Toyota took the wraps off of its comprehensively redesigned home-market Estima minivan Monday (apparently 'Estima' means 'pointy' in Japanese). The bat-faced upmarket family hauler can seat up to eight people while casting a shadow smaller than that of the American-market Sienna. Styling was heavily influenced by Toyota's 2005 Estima Hybrid concept, and it comes in two basic trims, the Estima "G" and the 'Aeras S Package' (above).

Available in both 2.4L inline-four and 3.5L V6 trim and paired with six-speed sequential automatics, the front-driver includes such options as a hard-drive based entertainment system (capable of storing 2,000 songs), Toyota's Intelligent Parking Assist butler, and a front-mounted camera used to ferret out the Estima's distant, acicular corners. As previous Estimas have been available with a hybrid powertrain, a similarly-powered model is expected shortly.

Toyota hopes to shift about 84,000 copies of the bat-van each year.


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