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Toyota Reviews

Toyota was formed in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works - and it was devoted to the production of cars under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. The original Toyota motor car, the Model A, was created three years earlier in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries. In 1936, the first passenger car, the Model AA followed suit, and the company was on its way.

Toyota grew quickly after WW2, with car production starting in 1947 with the model SA. In April 1956, the Toyopet dealer chain was established, and the range grew, as sales increased in the domestic market. Exports to the USA began in 1957, with the Crown. The Corolla and Corona proved hugely successful in the middle-market, finding mass sales thanks to reliability, ease of servicing, and conservative engineering. Daihatsu, and Hino Motors were absorbed along the way, as well as creating Lexus and Scion to meet the luxury and sports car markets.

Good: Brilliant off-road ability combined with peerless reliability - this was the car that killed Land Rover in many markets
Bad: Rust and scarcity of parts and expertise in the UK
Good: Reliable, solid and engineered to last, plenty of classic Japanese appeal
Bad: Body was susceptible to corrosion, not really large enough for 21st century Europeans
Good: Cute, a lot of fun, and fitted with a targa roof
Bad: Finding one in the UK is near-impossible
Good: Amazing looks, and fantastic performance considering 2.0-litre power
Bad: Rare and hyper-valuable
Good: Baby 'pony car' looks, sweet 1.6-litre engines, rugged mechanics
Bad: Corrosion, difficulty finding parts
Good: Big, roomy, and very reliable; pillarless coupe very cool
Bad: Rust and parts availability
Good: Surprisingly roomy and well equipped
Bad: Not as sporting, nor as good looking as the original Celica
Good: Supra has an honest hairy-chested charm
Bad: 'Cooking' models in UK-spec very ordinary to drive
Good: GT has Great engine and gearbox shared with the MR2, quick acceleration, fun handling
Bad: Rust and being late to the classic party for the GT - so there are few survivors, the rest of the range is forgettable
Good: Fun handling, excellent performance
Bad: Legendary drift car so now very expensive, rust and beware imports with fictional history
Good: Excellent handling a big improvement on the previous model, Turbo 4WD model is a cut-price Integrale, reliable in all forms
Bad: Needs an understanding owner due to rust issues
Good: Nothing less than the reinvention of the small sports car by Toyota
Bad: Rust and poor body repairs
Good: Fast in Turbo form, lots of fun, and an effortless high-speed cruiser
Bad: Rust, expensive to repair, a bit on the large side to be a genuine sports car
Good: Safe, enjoyable handling and good engines. GT-Four is a rapid point-to-point car. A front-drive version is the sensible buy.
Bad: Odd looks, sombre interior and a firm ride. Gearbox failure is common on the GT-Four.
Good: More powerful than the original MR2, mini-Ferrari looks, better handling and ride from 1994 onwards, cheap prices
Bad: Doesn't handle as sweetly as its predecessor, 1990-1992 models can be a bit naughty, especially in the wet, misaligned suspension quite common
Good: Tidy-looking coupe with butterfly doors. Mechanically very similar to the Paseo and Starlet with typically solid Toyota build quality.
Bad: Some parts can be hard to find, though Toyota are generally helpful where possible. Doors require frequent maintenance.
Good: Very fast, refined, comfortable and full of luxury kit, decent ride and excellent grip
Bad: Many have been modified and wear dubious-looking aftermarket body kits, lots of imports around so check the spec carefully
Good: Stylish-looker with a good reliability record, GT-Four is very rapid, but front-drive GT is quick enough and a more sensible buy. Very pretty convertible
Bad: Doesn't handle as well as the previous version, beware of sellers disguising 1.8s as 2.0s.
Good: Smart looks and sharp, rewarding handling. The 190 has a terrific high-revving engine. Well built and so far very reliable.
Bad: The rear seats are tight for space. VVT-i engines can develop a thirst for oil after 40k miles.
Good: Great fun to drive. More minimalist than previous version. Goes and handles just like a sports-inspired roadster should.
Bad: Virtually no luggage space. Prices are still high. A broken rear window means replacing the whole hood. Dangerous hidden corrosion to rear crossmember.
 

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