Automakers, including Toyota, are concerned about the sales evolution of minivans intended mainly in Japan. On March 15, 2021, bestcarweb.jp published a report that suggests a bleak future for minivans because of the declining birthrate and aging population. In the near- to mid-term future, this may lead to companies reducing the variants of their minivan models, and in some cases, discontinuation.
In 2020, TMC reportedly sold 69,517 units of the Toyota Voxy, 45,434 units of the Noah, and 26,368 units of the Esquire. Combined, that’s an adequate number to remain in the segment, but it’s no longer feasible for three similar models, as per reports.
In this article, we examine the future of the Toyota Voxy based on Japanese media reports.
Next-gen Toyota minivan line-up
MPVs may be deemed boring in this side of the world, but they are still a thing in Japan, to the extent that manufacturers have the motivation to release cosmetic versions as separate models. As a result, derivatives of the same MPV typically feature a distinctive character that appeals to different types of customers.
The Toyota Noah has had a fancier alternative called Toyota Voxy that offers edgier and sportier design and a higher road presence. The third-gen Noah and Voxy debuted in January 2014, and the Toyota Esquire “deluxe minivan” followed that October. The new model was aimed at Japanese customers seeking an elegant design. Each of the three MPVs was sold via a separate sales channel: Voxy at Netz showrooms, Noah at Toyota Corolla dealerships, and Esquire at Toyota and Toyopet outlets.
Toyota is making changes, and since May 2020, it has offered the models via every sales channel available. Japanese reports were previously of the view that the company may not renew all three models for the next generation and may offer different front fascias and styling instead of separate models. However, the latest reports suggest that Toyota has reconsidered.
Citing a Mag-X report, Japanese blog creative311.com reported on 27 July 2021 that Toyota plans to launch separate next-gen Noah and next-gen Voxy models, keeping with the twenty-year-old tradition. The company may, however, discontinue the Esquire, as per the report.
Road-testing of the 2022 Toyota Noah has begun, and eagle-eyed car spotters have started sharing their spy shots on the web (featured image of the article). Twitter user namu_tt8s shared spy shots on July 15, 2021, revealing that Toyota is keeping the silhouette and overall design of the Noah familiar with the upcoming full model change.
At the front, the spy pictures show the 2022 Noah donning slimmer sweptback headlamps with a horizontal extension in the lower section for the light signature. The multi-layer grille has three chunky horizontal slats in the area below the headlamps. The front bumper features vertical C-shaped outer ends to complement the sporty look of the headlamps.
At the rear, Toyota has applied wider tail lamps that flow further onto the shoulders like on the third-gen Alphard. The tail lamps probably have a tall vertical section extending all the way up to the roof in a signature fashion, but Toyota has masked that area not to spill the beans. Up top, there’s a new shark fin antenna on the next-gen model.
Platform & powertrain
The Toyota Voxy would adopt the TNGA platform when moving to its fourth generation and employ a 2.0-liter full-hybrid powertrain. This could be the regional Toyota Corolla’s system that comes with the M20A-FXS engine, the 650-volt 1NM electric motor, and a 216-volt Nickel-metal hydride battery pack.
As per the Japanese media, Toyota is reportedly exploring a change in the chemistry of its batteries. Current cells are nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and Toyota is looking to switch to lithium-ion (Li-Ion). We will have to wait and see what the electrical system configuration will be on the new Sienta MPV and Toyota’s future hybrid cars.
According to a new report from bestcarweb.jp, TMC will announce the 2022 Toyota Noah and 2022 Toyota Voxy next April. Previously it was reported that the company planned to introduce them in January 2022. The part shortages resulting from the COVID-19 restrictions in Southeast Asia may have affected the schedule of the hybrid minivans.
The report mentions that Toyota sold 51,716 units of the Voxy between January and August 2021 and recorded year-over-year growth of 18.1%. The company delivered 32,676 units of the Noah during the same months this year, a year-over-year increase of 16.5%. Assuming that component supplies are not a problem, it is likely that both minivans will have higher sales numbers in 2021.
Featured Image Source: Twitter/namu_tt8s