Toyota Mark II Review by Phil Lee
Please note before you read this car review – I am biased. You should know that I am a Japanese car nut, so it’s impossible for me to give you a balanced review of this amazing and super rare sports car hiden in a user friendly sleeper sedan body…
I am also biased because we are also one of only a handfull of companies that can comply these amazing cars… What I can do though is give you my honest heartfelt opinion about this high performance luxury offering from Toyota that Toyota Australia has deemed “not suitable for Aussies” (or really just not profitable enough for them to throw at our tiny market). What we get here is poverty pack, overpriced Camrys, subsidised by Aussie taxpayers with a wing and leather seats and a tidy profit siphoned back to mother Japan (still better than a Bomadore or Falcon Taxi!)
Many people don’t even know what a Mark II is or that it even exists… So what is it? well I guess it kinda looks (and drives) like a Camry on steroids with a dash of EPO and a slug of perscription peptides all packaged up in a Hugo Boss suit! These are really the update to the famous Toyota Chaser (sharing the Chaser 1JZ twin turbo 2.5 litre motor – the heart of gold).
The Chaser has been a Japanese performance benchmark for years and the Mark II has taken the Chaser, modernised the styling, lightened and stiffened the chassis and shaved a few inches off the long lines and wide girth. The result is an efficient and leathally quiet and fast adult size sedan that I think has very few peers. The car will carry four adults in absolute comfort on a long trip… The rear-wheel drive layout screams out – “superb handling” and is a perfect mate for the turbo charged smooth straight six mill.
Check out these videos of recent Toyota Mark IIs that we have imported.
The interiors I think are beautiful in these Mark IIs. They look and feel classy and have that typical Japanese functionality where you just know where everything is intuitively – no surprises or guessing how things are going to work. For a bigger sedan these cars are light and stiff and feel like a sports car all-be-it in a comfortable package with sensible suspension settings – firm but not hard. Turn off the traction control (particularly in a manual variant) and the LSD will will help you light up the rear tyres in every gear all the way to the redline… In terms of power-to-weight and chassis dynamics I think these Mark II Toyotas make our HSV and FPV offerings feel like cumbersome dinosaurs – or at least like big grumpy grizzly bears with a tinge of arthritis!!!
I personally love the much rarer 5 speed manual versions (I am a bit of a hoon) but to me the auto also makes alot of sense for someone who wants a comfortable highway mile eater with alot of connection and feedback to and from the road – these cars really make sense too if you want a car with grunt and fuel economy. The 2.5 litre six sips fuel compared to our Aussie V8s and hefty sixes – yet will blow most of these heavy drinkers away in a drag race or around a twisty road…
There are four model variants that we are able to import as follows:
Base spec 2.5L turbo edition comes with 1JZ-GTE engine and VVT-i. 16 inch wheels as standard, and with wood grain interior panels.
This is the one we can find easily: 2.5L turbo model with 1JZ-GTE engine and VVT-i. Available in manual or auto, 18 inch wheels as standard.
Rare model tuned by Modellista. This model includes:
Rare model tuned by Modellista. Features normal IR-V Fortuna specs, but also includes as standard:
Please give me a call if you are interested in ordering in a Mark II direct from Japan. We can source and supply a drive-away vehicle to your exact specifications usually within 6-8 weeks from Japan to your doorstep. Call Phil 0416 285 333