Toyota Wish – 2003 – 2017 Model Year Differences and Improvements

The Toyota Wish is a compact MPV (minivan) manufactured by Japanese automaker Toyota from 2003 to 2017. The Wish is available as five-door with six or seven seats.

There are two generations of the Wish with the first one running from 2003 to 2008 and the second one running from 2009 to 2013.

In this article, we will take a look at the evolution of the Wish in these two generations so as to inform our readers/customers on what separates the two hoping that this information will help simplify your decision-making. Please follow through

2003 – 2008


The Wish was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in late 2002 as a 2003 model. It was available on the local Japanese market by January 2003. The body dimensions of the Wish fell in the small size passenger vehicle “5 number” by Japanese standards which gave the Wish a sporty appearance with a relatively low body height. 

The Wish has its seats arranged in three rows in a six or seven-seat configuration. The second and third-row seats could be split and folded, creating flat and large luggage space as needed.

The first generation Wish came fitted with a 1.8-liter (1ZZ-FE) petrol engine with 132 HP. This was the only engine available at first, but later an optional 2.0-liter (1AZ-FSE) petrol engine with 155 HP was made available. The Wish is available in FWD and 4WD drivetrain configurations. The 2.0-liter FWD model is fitted with a CVT transmission, while 1.8-liter FWD and 4WD models are fitted with a 4-speed automatic. 

Underneath, as standard, all models came fitted with MacPherson strut suspension at the front, and a torsion beam rear suspension, except the 2.0Z and 4WD models which were fitted with double-wishbone rear suspension.

In 2005 a facelifted Wish was unveiled. It featured a few cosmetic changes which included several new features that include the dashboard, headlights, LED taillights, and bumpers. The climate control buttons were also revised, and a new 7-speed automatic transmission on the 2.0 Z. The engines and drivetrain were unchanged.


2009 – 2017


In the first quarter of 2009, Toyota unveiled the second-generation Wish which retained its predecessor’s concept of a small size passenger vehicle “5 number”. This second-generation Wish is still a sporty MPV with 7-seats (except the 6-seater 2.0 Z) split into three rows. 

This second-generation released under the slogan “smart multiplayer”, has significantly improved the car’s overall appeal.

The second-generation Wish is available in four trims, which are the base 1.8X, the sporty 1.8S, the upper-class 2.0G, and the top-end 2.0Z.

New features on this Wish release include active headrests, 10-speaker Wish Panoramic Live Sound System, and dust mite-resistant seat covers.

Like in the first generation, this second-generation Wish is equipped with either a 1.8-liter (2ZR-FAE) petrol engine or a 2.0-liter (3ZR-FAE) petrol engine fitted with the valvematic system that reduces air pollution and improves driving performance.

The 1.8-liter fitted on the 2WD model produced from 2009 to 2018 has an output of 140 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque while the same engine fitted on the 4WD model also produced from 2009 to 2018 has an output of 130 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque. The bigger 2.0-liter produced within the same period has an output of 150 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque.

These engines are mated to either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 7-speed Super CVT-i transmission which improves the car’s fuel efficiency by almost 15% compared to the previous model.

In the second quarter of 2012, a facelifted Wish was introduced. It featured several cosmetic changes that include a dashboard meter cluster, a revised front grille, new headlights, taillights with LED inserts, and a rear tailgate decoration.

The Wish is equipped with several standard safety features which include ABS (Antilock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and BA (Braking Assistance). Optional features include Traction Control System (TCS) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The Wish comes with front ventilated and rear disc brakes as standard except for the 1.8X 2WD which comes with rear drums.



The Wish was one of the most popular, if not the most popular MPV during its prime. Although time has passed and many new and advanced MPV’s have been released, but still, the wish is a desirable pick for some buyers. There are several reasons for buyers to opt for the wish rather than the other new and better options, but the most significant is Wish’s combination of reliability, low maintenance, and spaciousness. If a car offers you all this, what more can you ask for?

The Wish has plenty of space that can be configured to suit different occasions. The cargo area has enough space for fitting several bags with all seats in place, but if more space is required, the third-row seats can be folded flat to get extra space, and if more space is required, you can fold down the second-row seats as well.

The Wish is also a comfortable car, its cabin is spacious providing enough room for passengers for stretching and moving around. Unlike other 7-seaters that come with limited space on the third row, the Wish has plenty of space on the third row, enough to accommodate even tall adults.

Storage-wise, the Wish comes with several small storage options for storing items such as keys, wallets, phones, and jewelry. On the doors, there are large door pockets with bottle holders that can handle a 1.5-liter bottle.

We hope this article will prove to be resourceful, and that it will simplify your decision-making if you are looking for an MPV or specifically looking for a Toyota Wish but not sure of which model to opt for.

Please visit BE FORWARD and check out our list of 300+ used Toyota Wish listed for sale.



Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya

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