Last April, we traded in our beloved Toyota Aqua hybrid named “Bluebird” for a Toyota hybrid van now named “Agnes” – she the “esquire” trim model, similar to the Voxy or the Noah but with a stepped-up interior which means leather captains seats, lots of extra gadgets, shades, connectors, DVD/stereo stuff, and other automatic gizmos.
We purchased used (about five or six years old depending on how you count the imperial years), about 100,000 km on it but in fantastic shape.
Our “car guy” from Claudia car office hooked us up as he did with our previous vehicles. In fact we spotted this on his lot when we went to pick up Ryoko’s incredible dump kei truck.
We wanted something that:
- could carry six people for when friends come to visit or also when we go out and about with the parents and who knows, maybe another small human eventually,
- hybrid was critical as full EV vehicle wasn’t an option,
- wanted to stay at a reasonable price threshold (+/-10K US, oh at current exchange rate, it was well below that but whatever)
- really wanted the dark out back windows as I get sensory overloaded and prefer to ride in the back with minimal stimulation
- had also looked at the Honda vans as they have a “barn door” style back which I really prefer to the flip-up but just didn’t work out
- also hoped for a colour rather than the ubiquitous white but, no big deal, we put a couple stickers on the side windows (thanks Amber. and Sue) and a Linda Lindas cat on the back so we can spot our rig easier in a parking lot full of white minivans
We took delivery just in time for a trip to the Kominka summit in rural Kyoto Prefecture, with darling wife’s exceptional driving skills, the van navigated the twisty mountain winding roads, narrow city lane ways, and the expressways in a downpour all fantastically well. Extra points for a great navigation system.
Her name is Agnes and her license plate is “no 420” :) And this means i’m closer to double digits for number of vans i’ve owned (although i no longer drive):
- 74 VW turtletop
- 76 VW standard
- xx Mazda Bongo
- 89ish Mitsubishi
- 89ish Vanagon Synchro
- 2017? Toyota Esquire
- many station wagons and other borrowed vans…
(no i’m not going to obsess over making a list and collection, seriously dave)