Tag Archives: Motorweek

VIDEO: The Mazda 323 Protegé LX was good, but not Honda Civic good

Poor Mazda. Even though they typically make great cars that should sell far better than they actually do. This was even true in the late 80s, when the well-reviewed sixth-generation BF 323 was completely overshadowed by, as Motorweek found, by … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser was ahead of its time

No one could’ve known when the J80 Land Cruiser was released just how insane the SUV market would become. And we’re not talking about the popularity of Toyota 4Runners and Ford Explorers that helped killed off sports cars like the … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Your all-Toyota garage in 1989 needs nothing else

Toyota was on a roll in 1989, with three revised or all-new models that are all highly desirable today. If you bought the entire trio of Cressida, Supra, and Truck you’d have a vehicle for every situation right at your … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The E90 Toyota Corolla offered 16-valve power to the masses

It’s really amazing what we take for granted in cars today. Back in 1988, Toyota extended its market dominance by offering multi-valve technology on a humble four-cylinder Corolla. That doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but was a small … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Isuzu was on a roll in 1986

Isuzus that aren’t commercial trucks may be but a faint memory today, but back in 1986 the company seemed to be on a solid roll. They had just introduced a drastically improved Trooper SUV and an even more enhanced Impulse … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1985 Honda Civic Wagon was the first crossover

Today’s market isn’t particularly kind to small cars, or cars in general, as the would-be small cars on stilts we know as crossovers dominate the sales charts. There was a time in 1985, however, when you could buy a literal … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Lexus LX450 was the Land Cruiser’s richer cousin, but today their fortunes have reversed

For years the 4×4 market has been hit with the Toyota tax, with a legendary reputation of indestructibility jacking up the prices of Land Cruisers, 4Runners, and pickups. When the Lexus LX450 debuted in 1996 with a $47,500 base price, … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1989 Toyota Camry brought V6 power to the masses

Today there is no question that the Camry is the benchmark for the ideal family sedan. Its reputation for legendary reliability and innocuous styling had to begin somewhere. Back in 1989, the V20 Camry still had to prove its worth … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Mazda MX-6 appeals to the emotions

Before there was Kodo, Mazda practiced Kansei Engineering — engineering based on human feelings. It still resonates today, trickling down to even the CX-30‘s heartbeat-like LED turn signals. Back in 1993, design DNA from the flagship FD RX-7 trickled down … Continue reading

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VIDEO: There will probably never be a car like the SW20 MR2 again

The Toyota MR2 was one of those rare Japanese cars that evolved constantly throughout its life. There were five distinct revisions, called Type I through Type V, made to hone the small mid-engined runabout into a better driver’s car. We … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Acura Legend was aptly named

You have to admire the cojones on Acura. Legends usually take a while to establish themselves as such,  but they named their debut luxury flagship the Legend from day one. It was a class unto itself upon launch, but by … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Toyota T100 was the right truck for the wrong time

When it was new, the Toyota T100 pickup defied categorization, as Japanese car often do. Upon release, it was derided as being less powerful than the full-size pickups from the Big Three, but too large for the compact pickup class. … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Isuzu Rodeo was cheap but cool

If you were a teenager in the late 80s or early 90s, wanting an Isuzu more than anything in the world was not an odd thing. Dealerships were lined with sleek Impulses and colorful Amigos. The coolest kid in my high … Continue reading

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VIDEO: If you love Toyota Celicas, look away from this Pro/Celebrity race

For three decades, Toyota sponsored an annual automotive carnage-fest known as the Pro/Celebrity Race. It gathered a bunch of drivers, some who were actual professional racers and some who were movie and television… well, stars, might be too strong a … Continue reading

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VIDEO: What made the 1992 Honda Civic a good car?

History has taught us that the EG Civic was one of the greatest compacts of all time, but how was it reviewed when it was new? Surprisingly, it wasn’t for the things we love about 90s Hondas like responsive engines, … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The FJZ80 Toyota Land Cruiser was expensive in 1993 but it’s hard to beat its value today

The 80-series Land Cruiser brought Toyota’s venerable off-roader into the modern age. The 70-series was never sold in the US, and as capable the 60-series was, by 1990 it was getting pretty ancient. The 80-series balanced perfectly the off-road capability … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Infiniti G20 was trapped by its luxury badge

Long before there were bros revving their G37s, there was the Infiniti G20, the first of Nissan’s entry-level cars for their luxury marque. Though it was largely forgotten as a rebadged P10 Nissan Primera, mostly because of its un-luxury-like front-wheel-drive … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Ford Probe was a more futuristic looking Mazda MX-6

The Ford Probe is now largely forgotten, but even at the height of its popularity it was mostly known as the butt of jokes about its orifice-seeking name. Developed during Ford’s ownership of Mazda, it shared a platform with the … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Chevy’s captive import Isuzu and Suzuki turbos were the bee’s knees

The 1980s were heady times. Even the smallest econoboxes coming out of Japan had sport-ified versions lavished with tech and gear that would have seemed at home on much higher-priced sports cars. Plus, both Isuzu and Suzuki were still operating … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Even a shift to front-wheel-drive couldn’t slow down the Toyota Celica GT-S

Looking back now, the Toyota Celica’s switch from rear- to front-wheel-drive may seem like a let-down. Back in 1986, though, FF was seen as modern and the fourth-generation Celica’s performance was affected by the shift. In fact, it continued to … Continue reading

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