The first-generation Toyota Previa is a popular ’90s minivan that’s common on American roads. From the outside, it looks ordinary and outdated. So, you might wonder why this family car is on a list of the strangest Japanese cars. The reason is the technical layout.
While it looks forgettable from the outside, from the inside, the Previa has the same technical layout as the world’s best supercars. You probably didn’t know it, but the Previa has a mid-engined 2.4-liter four-cylinder configuration. Toyota tilted the engine at 75 degrees, making it almost flat and low to help the center of gravity. Also, they positioned the engine below the driver’s seat.
And in some versions, they equipped the Previa with a supercharger. The power output was 158 HP. Those numbers are small, but the handling was beyond what anybody expected from a 90’s production minivan. Unfortunately, for the next generation models, Toyota abandoned the advanced mid-engined layout. Instead, they went with the standard front engine, front-wheel drive model they based on the Camry.