QotW: What Toyota model is the most Toyota?

Several weeks ago we asked you to pick the one Honda that best represents the marque. Now do the same for Toyota. In theory it should be a lot harder, as Toyota had built a wider variety of cars than Honda. Is it the ubiquitous Corolla? The rugged Land Cruiser? The legendary Supra? Which single model embodies the fundamental aspect of the Toyota name?

What Toyota model is the most Toyota?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What would you put in a JNC theme park?”.

If we ever get rich enough to open an amusement park, we want to implement all of these ideas. Enter the gates of JNC-land and you’ll find thrilling rides like Lee L.‘s kei truck roller coaster, Lakdasa‘s Initial D race and concept car water slides, and Frank G.‘s haunted house of forgotten concepts. For kids there’s games like Geoff‘s whack-a-rust spot with body parts or dankan‘s automotive Animal Crossing build-a-car workshop.

Of course, you can remember your visit with a picture from Jonathan P.‘s bosozoku head cutout photo stand, or get a souvenir from Land Ark‘s MegaWeb-esque gift shop.

However, the place we’d most like to visit ourselves is the one described by Franxou, whose reimagining of the park concept is a fantasy land where you can drive any kind of JNC you want in any kind of environment you want:

I might be off a little bit, but instead of dreaming about what would I put in a JNC theme park, I went wild with what could the JNC theme park actually be:

What if, instead of arriving, and then walking in this theme park, you drove in it? What if, instead of being gifted a Mick-eh Moose headpiece with ears and stuff to visit this theme park with, you were being loaned the JNC of your choice to drive for the day?

Instead of the usual theme park attractions, you get to drive that JNC in the area of your liking! Beach boulevard, late night wangan run, mid-day summer in a rural village, with the actual field to drive into, if you chose a vehicle able to! You chose an adorable Subaru Sambar to plow the field? Why not! You chose an adorable Subaru Legacy RS Turbo to plow through the field? Why not!

Choose your mood, choose your area, time of day, drive fast, drive slow, or just sit and take a sip of your drink while looking at your glorious JNC in the perfect light!

Of course, there is racing! What kind of racing? Circuits! Kart tracks! Banked corner speedway! Road courses! City courses! Rally stages! Forest roads! Sand bank! Driveable beaches! Offroad parks!

The first Shinkansen apparently entered service in 1964 (Japanese Nostalgic… Carriage?), a reproduction road is here, wanna race it? RACE IT!

Want to change car during the day? Of course! Bring back your Datsun 240Z and take the, what did you say? Oh! The Isuzu Impulse, nice choice! Suzuki Samurai? Yes! Honda CRX, Legend Coupe? Yes, yes! Toyota S800, Celica GTS, Corolla AE86? Yes, yes, yes!

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

This post is filed under: Question of the Week.

14 Responses to QotW: What Toyota model is the most Toyota?

  1. Ken Graham says:

    Unquestionably the HJ61 Sahara, I have owned this vehicle for nearly 30 years it has never been stuck that I could not easily drive it out even when towing a 2 tonne camper trailer. I drove a new 300 recently and I would not trust my life to that vehicle the way I would with my 60, the so called console fridge is not a fridge but a box with syphons air from the air conditioning system. the braking system is below par for a vehicle said to be able to tow 3.5 tonnes, the interior is not as good as a CX 9 Mazda. At $150,000 it is travelling on the reputation of previous greats like the 60, 80 and 100 series, a dismal effort from Toyota in my opinion, Nuff said. Ken.

  2. Fred Langille says:

    IN juuuuuuuuust one letter … ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, ’nuff said!

  3. Land Ark says:

    The Toyota Celsior/Lexus LS400 is the culmination of everything Toyota had learned about building affordable, reliable, practical cars and added “the most” in front of every good thing you could say about their cars. Toyota set out to build a Mercedes competitor and ended up eating their lunch. It was higher quality, dead quiet, smooth driving but not floaty, with a powerful but under-stressed V8 engine that would outclass cars that cost twice as much.

    Starting in the 1980s, Toyota went from trying to build cars to compete to building cars that others sought to compete with. The LS400 was an attempt to beat Mercedes at their own game and wound up setting the standard that all other cars were judged against. This set the tone for years to come of overbuilding everything in the lineup thus cementing Toyota quality and reliability to this day – warranted or not.

    And I say this as my Celsior has been out of commission for 2 months since I can’t get the HVAC blower motor working. I’ve been impressed with all other aspects of the car and in trying to diagnose the problem I’ve been impressed with how easy the car is to work on.

  4. Franxou says:

    The Toyotest Toyota is the Corolla.

    For me, Toyota has always been first about reliable, affordable vehicles. Something that you can count on all the time and not break bank to own.

    Need a car? Corolla.
    Fast(ish), fun car? There was (GTS trim level), and is (GR) a Corolla for that.
    Frugal, economy car? There was (well, pretty much any Corolla), and is (Corolla Hybrid) a Corolla for that.
    Roomy, family car? There was (station wagon), and is (Corolla cross) a Corolla for that.

    There might not be a truck version or a luxury version of these (not to my knowledge), but while Toyota makes trucks and luxury cars, it is not what I think about when someone mentions Toyota. Corollas are everywhere. Now that cars are sadly being phased out and SUVs are becoming the norm, Toyota is already getting people used to the Corolla name on a small, frugal SUV so the Corolla name lives on.

  5. Sedanlover says:

    The Toyota Crown.

    Available as a coupe, sedan, wagon, and ute!
    Luxurious yet durable.
    Packed with all the features! Suited to many tuning styles.

  6. Bill Bailey says:

    It’s either the HiLux or the car that won the 5th consecutive LeMans, the GR010 Hybrid.

  7. Lakdasa says:

    Toyota is all about affordability, reliability and ruggedness so Hilux it is!

  8. Legacy-san says:

    I think in order to definitively identify which Toyota is “the most Toyota”, you have to look at which part of the world we’re referring to. For Japan, it would probably be the Crown or “the little Crown” Corolla. In the USA, the Truck, now the Tacoma or the many versions of the Land Cruiser comes to mind. In Europe, due to its handling, I could speculate that it would be the Supra or Celica. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the one that sells the most, while that does speak to its popularity. Older generations would probably mention the Cressida/Corona Mark II, the LS/Celsior, MR2, or the Corona, which introduced Toyota to much of the world.

  9. Chet Manley says:

    One car that sums up all of Toyota… that would have to be the ST205 Celica GT-Four.

    1.) Reliable. The T-platform Celica was ostensibly a Corona in a sports car suit, that being said Toyota was able to take a humdrum platform and make it both sporty and reliable. Even the lower trim levels are excellent daily drivers that are a bit more fun than a vanilla sedan.
    2.) Technology. The GT-Four in particular took what was a good and reliable FWD sports car and turned it into an actual rally homologation model by packing it with all of their best driving tech. All wheel drive, turbo 2.0L L4, ABS, the car was packed with technology that made its way into your mom’s Sienna years later.
    3.) Performance. The GT-Four’s racing pedigree proves its quality. The car’s Wikipedia page could be mistaken for a list of WRC events in the 90s, not just races the car won.
    4.) Affordability. The Celica even the GT-Four was ~$26k in the 90s, which adjusts to $50k. That doesn’t sound cheap until you consider that it was giving Porsches, Audis, and many much more expensive cars a world of trouble. Even if you couldn’t get into a GT-Four, an ST was only $19k (inflation adjusted $37k).
    5.) Humble. The GT-Four will never bring about the quasi-bourgeois attitude you get from people who spend $100k on a Supra. Its hard to be a jerk when the guy next to you in traffic has a 600k-mile base model version of your car.

  10. Michael says:

    It’s the Toyota midsize/compact truck (Tacoma/Hilux) in my humble American opinion.

    Super dependable, solid and recognizable. That’s the definition of Toyota. . They have owned their respective market. They have never had to leave the USDM market unlike the Supra/FJ/LCs/T100s. I would say the Corolla/Camry are close seconds. But they have mostly always been inferior to the Civic/Accords except for in reliability. They are popular in the Middle East and the parts of Europe I have traveled. They are the true apocalyptic vehicle if there ever was one.

  11. David Leong says:

    Definitely the iconic1965 Sports 800, Toyota’s first sports car. Lightweight and streamlined with 800cc aircooled engine, it is a delight to behold and drive, especially with the targa roof off. No other car attracts so much awe and attention when it is on the road. When disclosed it is a Toyota, the usual exclamation is ” A Toyota! I don’t believe it!.” I have owned one more than 30 years ago.

  12. f31roger says:

    Most Toyota.. by popularity, I’d say Land Cruiser.

    By society, I’d say camry. Many 80s and 90s camrys are still on the road to this day!

    Before they luxified the Tacoma, the old Toyota Pick up was just a workhorse.

    While Previas are slowly disappearing, there were plenty on the road, but the predecessor, 1st gen Sienna… also plentiful on the roads!

  13. Edgar says:

    Corolla is to Toyota what the beetle is VW. It’s a car known and beloved all over the world. It’s the people’s car.

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