Toyota Wish 1.8 Review
Wish you were here...earlier

Story by Raymond Lai, pictures by Azfar Hashim
24 Oct 2008

Better late than never, and we finally get the chance to give the Wish a once over  

Inside & outside

In recent years, the mid-sized MPV market has been dominated by a single model – the Toyota Wish. Oddly though, the Wish isn’t an official import for our market. Back then, go to Toyota’s authorized dealer, Borneo Motors, to ask for a Wish and they’ll recommend you the Picnic instead. Yeap, the Wish is only available from the parallel importers.

But not anymore, as the Wish has finally been made available officially here after much haggling by Borneo Motors to encourage Toyota to officially offer it. Like your best friend attending your all important wedding diner, the Wish is fashionably late...Well, in more ways than one that is.

The official Wish can actually be easily distinguished from the grey imported models. Why? Because Borneo Motors has decked out Singapore’s most popular MPV with more spoilers than a Subaru WRX, or even the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo for that case.
There are bumper extensions at the front and back, deeper side skirts, a roof spoiler on the hatch as well as 16-inch alloy wheels to fill the arches. But undeniably, the body-kits certainly give the Wish a unique look from the grey models - it looks sporty and dynamic as well, giving it a purposeful stance.

The Wish isn’t exactly a new design and its age starts to show when you climb onto the driver’s seat. It’s hard to feel comfortable with the driving position – the seats are just set too high and can’t be adjusted low enough for most to feel truly at home on. The overall design of the dashboard and the quality and feel of the switch gears also feel aged, lacking in outright build quality. Also, the surface of the dashboard feels especially hard and brittle to the touch.

It is in the utility department where the Wish finally shines, which is a rather important factor in an MPV. Just like its fiercest competitor, the Honda Stream, the Wish offers a flat floor design at the rear to keep passengers happy. Second row passengers will enjoy reasonably good amounts of head and legroom, but more impressively, the third row offers almost as much space as the second row. As with the Stream, the seats have to be folded down for any decent amount of cargo space. However, there are only spaces for a couple of shopping bags at the rear if all seven seats are in place.

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