Euro NCAP allowed a retest after Toyota made improvements to the car. The Previa did reasonably in the side impact because of its high-set cabin and it coped well in the frontal test although loads on the driver’s chest were reasonably high. The driver and, to a lesser extent, the passenger risked knee injuries from contact with structures behind the fascia. Protection from the recommended child restraints was patchy. Lastly, the Previa’s front proved to be very stiff and ‘unfriendly’ for pedestrians.
The driver’s restraint system uses a single-stage tethered airbag with a belt pre-tensioner and a load limiter. Unfortunately, this did not rule out the risk of chest injury. The driver and, to a lesser extent, the passenger risked knee injuries from hitting unforgiving structures beneath the fascia. All seats were fitted with three point belts, which improves safety.
The Previa performed well in side impact, as expected. But it was penalised by testers because impact forces transferred in an unrealistic manner from the dummy’s back to the seat, so reducing the severity of the readings used to assess the chances of chest injury occurring.
The restraint used by the 3-year-old child was a forward-facing Toyota-branded Britax Romer Duo. This fitted into the car using ISOFix anchorages and a top tether. The restraint used by the younger child was a rear-facing Toyota-branded Britax Romer Baby Safe, fitted into the car by using the adult belt. The three-year-old’s head was exposed in the frontal impact and the chest loads on both children were a little on the high side. No problems were noted in the side impact. A pictogram was fixed to the end of the fascia and a text label was fixed to both sides of the passenger’s sun visor. This warned against fitting a rear-facing restraint opposite an airbag and was permanent.
Only some areas of the bonnet, where an adult’s head would most likely strike, provided cushioning. The bumper and leading edge of the bonnet proved ‘unfriendly’.