In 1992, the Toyota Motor Corporation produced a vehicle for Japanese domestic market under the nameplate of Toyota Caldina. It was a replacement vehicle for the Toyota Carina Surf.
Toyota has never been involved in the export of Caldina outside the Japan, yet being having a remarkable 4WD features as well as large in size, it became a major grey import in Australia, New Zealand, Russian and several South American states.
First Generation (1992-1997)
The first generation Caldina was first appeared in 1992. It was 5-door wagon and often taken as a commercial van version of the four-door sedan named Toyota Corona. The wagon featured an independent strut rear suspension whereas the commercial van featured semi-independent leaf springs.
Second Generation (1997-2002)
This 4WD second generation model codenamed as ST215 features an Active Sports GT paired to the 3S-GE engine. However, the top end version GT-T featured a turbocharged 260 PS (191 kW/256 hp) equipped with fourth generation 3S-GTE engine along with an all-wheel drive system taken from Toyota Celica GT-Four. There were certain optional features as well for GT-T including an electronic stability control (VSC), a large sunroof and contoured roof racks are standard on Aerial version. The curb weight of Caldina measured about 1470 kg (3241 lb) and still it gives a performance like Subaru WRX wagon by sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. A slightly redesigned version appeared in 2000 that features new bumpers and lamps, a revamped interior and also an extra lug introduced to overcome warping issue found in previous models.
The regular models receives 1.8 L 7A-FE, the 2.0 L gasoline 3S-FE, and the 2.2 L diesel 3C-TE engines.
Third Generation (2002-2007)
In 2002, a redesigned third generation Caldina was introduced. This pure sports wagon didn’t based on the Allion, Premio and Avensis platforms. The third generation Caldina offered with different engine versions including a 1.8 L 1ZZ-FE, 2.0 L 1AZ-FSE, or 2.0 L turbo 3S-GTE. The different levels offered for third generation Caldina include 1.8 X, 1.8 Z, 2.0 Z, 2.0 ZT, and 2.0 GT-Four. Form year 2005 to 2007, Toyota produced MKII Model with slightest of modifications. Almost all the versions mated to automatic transmission as well as electronic handbrake system, while GT-Four came with tiptronic transmission. After the Celica, Caldina became one of the sportiest models marketed in Japanese domestic market. In Malaysia, Caldina GT-Four is offered as a grey-import car.
In 2007, the company has decided to stop the production of Caldina. With the discontinuation of Caldina, 3S-GTE engine and GT-Four nameplate also disappeared from Toyota’s lineup.
A Special Edition Caldina GT-Four was produced to compliment the Toyota Motor Sport Development folks and Hiromu Naruse, creator of first GT-Four. This special edition was given the nameplate, the Caldina GT-Four ‘N’ where ‘N’ represents the Naruse. This special edition model offered with many performance enhancements.