September 30, 2007

Mark X ZiO: Toyota's Entry In The "Small Minivan You Don't Hate" Category


From Winding Road comes news that the Toyota FSC Concept car from 2005 has hit the road in Japan as the Mark X ZiO::

Toyota’s clearly trying something different with the ZiO which is some five inches shorter than a Camry and whose beguiling mix of sedan and wagon, with a hint of SUV thrown in for good measure, sees it officially labeled as a “new category vehicle.” No kidding.
So does Winding Road call it "new and intriguingly left-field" because it's yet another entrant in the mid-sized, blob/block-shaped, car-based, seven-seat segment? Or because they can't admit they like a minivan?

Either way, it's probably never coming to the US.

Japan Report: Toyota Debuts Mark X ZiO [windingroad via dt reader jj daddy-o]
Previously: Honda Stream


Looks incredibly similar to the Mercedes R class, but with a bit more Lexus SUV thrown in there.

looks just like the mazda cx9

Obviously designed as competition for the home-market Honda Odyssey. (
Toyota has a history of copying Honda's revolutionary market segmentation. Some other examples?

[the dimensions are pretty close to Honda's Stream, the Crossroad, the Odyssey, and the Elsion. Never mind Mazda's M5 and who knows who else. -ed.]

"Mark X ZiO" is quite a mouthfull. But I guess not all cars can be as perfectly named as the "Odyssey".

All I know is, one of these rolled up next to me at a stoplight last weekend, right hand drive and all. I'm sitting there in a Passat, V6 5-spd. Not exactly a total slow poke of a car, at least compared to any minivan.

I was in a hurry. This guy was also obviously in a bit of a hurry and potentially about to get into my right turn late about a quarter mile down the road. I noticed it was RHD, but spaced out and by the time the light changed I assumed it was just some jackass in a minivan about to cut me off.

Haha, I says. No chance!

He got about a car length on me right off the line, I held with him for a bit, and then from about 50 to an unmentionable speed he walked away. It was dumbfounding until I realized it was a non-native species. Glad to know he probably had an 80-some horsepower advantage. :)

Anyway, they're at least doing some testing stateside around Ann Arbor.

I want one.

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