Toyota Mark X Zio

A well known and respected sedan in Japan since 2004, the Toyota Mark X saw its design radically change this time around. The classic sedan shape was abandonned and replaced by a mix of various genres.

Somewhere between a lowered SUV and a Mini Van, some call it Crossover, Toyota calls it Mark X "ZiO".

3.5 liter V6, 280HP, front wheel drive
4.69m long, 4390lbs (1990kg)
Sequential gearbox with flappy paddles on the steering wheel

Surfing on the new wave of design introduced by the Auris, the Mark X ZiO also offers a new concept while keeping traditional lines. The overall aspect of the car is a bit "heavy" and the weight proves it but at the same time, the safety feel is increased the very same way.

Inside lines are simple and elegant, the leather seats of our test vehicle were very comfortable and the materials used for the interior breathe quality in both look and touch. Despite those good points we're in a Toyota, it doesn't mean that it's bad at all but that those who are familiar with the manufacturer will certainly recognize a couple equipments here and there. This doesn't help the ZiO get its own personality.

The Mark X ZiO was built to carry five adults in total comfort, the two remaining back seats should only be used for kids or removed to increase the storage capacity of the boot.

On the road
Already seen under the bonnet of the Toyota Blade Master, the 280HP 3.5 liter V6 is the same as in the Lexus IS350, it provides good linear acceleration and offers a discrete yet nice melody, the overall performance is one of a standard luxury sedan and the ZiO sure doesn't like to be treated like a sportscar in the corners. The same can be said about the Flappy Paddles Gearbox, most drivers would expect a FPG in a sportscar which is clearly not the case here. On a side note, the suspension set up proved to be quite stiff and goes a bit against the nature of this family cruiser.

The ZiO continues what the Auris/Blade started bringing a new and different design to freshen the Toyota range in general, and the "Mark X" name in Japan in particular. With a couple great features such as a welcoming interior and good engine, the Mark X ZiO only disappointed us on the road where the suspensions were found a bit rough for the back.

Posted on 05/02/08 By G-A.G

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