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Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

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What is the Difference Between the Toyota Mark II, Cresta, and Chaser? - Vol.196

Throughout Toyota's business history there have been multiple instances of cars designed on a shared platform. The Toyota Mark II, Cresta, and Chaser are examples of this. You may be wondering what the difference is between these vehicles, or if there is any difference at all. To answer this question we will need to examine each model individually.

The Chaser
The first Chaser came into production in 1977. This vehicle came standard with the option of a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter engine. Initially these cars were not meant for performance, and instead were designed to be economical. However, in 1984 the "Avante" series was released and featured a smaller frame than the Mark II and the Cresta. Although the dimensions were smaller, the improved Chaser allowed the user to update to a twin turbo motor. This enabled the Chaser to exceed its sister cars when it came to performance.

In 1990 the Chaser line received a major overhaul. The most notable models of this time were the Avante G and the GT Twin Turbo. Both models were fitted with the same motor that powered Toyota's sporty Supra. This 2.5-liter 1JZ engine maxed out at 178 hp. However, with the turbocharger the engine could hit 276 hp, which was the maximum amount of horsepower allowed under Japanese regulations.

The most recent model available on the market is the 6th generation, which was released in 1996. Four years later the Chaser was discontinued along with the Cresta.

The Cresta
First produced in 1980, the Cresta was designed to be the more luxurious version of the Mark II, while the Chaser was meant for performance. The first generation Cresta employed a design that embodied modern European taste. This sedan had a full range of upgrades available, and came standard with a simple 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine.

The second-generation model saw the addition of power side mirrors and a more American design. The engine was also upgraded to a more powerful 2.4-liter diesel. In addition to this, the option of a twin turbo engine was added. In 1996 the last Cresta model was released as the X100 series. However, much like the Chaser, the Cresta was discontinued and replaced by the Toyota Verossa.

The Mark II
First released in 1968 as the Corona Mark II, this vehicle was Toyota's step away from economy cars, and towards mainstream demand. This new model established Toyota as an international company. Soon after the vehicles original release Toyota created two variations of the Mark II: the Chaser and Cresta.

The Mark II proved invaluable to Toyota by filling a market gap after the firm's failed attempt to introduce the Crown sedan to North America.

Although the Cresta and Chaser were discontinued in late 2000 the Mark II lived to see another four years. The ninth and final generation of the Mark II was the first occurrence of direct injection vehicle being massed produced by Toyota. This model also featured a 2.5-liter engine and had a turbocharger option.

After examining all three vehicles it is easy to see what the differentiating factors are. The Mark II was the original vehicle that started Toyota's international efforts. In order to meet customer demand effectively the company created three separate entities that shared a platform, but focused on different target customers. The Mark II was a classic balance of performance and design, and was intended for those that wanted compromise. The Chaser was built for the performance focused customer, and while lower on amenities, provided a turbocharged experience. The Cresta was the luxury customers dream, and featured every available option in Toyota's arsenal.