Toyota Carina was one of the Toyota’s large family cars appeared in Japan for the first time in 1970 followed by its launched in Europe in 1971. A40 and A60 series were the two popular Carina series in European market. In 1983, the T150 series Toyota Corona made its debut in Europe and a year after the A60 series Carina was substituted by the Carina II which was mainly a rebranding of the 1983’s T150 series Toyota Corona that received some slight modifications so as to go well with European market needs. This rebranding of the Toyota Corona’s as Carina went for next two generations, i.e. Carina II (1988) and Carina E (1992) respectively.
First Generation (T150 Series)
The T150 series or commonly known as Toyota Corona was formerly launched in January 1983 in Japan as a front-wheel drive and set into action the grouping of Corona, Carina and Celica platforms. In April 1984, the first Carina II was launched in the UK and other European markets at some time in the same year. The European version of Toyota Carina II was almost similar to the Corona T150 series of Japanese version with slightest of modifications such as rear light clusters were shortened in width make entertain larger European number plates. In May 1984, the T150 Carina was released in Japan that shared the same chassis but entirely different body panels offering squarer as well as aggressive styling. Both Carina and Corona were offered in RWD versions in the Japan.
In UK and Ireland, the first generation T150 offered two trim levels: 1.6 GL (1984–1988) – 4A-C petrol engine (83 bhp) and 2.0 GLD – 2C-L diesel engine (72 bhp).
Second Generation (T170 Series)
The second generation Carina II was introduced in 1988 which was based on the T170 Corona sold in Japan. However, there were some slight alterations between the Corona and Carina II such as front and rear light clusters, front grille and some particular trims were different. Also, the rear number plate recess was shifted up from bumper to bootlid.
The second generation Carina II was offered with three different engines: a 1,587 cc (1.6 L) 4A-FE; 1,998 cc (2.0 L) 3S-FE petrol engines; and a 1,974 cc (2.0 L) 2C diesel engine. As far as petrol engines were concerned, they were all twin-cam, sixteen-valve inline-four cylinders.
The second generation Carina II had done well in United Kingdom, Denmark and Scandinavian countries.
T170 Corona remained as one of the best vehicle in respect of reliability and longevity. In 1995, the German Automobile Association (ADAC) conducted a reliability survey on the 4 to 6 year old family car class and the T170 ranked on the top with 5.6 recorded breakdowns per 1000 vehicles for four year old Carina models and 12.9 for six year old models.