In 1985, Toyota Motor Corporation revealed its compact car named the Toyota Carina ED as a pair to the Carina sedan revealed earlier in 1984. It was placed beside the 4-door Celica and also displayed some similar luxury aspects as that of Corona EXiV. If we talk about its styling aspects, it attempted to imitate the large American sedans for hardtop styling, eventually ending up as a small, low cabin, with relatively longer front and rear ends compact car. The B-pillar of the car was not fixed to the roof side of the cabin and only served as to hinge the rear door. ED proved to be a major sales success for the company in Japan despite the fact that the other automakers also launched their models at the same time like Mazda Persona, Nissan Presea and Mitsubishi Emeraude. ED represents the ‘Exciting’ and ‘Dressy’.
The Carina ED shared the platform with the Corona EXiV. The company’s approach to build a hardtop led them to develop relatively smaller Corolla/Sprinter platform known as the Corolla Ceres and the Sprinter Marino. These cars were so designed to offer the customers the luxurious feel offered by the Toyota Crown hardtop and sedan, the Mark II (4-door sedan), Cresta (4-door hardtop) and Chaser (4-door hardtop and performance enhancements) at an affordable price as well as reduced tax liability. Different Toyota dealerships were involved in selling range of several versions.
First Generation (1985-1989) ST160 Series
The first generation model was an attempt to bring some novelty in design with a major focus on the styling and comfort than economy and functionality. The company preferred a Celica platform with a focus on handling and performance. In August 1987, fog lamps became standard. The 1S-ELU was substituted by the 2.0-L 3S-FELU and the 1S-iLU was substituted by the 1.8-L 4S-iLU in May 1988.
Second Generation (1989 – 1993) ST180 Series
In 1989, the redesigned second generation of Carina ED was launched. The second generation model was rich in luxurious equipment contents. The second generation Carina ED resembled to Corona EXiV in styling and was offered with four-wheel steering. All the engine versions received the electronic fuel injection as standard.
Third Generation (1993 – 1998) ST200 Series
The third generation Carina ED was offered with a four-wheel drive system similar to the one used in Toyota Celica GT-Four. Hence, there was no four-wheel steering offered in the 3S-GE engine. The new trim levels were introduced including: 1800V, 2000X, 2000GT and 2000GT-4WD. These alterations brought a substantial improvement in sales of Carina ED compared to its previous versions. In September 1995, some more performance enhancements introduced such as driver side airbags, speed sensitive door locks as well as climate control air-conditioning. The passenger side airbags introduced in 1996. However, the declining economic conditions in 1998s forced the company to quit production.