Toyota Caldina

The Caldina was a mid-size station wagon that Toyota had on offer in Japan from the early 90’s until the mid 00’s. Three generations have been sold (T190, T210 and T230), with the first (T190) and second (T210) generation being offered overseas under a different name as well, be it that the more unique and powerful versions were for the Japanese market only.

In November 1992 the T190 started sales as successor to the Carina Surf. Initially, three engine options were available, a 1.8 liter petrol, 2.0 liter diesel and 2.0 liter petrol. The 2.0 petrol could be had with four wheel drive. An interesting option was a two-tone color scheme. From February 1993 a new version called the Sky Canopy was available which had a raised roof and large panoramic roof. As such the height of the car was 85 mm higher.

Two years later (February 1995), a new engine option came available. It was the 3S-GE engine, same as in the MR2 SW20. Always mated to the four wheel drive system, the manual transmission version had 175 horsepower and the 4-speed automatic transmission had 165 horsepower. At the start of 1996, there was a minor change and the Sky Canopy grade was replaced with the Aerial grade. The fixed panoramic roof was replaced by a large sunroof that could open. By the end of 1997 the T190 was replaced with the T210.

For the T210, the Aerial specification was carried over for the higher grade models. The grade system and engines were significantly revised though. A new 2.2 liter diesel engine replaced the old 2.0 liter diesel. The 3S-GE engine got an increase in horsepower and had an output of 195 horsepower now. It could only be had with four wheel drive and a 4-speed automatic transmission, called the GT grade.

On top of all of this, there was an additional new grade available called the GT-T which was set to compete with the Legacy GT-B. This high performance version of the Caldina used a turbocharged 3S-GE engine making 260 horsepower. It also came with more aggressive exterior design and aero parts. Four wheel drive was always part of the package and there was a choice for a 4-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission with the latter having a Torsen LSD.

A minor model change in 2000 refreshed the exterior and gave the interior an update. The GT grade was now also available in front wheel drive and the Aerial grade was abolished. From August the production of the T210 stopped as from September 2002 the new T240 model started sales.

The T240 was based on a new platform (same as used for Will VS) and styling difference with the T210 was more than when the Caldina went from the T190 generation to the T210 generation. The styling of the T240 is a mix between regular station wagon and that of a MPV.

The diesel engine of the previous generation was omitted and the line-up existed of three gasoline engines. A 1.8 liter with 132 horsepower, a 2.0 liter with 152 horsepower and the top model called GT-Four carried over the 260 horsepower 3S-GTE 2.0 liter four cylinder engine of the T210. In this Caldina generation, every engine was always connected to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Four wheel drive was an option for the regular 2.0 liter and standard on the GT-Four.

The GT-Four came in three grades; C-edition (an entry model), regular version, and the N-edition. The N-edition was more focused on driving with special shock absorbers for a specific tuned suspension, a Torsen LSD and sports ABS system. In the interior there were Recaro seats unique to the N-edition. The N-edition was tested at the Nurburgring and achieved a lap time of 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

In 2005 there was a minor model change during which the bumpers, grille, lights and rear garnish changed. At that time the C-edition and N-edition were removed from the line-up. Two and a half years later the production in the Tsutsumi plant in Aichi prefecture ended. A direct successor was not put to the market.

Click on the picture below to see the Toyota Caldina details and specifications per year such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the catalog.