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Spotted: a Toyota Mark II

May 3, 2024

Toyota is the largest automaker in the world and that with only two brands (Toyota and Lexus). As you can imagine, the brand also provides many different models, some of which are specifically tailored to a particular continent. In terms of sedans alone, Toyota delivers more than we can list here. One of the sedans destined for Asia has apparently found its way to Europe after all: this Toyota Mark II.

The spotted specimen

The Toyota Mark II is a luxury sedan positioned above the Camry. It does still fall in the “midsize” segment and must still beat the more familiar Toyota Crown, among others. The Mark II we encountered in downtown Hoorn is one of the ninth generation, which entered the market in 2000. The matte blue color is not original, but secretly looks pretty good on him. The Toyota has Ukrainian license plates from the previous series and is registered in the Odessa region. Unfortunately, the front of the car was no better than this in the picture.

The ninth Toyota Mark II

The first Toyota Mark II appeared as early as 1968, although the model was then part of the Corona line. Starting with the second generation from 1972, the Mark II is really a model line in itself. So by 2000, Toyota was ready for the ninth generation. That one brought a number of technological firsts. For example, the new 2.5-liter six-in-line made the Mark II the first Toyota in mass production with direct fuel injection. Also new was Navi AI shift. That was a system that used GPS data to determine the best shift times for the automatic based on that data.

Furthermore, the engine lineup consisted of other six-in-line engines with 2.0 or 2.5-liter capacity. By the way, almost every version had an automatic; there was only one, semi-sporty version that was available with a five-speed manual transmission. Depending on the version, the Mark II had rear- or all-wheel drive. The Toyota Mark II is technically related to the first-generation Lexus IS and further to a number of sedan models we are not familiar with. These are the Toyotas Verossa, Brevis, Progrès and Origin. The latter is a very striking retro model.

Facelift, station wagon and follow-up for Toyota Mark II

In 2002, the Toyota Mark II underwent another subtle facelift. A station wagon version was also introduced. It was named the Mark II Blit, but was otherwise positioned as a separate model. The Blit also had a very different design from the Mark II sedan. The ninth model generation of the Mark II was also the last, as it was succeeded in 2004 by the Mark X. However, the Mark II Blit was allowed to continue until 2007, when it was succeeded by the Mark X ZiO, an MPV model.