Used Toyota Picnic MPV 1997 - 2001 review

Category: MPV

Section: What is it like?

1997 - 2001 review
Toyota Picnic MPV (97 - 01)
  • Toyota Picnic MPV (97 - 01)
  • Toyota Picnic MPV (97 - 01)
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What's the used Toyota Picnic MPV like?

The Picnic looks to be part-estate car and part-MPV because it's only marginally shorter and narrower than Toyota's big Previa people-carrier, but significantly lower.

Inside, it's very much an MPV, with three rows of two seats (a seven-seat variant was offered as an option) and each individual chair has a three-point seatbelt.

Head- and legroom are good in the first two rows, but six-footers will be short of headroom in the third. These two rearmost seats are removable, but the Picnic's ultimate versatility could be better because the middle row of seats doesn't come out. All they do is to fold forward to make (picnic) tables instead.

Another problem is the driving position, which is compromised because the steering wheel is fixed. Base models also miss out on seat height adjustment, and all Picnics have a shallow rear screen that makes reversing tricky.

On the positive side, though, the car's lower centre of gravity helps it handle better than many MPVs. The ride is firm without being uncomfortable, and there's minimal body roll through corners. There's plenty of grip, too, although it doesn't have the agility of the best estates and the steering is rather numb.