyota...ism/index.html
    The Estima uses a "parallel" hybrid gasoline engine with an electric motor/generator configuration to drive the front wheels and an electric motor to drive the rear wheels. If the electric motor and batteries were large enough, the van looks like it could be converted to a "plug-in" hybrid also. The plug-in gives you the option of charging the vehicle at night and running all-electric for the first 20 to 60 miles before switching to normal hybrid mode. The advatage of this is a 80-90% reduction in gasoline use.

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