The Toyota Carina line of large family cars was introduced in Japan in 1970. This was introduced in Europe in 1971, with A40 and A60 series subsequently appearing soon after their introductions in Japan. In 1984, the A60 series Carina was replaced in the European market by the "Carina II" - essentially a rebranding of the T150 series Toyota Corona launched the previous year in Japan, with some minor alterations to suit the European markets. This trend of Coronas rebadged as Carinas produced for the European market continued for two more generations, with the second Carina II in 1988 and the Carina E in 1992.
1st generation (T150)
The T150 series was originally launched in January 1983 in Japan as the Toyota Corona, which brought front wheel drive to the model and also began the alignment of Corona, Carina and Celica platforms. The Carina II was introduced in the UK in April 1984 and other European markets in the same year. It was essentially the same as the Japanese market Corona T150 with some minor cosmetic changes, namely the rear light clusters which were shortened in width to accommodate for larger European number plates. The T150 Carina introduced in Japan in May 1984, while on the same chassis, used completely different body panels featuring squarer, more aggressive styling. To further complicate matters there were also RWD models of both Carina and Corona available in the Japanese market.
Two carburetted petrol engines (1.6 or 1.8) and one diesel option were available, although the 1.8 was only sold in certain markets.Equipment levels were DX and GL, although following a facelift in December 1985 these changed to XL and SX in some markets. The 1.6 was later offered with the option of a catalytic converter (4A-LC), dropping power to 75 PS (55 kW). In August 1985 the 107 PS (79 kW) 2-litre 2S-E engine was added for select markets. Along with the facelift, a fuel injected version of the 1.8 engine was added for the 1.8 GLi. In Germany, at least, this version was only sold until October 1986.
UK and Ireland
- 1.6 GL - 4A-L petrol engine, 83 bhp
- 2.0 GLD - 2C-L diesel engine, 72 bhp
- 1.6 DX/XL/GL/SX - 4A-LU/LC petrol engine, 75 to 84 PS (55 to 62 kW) at 5,600 rpm (5,400 for catalyzed version)
- 1.8 - 1S-LU petrol engine, 87 PS (64 kW) at 5,200 rpm
- 1.8 GLi - 1S-ELU petrol engine, 101 PS (74 kW)
- 2.0 - 2S-E petrol engine, 107 PS (79 kW)
- 2.0 DX - 2C-L diesel engine, 70 PS (51 kW) at 4,600 rpm
Second generation - T170 series
In 1988 the Toyota Carina II was released, based on the Japanese market T170 Corona introduced the previous year. Compared to the Corona, front and rear light clusters, front grille and some trim are different, and the rear number plate recess was moved up from the bumper up to the bootlid. The car had three engine variants, the 1,587 cc (1.6 L) 4A-FE and 1,998 cc (2.0 L) 3S-FE petrol engines, and a 1,974 cc (2.0 L) 2C diesel engine. Petrol versions were all twin-cam, sixteen-valve inline-four cylinders.
It was well received in the United Kingdom as well as Denmark and Scandinavia.
In Europe's largest national auto-market, the T170 sustained the Toyota's reputation for reliability. In 1995 it topped the family car class in a reliability survey of 4-6 year old cars undertaken by the German Automobile Association (ADAC), with 5.6 recorded breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles for four year old Carinas and 12.9 for six year old cars: this compared with 12.8 breakdowns per 1,000 cars for four year old Opel Vectras and 25.6 for six year old Vectras.
- 1.6 GL (Mar 1988-1992) - 4A-FE petrol, 94 bhp
- 1.6 XL (Apr 1990-1992) - 4A-FE petrol, 94 bhp
- 2.0 GL Executive (Mar 1988-1992) - 3S-FE petrol, 126 bhp (saloon and hatchback only)
- DL/DLi (1.6) - 1988-1992 (limited markets)
- XL (1.6, 2.0D) - 1988-1992 (all body types)
- XLi (1.6) - 1989-1992 (all body types)
- GL (1.6, 2.0D) - 1988-1992 (all body types)
- GLi (1.6) - 1989-1992 (all body types)
- GLi Executive (2.0), 1988-1992 (saloon and liftback only)
- XL Highlife (1.6), 1992, special edition (saloon and liftback only)
In mainland European markets, the engines (numbers are for catalyzed versions) produced slightly different outputs from British market models. The carburetted 1.6-litre produced 90 PS (66 kW) at 6,000 rpm, which increased to 102 PS (75 kW) at 5,800 rpm for fuel injected versions. The 2-litre 3S-FE, never available as an estate, produced a claimed 121 PS (89 kW) at 5,600 rpm. The 2C diesel provided 73 PS (54 kW) at 4,700 rpm and was only available with a five-speed manual transmission, whereas the petrol versions could also be had with a four-speed automatic.
In 1991 the Toyota Carina XL Highlife was issued. It utilised a more fuel efficient engine and seats that showed more comfort and the horsepower of the car was increased from 64 to 75. However, these updates had an effect on the weight of the car which rose from 1,138 to 1,185 kilograms (2,510 to 2,610 lb). The Carina II was discontinued in 1992 and succeeded by the Toyota Carina E.
In Denmark, these trims were almost identical, except that XL model was slightly more upmarket than UK cars; spec was cognate with Republic of Ireland vehicles. In certain markets, such as Sweden, the Carina II was only available with liftback bodywork and the two-liter petrol engine. In Italy, two-liter Carina II's (petrol and diesel) were only available as liftbacks.