Toyota has launched its new Isis medium-class minivan in Japan with steering-guided clearance sonar, which warns the driver when there is a risk of contact with an obstacle in the same direction of travel – a claimed world first. The new model also has a so-called ‘panorama open door’ on the passenger side with built-in centre pillar for easier access and the usual variety of seat arrangements. The panorama open door consisting of a conventional front door and a rear sliding door. When the front and rear doors are both opened, an opening 1,890mm wide is created, achieving claimed “dramatic improvements” for ease of passenger entry and exit loading and unloading. The sliding doors can be opened and closed electrically with a single touch of a button. The easy-closing mechanism on the sliding doors ensures that the doors are fully and securely closed and the Smart Door Lock system allows doors to be locked or unlocked by simply having the key in a pocket or purse. The passenger seat has a one-touch tumble feature, while the second row of seats is equipped with a seat tip-up function and the third row of seats features under-floor storage. This creates a flexible interior space that can be used for a wide variety of applications. The cabin accommodates seven (Japanese) adults comfortably. Engine choices are a two-litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) D-4 (Direct Injection 4 Stroke Gasoline Engine) or a 1.8 with VVT-i. Transmissions are Super CVT-i (Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) with NAVI-AI (Artificial Intelligence) SHIFT control (on two-litre models). As is increasingly the case with Japanese-market vehicles, there is no manual option. However, a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic is said to give a similar response to manual shifting.