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Toyota’s Station Wagon ‘Mark II Qualis’ Was A ‘Camry Gracia’ Inside

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TEXT: 小鮒康一(KOBUNA Koichi)  PHOTO: AMW

  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997
  • Toyota Mark II Qualis introduced in April 1997

It gained a certain reputation as a practical station wagon

The Mark II Qualis was introduced in April 1997 as a new model of the Toyota Mark II Wagon. Although the front mask and tail lamps wore a design similar to that of the eighth-generation Mark II, the platform was not for the RWD Mark II but for the FWD Camry Gracia. Why was a 4WD model added to the line-up, which the previous generation did not have?

The engine line-up includes straight-four and V6

The Mark II (and its successor, the Mark X) was Toyota’s middle-class sedan that has now disappeared, partly due to cooling demand for sedans. Many people may have a strong image of the Mark II as a four-door sedan (hardtop), but there was also a station wagon model from the first generation model.

However, it was not until the fifth generation model, which appeared in 1984, that the wagon model also became a new model in line with model changes. After that, while the four-door models underwent a full model change, the wagon (and van) continued to be sold with the fifth-generation model undergoing a series of minor changes.

It was in April 1997 that the Mark II wagon was completely redesigned. The Mark II had undergone a full model change to the 8th generation the previous year, and about six months later it was renamed the Mark II Qualis. The Mark II Qualis wore a design similar to the eighth-generation Mark II in terms of the front mask and tail lamps, but inside it was the sibling of the Camry Gracia, which had appeared the previous year.

There was therefore no in-line six-cylinder engine, which had been the mainstay of the Mark II, but a transversely mounted in-line four-cylinder or V6, and the drive system was front-wheel drive or front-wheel drive-based 4WD. However, as it bore the Mark II name, it was given a more advanced character, and a grade equipped with a V6 3L engine, which was not included in the Camry Gracia line-up, was also available, which was a major difference.

In addition, past Mark II wagons were naturally rear-wheel drive, with no 4WD available, so this was a welcome change for users living in snowy regions.

Also, the front-wheel-drive layout gave it a spacious interior, and although the cabin was a little minimalist, the Mark II Wagon was a practical station wagon that won a certain amount of praise.

However, the front-wheel drive layout of the Mark II, even though it bore the Mark II name, did not seem to be well accepted by old users, and two years after the Mark II underwent a full model change to the 9th generation, the Mark II Brit, a station wagon based on a genuine Mark II, appeared. The Mark II Qualis was sold out two years later when the Mark II Brit, a station wagon based on the genuine Mark II, appeared on the market.

Then, when the Mark II was redesigned into the Mark X, the Mark X Zio, a station wagon with a front-wheel drive layout, was again introduced, but it too was branded as an unpopular car that was not appreciated by the users of yesteryear.

translated by DeepL

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