トヨタ 新型 エスティマの登場は6月? マイナーチェンジで大幅変更へ

新型 エスティマ
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トヨタでも異例の長寿モデル、50エスティマ。街中を走っている車も非常に多い。現行モデルのデビューは2006年なので、丸10年となる。プラットフォームを共有していた2代目アルファードは、昨年新型がデビューし3代目となったが、その後もエスティマに関してはニューモデルが出るという噂はあるものの、一向にその動向が出てこない。ちなみにこのプラットフォーム、フロントはカローラやレクサスCT、2代目ハリアーなどのMCプラットフォーム、リアは専用設計。

それもそのはず、未だ人気は衰えず、昨年の4月(すなわちデビューから9年目)の時点でも販売台数トップ30に入っている。その後もアルファードのデビューなどがあってもコンスタントに販売台数を稼いでいる。トヨタにしてみたらとっくに原価償却の終わったシャシー&エンジンが長く売れてくれることは非常に嬉しいことなのであろう。

新型アルファード系のシャシーを使ってモデルチェンジすれば良いかもしれないが、リアにダブルウィッシュボーンをもってきた現行アルファード系のシャシーでは、やはり室内高に制約が出てくるのだろう。3列目の居住スペースを確保するとなるとエスティマのような低いルーフラインは難しくなる。トヨタも多分その辺が分かっていて、室内広さ優先の箱型ミニバンは好かないが3列目が必要という層が相当数いるのだろう。実用一辺倒の4ドアセダンは嫌だけど、後席は必要という最近流行の4ドアクーペモデルのようなものなのだろうか。ノア・ヴォクシー系の追加モデルとしてエスクァイアをデビューさせ、拘りのある男性をターゲットとしたマーケティングを展開をしたが、実のところ、トヨタはエスティマからの代替としてのニーズをこのエスクァイアに期待したのだが、やはりエスティマオーナーの琴線には触れなかったようだ。

脱線したが、エスティマ、シャシーを現行モデルを使うとなると、ボディサイズに関してはホイールベーストレッドには変更はなく、4,815mm×全幅1,820mm×1,730-1,760mmという諸元には大きな変更はないだろう。しかし、フロントは先代の後期型プリウスのようにロアグリルを大きくあけ、左右に両脇に開口部を設けた最近のトヨタ顔「キーンルック」となるよう。前期(2006年~)型に対して中期(2008年~)、後期(2012年~)は少し大人しいフロントフェイスになったと個人的には感じたので、アクの強さが再び出てくることを期待したい。

テールデザインについても、前期からLEDテールライトを採用しており、マイナーチェンジ後のモデルでもそれほど大きな変更はなかったが、今回はフロント同様に大きく手を入れてくるようだ。

エンジンは、V6モデルを廃止し、2.4Lの直4エンジンのみでハイブリッドとの2モデル展開となる。この直4も初期のモデルはシリンダとピストンのクリアランスが適正ではなく、オイルが多量に消費されるという問題があり、リコール対象となったエンジンだが、こんなに長く使われるエンジンになるとは思いもよらなかった。

グレードに関しても一番の売れ筋であったアエラス系に絞るようだ。現行モデルまでのアエラスはリアヒーターなど装備が劣るものの外観での付加価値で高価格設定とした言わば、高利益車だったが、新モデルは装備も充実するようで、車線逸脱や衝突回避システム「セーフティセンス」が標準となるようだ。

マイナーチェンジ後のエスティマは6月デビュー予定。先日ハイブリッドを投入したオデッセイ辺りとスタイリングの面などからも当たってくるだろう。モデル末期とはいえ、ビックマイナーを入れるということは先3年は販売するということになる。エスティマを加えて、アル・ヴェルと3強体勢を貫けるか見ものだ。

Comments

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