|Assembly||Toyota City, Aichi, Japan (Motomachi plant)|
|Predecessor||Toyota Crown (North America)|
|Successor||Toyota Vienta (Australia)
Toyota Avalon (North America)
|Related||Toyota Corona Mark II, Toyota Mark II, Toyota Chaser, Toyota Cresta|
The Toyota Cressida was a mid-size sedan marketed by Toyota from December 1976 to February 1993 through four generations. It was the flagship sedan of Toyota in the United States. The same chassis with slightly different bodies was available in other countries as the Toyota Mark II, Toyota Chaser and Toyota Cresta. The Cressida name was retired in 1992 (1993 in Australia), but the chassis and Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta names continued production in Japan until the early 2000s. In total, Toyota sold 353,053 Cressidas in the United States.
The Cressida was available worldwide in a variety of body styles and engines — including the 6-cylinder G-series, M-series, and the 4-cylinder R-series gasoline engines, as well as the 4-cylinder L series diesel.
First generation (X30, X40; 1976–1980) 
|Production||Dec 1976–Aug 1980|
|Body style||2-door coupe
4-door station wagon
|Engine||1.8 L 3T I4
2.0 L 18R I4
2.6 L 4M I6
2.6 L 4M-E I6 EFI
4-speed A43DL automatic
|Wheelbase||102.0 in (2,591 mm)|
|Length||178.2 in (4,526 mm)|
|Width||66.0 in (1,676 mm)|
|Height||57.9 in (1,471 mm)|
|Curb weight||2,400 lb (1,089 kg)|
The first generation Cressida (designated X30 series) was available as a sedan (X30, X32), estate wagon (X35, X36) or hardtop coupe (X30, X31). In Japan, it was sold as both the Toyota Mark II and the more upmarket Cressida.
Depending on the market it was sold in, it had the 4M carbureted engine (MX32, MX36), the 18R engine (RX30, RX32, RX35) or 3T engine (TX30). The North American models started with the carbureted 4M engine (MX32) but in mid-1978 the fuel-injected 4M-E replaced its carbureted counterpart – this was one of the first Toyotas in the US to use fuel injection. In 1979, the MSRP in the US was US$9,190. In New Zealand, where it was locally assembled and sold in a highly specified GL form (replacing the 2.8-litre Crown which had been hit by high sales taxes on two-litre-plus engine sizes), it had the 18R engine.
Standard features included air conditioning, automatic transmission (a 5-speed manual was available), power steering, rear seat armrests, AM/FM cassette stereo with amplifier, reclining front seats, and a rear window defroster. The automatic transmission was a four-speed overdrive with an overdrive lockout. Power windows were optional. Soundproofing was extensive, and the Cressida was famous for being one of the quietest cars on the road at the time.
In the United Kingdom, the Cressida was available in both sedan and wagon bodystyles. The only engine available was the 18R and there was one trim level, badged De Luxe. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the same as DX specifications on other Toyota cars, but a more upmarket version of the DX trim level. The Toyota Carina sedan and wagon also sold in the United Kingdom at this time were also badged as De Luxe (but rebadged as DX from 1980 onwards).
Second generation (X50, X60; 1980–1984) 
|Body style||4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
|Engine||2.8 L 5M-E I6
2.8 L 5M-GE I6
4-speed A43DE automatic
|Wheelbase||104.0 in (2,642 mm)|
|Length||186.0 in (4,724 mm)|
|Width||66.5 in (1,689 mm)|
|Height||54.0 in (1,372 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,000 lb (1,361 kg)|
The second generation Cressida, the MX63, was a significant redesign from the previous generation. Gone was the coupé version, but a more up-to-date body style was new for the sedan and wagon. Changes from the previous generation included a larger engine, now up to 116 hp (87 kW) (and using electronic fuel injection). The 5M-E would power the 1981 and 1982 models before it was superseded by the 5M-GE, a DOHC engine with a substantially higher power rating, 143 hp (107 kW) in 1983 and 156 hp (116 kW) in 1984. North American X60-series Cressidas all received versions of the 2.8-liter inline-six engine, while in other markets smaller units were often available.
This model was again assembled in New Zealand initially only with a two-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and five-speed manual or optional three-speed automatic transmission. Various markets received different bodywork, combining various elements of the Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta variants.
In 1983, the Cressida was refreshed and gained an independent semi-trailing link rear suspension, rear vented disc brakes, and the 5M-GE engine. Much of this technology came from the Toyota Supra parts bin with minor differences. A five-speed manual transmission was available, but cars equipped with it were considerably more rare than automatic versions. The electronically controlled A43DE automatic transmission was another improvement over the previous hydraulically controlled A43DL transmission and had three modes: Power, Normal, and Economy. This iteration was praised for its handling, ride, quiet interior, and most of all, its reliability; the Cressida was quickly gaining a reputation for outstanding ownership.
In August 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda initiated the F1 project ("Flagship" and "No. 1 vehicle"; alternatively called the "Circle-F" project), a clandestine effort aimed at producing a world-class luxury sedan for international markets. This led to the creation of an all new, full size luxury sedan designed for export markets and was called the Lexus LS.
US federal law for seatbelt and safety regulations saw the introduction of automatic seat belts which consisted of a motorized shoulder belt that was deployed in the closed position when the door was closed and the ignition on. The Cressida was the first automobile produced with the motorized shoulder belts as standard equipment on every vehicle. The belts would be installed on all Cressidas in the United States from 1981 on.
After the mid-generation facelift, a mid-grade specification similar to the original one-model line was offered on New Zealand assembled models with the four-cylinder engine; a new top version had a two-litre six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic and air conditioning, becoming the first NZ-built Toyota to have 'air' as standard. A large number of the four-cylinder cars with dealer-fitted air conditioning were sold to car hire company Hertz Rent-A-Car. Both engines were below two litres to avoid the higher sales taxes that applied on larger engines in New Zealand at the time.
Third generation (X70; 1984–1988) 
|Body style||4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
|Engine||2.8 L 5M-GE I6|
4-speed A43DE automatic
4-speed A340E automatic
|Wheelbase||104.5 in (2,654 mm)|
|Length||1985–86: 188.0 in (4,775 mm)
1987–88: 187.8 in (4,770 mm)
|Width||66.5 in (1,689 mm)|
|Height||1985–86: 54.0 in (1,372 mm)
1987–88: 54.1 in (1,374 mm)
|Curb weight||3,214 lb (1,458 kg)|
In 1984 for the 1985 model year, a new Cressida was introduced by Toyota. This was the MX73 (MX72 for wagon). The 5M-GE engine was mostly unchanged from the 1984 model year but gained a knock-sensor, which detected pre-ignition and adjusted timing accordingly when a lower-grade fuel was used. The 5M-E SOHC also was available in some markets. The bodystyle was all-new, larger, and more aerodynamic than previous generations. Interestingly, like its main competitor at the time, the Nissan Maxima, it was given the "compact" design, though it had grown in size. New options included were an electronic shock absorber control (TEMS), CD player, super monitor, digital gauges, standard woodgrain trim, and secondary radio controls that were placed right by the steering wheel for easier access while driving. The automatic transmission retained its Normal/Power selector as many other Toyotas would, but later in production, the Economy selection was dropped. In 1987 the automatic transmission was changed to the A340E that was also used with the 7M-GE and Lexus 1UZ-FE engine at the time. The 1988 model was not offered with a manual transmission and the wagon was discontinued in 1987. By 1988, power output was at 161 hp (120 kW).
In New Zealand, the model was locally assembled with both two-litre I6 (mid-grade trim) and four-speed automatic and top 2.8-litre, DOHC, 12-valve I6 GLX spec including automatic air conditioning and leather upholstery. This was the last generation assembled in New Zealand as it was becoming easier to import low-volume built-up cars without punitive import duty and the subsequent generation would come from Japan.
In Chile, the Cressida was imported by the army to be used for brigadiers and colonels.
Fourth generation (X80; 1988–1992) (1988–1996 in Middle East) 
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||2.8 L 5M I6
3.0 L 7M-GE I6
2.4 L 22R I4
|Transmission||4-speed A340 automatic|
|Wheelbase||105.5 in (2,680 mm)|
|Length||189.6 in (4,816 mm)|
|Width||67.3 in (1,709 mm)|
|Height||54.5 in (1,384 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,417 lb (1,550 kg)|
Toyota introduced the slightly larger fourth generation of the Cressida, the MX83, in 1988 for the 1989 model year — the final generation for the Cressida in North America.
Standard features included a new, more powerful 3.0-liter straight six 7M-GE engine producing 190 horsepower (140 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) at 4,400 rpm. As with the powertrain, most other mechanicals were modified versions of those in the Supra, most notably the new double-wishbone rear suspension. Standard equipment included power windows and locks, cruise control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and a four-speed automatic transmission. Options included antilock brakes, a power driver's seat, leather upholstery, power moonroof, and a CD player. All Cressidas of this generation featured motorized automatic seat belts; airbags were never offered.
The Cressida was praised for its comfortable and quiet ride, graceful rear-wheel-drive handling, high gas mileage for its class (23 mpg [US] average according to a July 1989 Consumer Reports test), and stellar reliability. Downsides include a somewhat uncomfortable back seat, ride quality that deteriorated with a full load of passengers, and a trunk with only 12.5 cubic feet of space.
The most substantive change was the 1991 facelift, which brought brighter alloy wheels (wearing the same 195/65-15 tires), a redesigned grille containing the new Toyota "T" logo, and simplified climate controls.
In the Middle East, the Cressida had a 2.4-litre 22R engine producing 108 horsepower (81 kW) at 6,000 rpm. The other available engine was the 2.8-litre 5M, which produced 103 kW (140 PS; 138 hp) at 4,800 rpm and 226 Nm at 3,600 rpm using the leaded petrol available in the region at the time.
|Calendar year||US sales|
Cancellation and succession 
In Japan, the Mark II, Chaser and Cresta continued beyond 1992, but the Cressida name was retired. The X chassis code for Cressidas remained under the Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta names for several years. The Chaser and Cresta went on for two more generations until 2000, when they were replaced by the short lived Toyota Verossa. The Mark II was succeeded by the Mark X in 2004, although the Mark II Blit, a wagon variant, was sold until 2007.
The Cressida also played a part in the design of the first Lexus models, most closely resembling the LS 400. However, some of the shared concepts and similarity between the Cressida and early Lexus models in turn led to the decision to eventually discontinue the Cressida in most markets, as it would overlap with vehicles sold under the Lexus marque. The 1992 redesign of the Camry and introduction of the XLE V6 model helped cover the Cressida's market as well, despite the fact the Camry was a front-wheel-drive vehicle and the Cressida was rear-wheel-drive.
The introduction of the Toyota Avalon in the American market in 1995 filled the gap left by the cancellation of the Toyota Cressida in 1992. The Avalon was a front-wheel drive full-size car, powered by a V6 engine, as the third-generation Camry remained in the mid-market but now had grown in proportions to be classified as a mid-size. The Cressida was an upper-level mid-size rear-wheel drive car with a straight-6 engine, as the mid-market second-generation Camry was still classified as a compact car in the early 1990s.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Toyota Cressida|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Toyota X series|
- Toyota Vehicle Identification Manual. Japan: Toyota Motor Corporation – Overseas Parts Department. 1984. Catalog No.97913-84.
- Dawson, Chester (2004), Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit. John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd., Singapore. p. 4. ISBN 0-470-82110-8.
- May, Matthew E. (2006), The Elegant Solution: Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation, Free Press, NY. p. 43. ISBN 0-7432-9017-8.
- Cressida (brochure), Canada: Toyota, 1991, 33M C0002-0251E-25
- "ToyotaReference.com". 2010-10-08.
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