Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

The Toyota Carina was a Japanese large family car, produced from December 1970 to 2000. It was typically marketed as a four-door version of the Celica (which shared the same platform), although early generations of the Carina also had 2-door and wagon models. Over time, it became a sister car to the Corona but was sportier, with distinctive bodywork and interior — aimed at the youth market and generally filling a niche between the Corolla and Corona. At that point it was replaced by the Allion.

The Carina name has been used in markets other than the USA at various times to represent other cars, usually the Corona. However, the Japanese-market Carina was a different car entirely.

The inspiration for the name Carina came from the Carina star cluster.

First generation (1970–1977) A10 series[]

The first-generation Carina was manufactured from December 1970, and sold atToyota Store dealership channels in Japan, while the Corona was sold at Toyopet Store. Its European release took place in October 1971. Show room appeal was enhanced by the inclusion in the price of reclining seats with built-in head restraints, radio, clock, reversing lights and servo-assistance on the brakes: these were features which, where available on competitor models, tended to be offered only as options at extra cost.

The A10 Carina was also exported to the US, but its introduction coincided with the introduction under President Nixon of a 10% import duty and sales volumes were disappointing. Cars destined for export were increasingly switched towards other markets in Europe and elsewhere and US exports stopped after only two years: the company progressed plans to build car plants in the USA.

The original model featured a 1588 cc OHV (2T) engine, with 4-speed gearbox and front-wheel disc brakes. It was revised in 1972 with a restyled body, new rear light cluster and filler cap repositioned in rear quarter panel, restyled front grille and fascia. The specification was once again revised in 1974 including sealed cooling system, improved brakes, restyled wheels with flared wheel arches, and restyled interior fittings. For 1976, it received a new front and rear-end styling, dual-line braking system with servo and a repositioned handbrake and gear lever. Wheelbase was increased slightly.

Second generation (A40, A50; (1977–1981)[]

Released in Japan August 1977, the next-generation Carina was available in Germany in December 1977 and in other European countries during 1978. In most markets it was fitted with the same 1,588 cc 2T engine as its predecessor. In the Carina, an output of 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) was claimed. The option of automatic transmission was added.

An estate car model was introduced, with heavy-duty leaf-spring rear suspension. In 1980, all models had revised front- and rear-end styling and headlights, and also received improved interiors. The following year, saloon and coupé models (but not the estate) were fitted with five-speed gearboxes as standard, still with optional automatic transmissions.

In November 1977, the 3T-U 1,800 cc engine emissions are updated. In May 1978, the GT 1600 cc was added, and a three-speed automatic transmission became available. The 1600GT 2T-GEU engine was made to comply with the Showa 53 (1978) emissions regulation, while output improved from 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) to 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp). The options list was updated to include a urethane bumper for impact improvement.

<In September 1978, the 3T-EU engine (1,770 cc OHV EFI) was installed in the ST-EFI and SR-EFI models, initially only with a five-speed manual. At the same time, the 2000GT with DOHC 18R-GU and the 18R-GEU EFI engine, fit 1978 exhaust emission regulations, as did the 18R-U and 21R-U engines. The emblem was changed to "TOYOTA" from "TOYOTA CARINA".

In August 1979, the front of the vehicle received a major change that now included four headlamp lights rather than the previous setup, with the Van remaining with four round lamps. The rear received a changed license plate mounting to give it a new style. 3T-EU and 21R-U engines were now available with the four-speed automatic transmission. These two, along with the 18R-GEU, were now the only engines offered (in Japan). The rear suspension became of the semi-trailing type, becoming the A50series Carina in the process. The Super Deluxe two-door sedan was discontinued, as was the 1400 Van. The 1600 Van received the 12T-J engine and the option of an automatic transmission.

As of August 1980, the EFI specification 1800 Hard Top (ST-EFI, SR-EFI) was the only engine offered in the sedans/coupés.

Celica Camry (1980–1982)[]

Toyota utilised the A40/A50 series Carina as the basis for the Celica Camry, a four-door sedan launched in Japan during January 1980, and sold at Toyota Corolla Shop dealerships. Positioned as the sedan counterpart to the Toyota Celica (A40 and A50) two-door coupe and three-door liftback, the Celica Camry shared few components with this model. Instead, Toyota elongated the front-end of its Carina, incorporating styling cues resembling those of the 1978–1981 Celica XX (known as the Celica Supra in export markets).

Toyota utilised the A40/A50 series Carina as the basis for the Celica Camry, a four-door sedan launched in Japan during January 1980, and sold at Toyota Corolla Shop dealerships. Positioned as the sedan counterpart to the Toyota Celica (A40 and A50) two-door coupe and three-door liftback, the Celica Camry shared few components with this model. Instead, Toyota elongated the front-end of its Carina, incorporating styling cues resembling those of the 1978–1981 Celica XX (known as the Celica Supra in export markets).

Powered by either a 1.6-liter 12T-U engine producing 88 PS (65 kW) JIS and 128 N·m (94 lbf·ft) or a 1.8-litre 13T-U engine producing 95 PS (70 kW) and 147 N·m (108 lbf·ft), Toyota also offered a fuel-injected 1.8-litre (105 PS or 77 kW) and a 2.0-litre (21R-U) with producing the same power. Towards the end of its model lifecycle, Toyota introduced a sports version of the Celica Camry equipped with the double overhead camshaft 2.0-litre 18R-GEU engine from the Celica producing 135 PS (99 kW).

Although it has an identical 2,500 mm (98 in) wheelbase to the Celica, Corona, and Carina, it is longer than the Carina but shorter than both the Corona and Celica. During its model cycle, over 100,000 units were sold in Japan. The Celica Camry was also exported to a number of markets using the Carina name, replacing the front-end styling of the second generation Carina in these markets. These export market hybrids used a different rear-end design and were also available with station wagon bodywork.

Third generation (1981–1988) A60 series[]

In its third incarnation, the Carina followed the fashion of the time with a still more angular and four-square design. The car followed its predecessors in retaining a front-engine rear-wheel drive configuration even though by then competitor manufacturerswere following a trend of switching to front-wheel drive in this class. In addition to the petrol-engined versions, the Carina was now offered with the option of an 1,839 cc 1Cdiesel engine, for which a power output of 65 PS (48 kW) at 4,500 rpm was claimed, in markets where fuel pricing and availability rendered this appropriate.

The third generation was first released in September 1981. This was the last Carina to use rear-wheel drive. The RWD Corona shared its chassis with this vehicle, with the Corona being updated the succeeding year. The 1800SE had power windows, and an 1800SE "Extra Edition" trim level was added. The Carina was famously used by private teams racing for Japan in the Dakar Rally in the two-wheel drive class for both 1981 and 1982. The Carina managed to achieve four championships in the marathon class divisions.

<In February 1982, a five-door wagon series was added, marketed as the "Surf". The1C, 1,800 cc OHC diesel engine was added to the lineup.

May 1982, the 1500 SE trim level was added.

In October 1982, the Turbo DOHC engine (3T-GTEU, 1,770 cc and 160 PS (118 kW) in the Touring Super Coupé trim level) with the "GT-TR" trim level was added. Celica and Corona were released with the same powerplant simultaneously. Conversely, the 18R-GEU engined 2000 GT was no longer available.

In May 1983, minor changes were done to the whole range, excepting the vans. Power mirrors were added, while the front grille and the taillights were redesigned. The 1600GT sports model replaced the 2T-GEU engine with the all new 4A-GEUengine, also a 1,600 cc DOHC unit, but now with 16 valves. The 3T-EU engine was no longer offered.

In August 1983, a series of minor changes to the van took place. The 12T-J 1,500 cc OHV engine became the 5K-J type.

<In May 1984, the front-wheel drive four-door sedan "Carina FF" (T150 chassis) was introduced in addition to the rear-wheel drive sedan range. Coupé, Surf (Wagon), and vans were sold continuously. Minor changes also took place, including body-coloured bumpers for higher grade models. In August 1985, the trim levels were changed to shift the Sports models (1600GT, 1600GT-R, 1800GT-T, 1800GT-TR) into the front-wheel drive range. Rear-wheel drive coupé sales were terminated. The sedan lineup was now reduced to 1500 standard, DX, SG, and 1800 SG trim levels. Surf and van sales continued as heretofore. Front-engine, rear-wheel drive Carinas continued to be produced alongside the new T150 series until May 1988 in Surf, Van, and sedan models.

Fourth generation (1984–1988) T150 series[]

Starting from the fourth Generation, the Carina shared the Corona platform for four-door sedans. The Carina RWD platform of 2-door coupés, Carina Surf, and Carina Van continued to use the A series platform until 1988.

May 1984, Carina Front engine Front wheel drive 4-door sedan (T150 series) was introduced .Previous generation style is the same, using four headlights and grille setup. The upper trim level model has aerodynamic headlight option. Rather than replace the entire line-up all at once because sales of the previous generation were still good, Toyota gradually introduced the replacement Coupe, Van (wagon) models in stages. The 1800 cc engine is electronically controlled distributorless ignition, and a 2000 cc diesel is added. Other 1600 cc EFI "4A-ELU" engine, and a carburetor is used on the 1500 cc with "3A-LU" type engine. The 1800SE models were still offered.

August 1985, the Sport model 1600GT, 1600GT-R, 2000GT-R were added to the lineup (T160 system). 1600 cc uses the "4A-GELU" engine, the 2000 cc uses the "3S-GELU" engine. Sport model wheel were upgraded from four lug nut to a five-hole lug nut.

May 1986, had minor changes to the entire range. The design of the grille and taillights was changed. Due to the success of the 1800SE trim level, the 1500SG Extra was added.

Carina ED[]

For the European market, the eighth generation Toyota Corona was sold as the Carina II.

The Carina ED ("Exciting Dressy") is a 4-door hardtop on the chassis of the FWD Corona/Carina/Celica.

Fifth generation (1988–1992) T170 series[]

This generation was released in May 1988. The exterior sheet metal received rounded contours, as was in line with the fashionable design of products at that time. The Surf (wagon) and Van versions also underwent a full model change to bring them in line with their siblings. 4S-Fi is an 1800 cc engine type, 1600 cc of the 4A-GE and the specification for higher-power higher-cam-4A-FHE car, 1500 cc of the 5A-F type, 2000 cc diesel-2C. The 3E engine was fitted to the 1500 cc Van, which was also available with the 2000 cc diesel 2C engine.

In December 1988, a full-time 4WD system with a center differential was added to the sedan (chassis code AT175). The 1587 cc 4A-FE is the only engine available for this new AWD model.

In August 1989, the "G Limited" with the high performance and high-compression 4A-GE engine is added; it has 140 PS (103 kW).

In May 1990 only minor changes. The Toyota emblem in the back is changed to a bright tail lamp lenses bulging from three places and was changed from the previous split design. (The front of the van was not changed). The Previous generation was a gasoline car engine and is still using the 1800 cc the 4S-FE, 1500 cc with a 5A-FE type. For the front wheel drive vehicle 1600 cc 4A-FHE the horsepower is increased from 105 to 110 PS (77 to 81 kW; 104 to 108 hp). 4WD vehicles are still equipped with the 4A-FE type. Surf Wagon 2,000 cc 2C has been changed to a diesel (CT170G type). It could be fitted with a driver-side airbag as an option.

Wagons and commercial vans were sold until March 10, 1992, as it was replaced with the Corona Caldina.

Carina ED (ST180 series)[]

The restyled second generation was introduced 1989 and luxury equipment content increased. Four-wheel steering appeared on the top level offering and styling was updated more closely resemble the Corona EXiV. Electronic fuel injection was made standard on all engines offered.