In 2007, the Toyota Motor Corporation introduced its station wagon called the Toyota Mark X ZiO (pronounced as geo). It was introduced as a replacement model for the Mark II Blit wagon. The “4+Free” concept used by Toyota in the ZiO offers a diversified interior designing. The ZiO comes with a “three mode” cabin that can accommodate four to seven passengers at one time. The three modes include: the “personal sedan mode,” which is in fact a tonneau board with dual tonneau covers giving a vehicle a sedan like looks; the “active wagon mode” allows you store the tonneau board and covers to produce a large cargo space in the rear; and the “friendly minivan mode” allows you to raise an extra third row in the cargo area to accommodate more passengers.
The name of the vehicle “ZiO” is basically an acronym for “Zones in One”, representing the spacious and cargo capacity of the vehicle. This flexible cabin arrangement allows the car to be used as three different versions, i.e. as a sedan, as a station wagon and as a minivan. Although, the ZiO is pretty much similar to the Venza in concept, it doesn’t share the platform with it.
Some of the major features of the ZiO include Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control or S-VSC, a Radar-assisted Cruise Control System, and an Intelligent Parking Assist System. The car also features a 190 degree wide angle camera at the front assisting you to see the ground in front and at the front sides of the vehicle.
Apart from the name, the Mark X ZiO also shares some features with the Mark X. The chassis of the ZiO is taken from the Auris. It is offered in two different engine versions including, a 2.4-L is offered with front-wheel drive models (ANA10 chassis code), while a 2AZ-FE motor in the four-wheel drive models (ANA15 chassis code) along with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). The second engine is 3.5-L used in the front-wheel drive (GGA10 chassis code) along with a 2GR-FE motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission. In optional features, the G-BOOK is an obvious name to mention.
As for wheels are concerned, the 3.5-L models receives 18-inch wheels whereas the 2.4-L models come with 16-inch wheels. All four-wheel models come with large diameter disc brakes. The vehicle also features a pre-crash safety system which is based on millimeter-wave radar to identify a high risk of collision and accordingly initiate the pre-crash seatbelts and pre-crash brake assist system.
The vehicle was awarded with the Good Design Award given by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization for the first year of production. Under the Japanese regulations for exterior dimensions, the Mark X ZiO is categorized as compact car. However, the width and the engine displacement surpass the limits, i.e. 85 mm (inch) and 2000 cc limits respectively.