Toyota Japan Introduces 2008 “Mark X ZiO”1

Can you imagine what would happen if Japanese marketers had a say about car names on a worldwide basis? In the US, the Camry would probably be named “Generation XYZ President 1” and in Europe, the Auris would be re-baptized as the “Bladerunner Nio”. Besides having a weird name, the JDM “Mark X ZiO”1 (pronounced “geo”) isn’t what we’d call a head turner. Based on Toyota’s mid-size sedan “Mark X”, the Geo is a crossover (MPV’ish station wagon) offered in six or seven-seater variants. The interior features what Toyota calls a “4 + Free” concept that allows various configurations of the cabin. Buyers can opt for a 2.4-liter engine mated to a continuously variable transmission or a 3.5-liter unit combined with a six-speed automatic transmission. -Continued after the jump


Vehicle OutlineA High-Quality Design that Resonates with Adult Sensibilities

  • Based on the Toyota brand design philosophy “Vibrant Clarity,” the ZiO offers a new type of attractiveness that fuses contrasting design elements.


  • The exterior offers a new frame combining three rows of seats, a solid structure that merges horizontal and vertical lines and a surface shape that appears to be both soft and hard.
  • The front employs a low overall height and a robust yet graceful hood to express strength.
  • The side expresses flowing styling through its low height as well as front pillars that extend forward, oblique quarter pillars and a notch shape formed by the hatch door.
  • The rear narrows from the cabin toward the hatch door, conveying a sense of stability through its flowing structure.
  • A total of eight body colors, including two new colors, are available for individualized styling.


  • The interior seeks to combine a personal feel with a sense of flexibility, achieving a balance between cosiness and roominess.
  • The instrument panel and door trim feature gently curved surfaces and lines to create a sense of openness and a feeling of being surrounded by comfort.
  • The interior colors are a new appealing plum or a calming gray.
  • The center console, door switch panel and instrument cluster feature hairline finishing and a Black Mica color that create a calming and luxurious feel.
  • Crystal Shine Optitron meters take the form of transparent resin disks with special engravings which, when light is refracted on them, appear to float like crystal clear needles.

Relaxing Interior that Achieves Maximum Flexibility of Use

  • Independent seats accommodate four adults comfortably. The six-seat models (350G and 240G) feature independent Captain Seats in the second row as well as a console box with an arm rest, door armrests and sliding/reclining mechanisms for the second row seats to create a personal feel equal to that of the driver and front-passenger seats.
  • The seven-seat models (240 and 240F) have a large foldable armrest in the center of a bench seat to create the comfortable, fitted and personal feel of a six-seat model.
  • The “three-mode cabin” allows the vehicle to be used like a sedan, a station wagon or a minivan depending on the specific use.In “personal sedan mode”, a tonneau board with dual tonneau covers covers the cargo space to create a luxury sedan atmosphere and achieve a relaxing space.In “active wagon mode”, a large cargo space like that of a station wagon can be created by storing away the tonneau board with dual tonneau covers.In “friendly minivan mode”, the number of passengers can be increased to minivan capacity by raising the third-row seats stored in the cargo space.
  • The distance between the front and second-row seats is 980mm to provide ample legroom for second-row passengers.
  • The interior uses illumination devices that produce light attractively, including the large LED ceiling light with its smoky lens and lights for other interior areas, including foot areas and doors, to create a new, mature style of interior space.
  • A Super-live Sound System with a six-channel amplifier provides high-quality sound on par with live performance.

Driving Performance with Power to Spare

  • The 3.5 liter V6 2GR-FE engine is combined with a 6 Super ECT (Super Intelligent Electronically-controlled, Six-speed Automatic Transmission) for smooth and powerful acceleration and cruising with power to spare.
  • The 2.4-liter 2AZ-FE engine achieves high torque at low and medium speeds for stable cruising and smooth acceleration at high speeds. The engine is paired with Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) to achieve high fuel efficiency and smooth driving.
  • All vehicles employ a highly responsive Sequential Shiftmatic transmission that allows the driver to enjoy a manual-transmission-like sensation.
  • The newly designed suspension together with 18 inch wheels (on the 350G and front-wheel drive model of the 240G) and 16 inch wheels (on the 240, 240F and four-wheel drive model of the 240G) provide outstanding handling, superior cruising stability and a comfortable ride at all speeds and on all road surfaces.
  • Large-diameter four-wheel disc brakes provide excellent braking performance and feature superior control with a high-quality braking feeling.
  • The optimal distribution of vibration-controlling, sound-absorbing and sound-blocking materials reduces road and engine noise, delivering a quiet cabin space.

Advanced Equipment that Provides Riding Comfort with Peace of Mind

  • The new vehicle features a Pre-crash Safety System that uses millimeter-wave radar. When the millimeter-wave radar detects a high risk of collision, the Pre-crash Seatbelts provide superior initial restraint capabilities for occupants while the Pre-Crash Brake Assist system decelerates the vehicle to reduce the collision speed, contributing to less collision-caused damage.
  • A Radar Cruise Control system detects and monitors the preceding vehicle and the lane, maintaining a fixed distance according to the preceding vehicle’s speed within a preset range of speed.
  • When corning with the headlights on, the Intelligent AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System) shifts the low beams according to the steering angle and the vehicle speed to enhance visibility in the direction the vehicle is moving
  • An advanced Intelligent Parking Assist system supports steering operations when parallel parking and backing into a parking space. Ultrasonic sensors installed on the front of the vehicle detect other parked vehicles and based on the results estimate the physical dimensions of a vacant parking space and set the target parking position.
  • The HDD navigation system (compatible with G-Book mX and G-Book mX Pro telematics services) is equipped with advanced navigation features, including “Maps on Demand” for updating the navigation system maps with the latest information as well as a variety of multimedia functions. The G-BOOK mX Pro makes it possible to connect to a dedicated call center with a single touch. This is the first time that this feature has been available on a Toyota vehicle.
  • A wide-view front monitor with a 190-degree field of view simultaneously displays the ground in front of the vehicle and left and right frontal areas. The monitor contributes to improved visibility at intersections and other areas where it is difficult to see.
  • The Smart Entry & Start System uses a key that does not need to be removed from the driver’s pocket to lock and unlock the doors, as well as a push button for starting the engine.

Class-leading Safety Performance and Outstanding Environmental Performance

  • The front-seat structures are based on the WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) concept and come with extra strong seat frames. They were designed based on analyses using THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety), and incorporate an Active Headrest as standard equipment, which shifts to an appropriate position in order to reduce the risk of whiplash injury in a rear-end collision.
  • The SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) side airbag for the driver and front passenger and SRS curtain shield airbags that cover from the front through to the third-row seats are standard on all vehicles in the series.
  • The S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control) system optimally balances driving power, steering and braking in pursuit of stable driving regardless of road conditions, and also come as standard.
  • The new vehicle adopts an advanced GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) collision-safety body, further developed to meet stricter than normal conditions by incorporating the concept of omni-directional compatibility. Through the use of a body that effectively absorbs collision impact by diffusing it throughout its structure, Toyota satisfied all independent targets for survival space and occupant injury.
  • Improvements in the body structure further reduce the likelihood of pedestrian head injuries in an effort to achieve one of the highest levels of injury prevention in this vehicle class.
  • Efforts were made to improve fuel efficiency to reduce CO2 emissions. The 2.4-liter, front-wheel drive models boast a fuel efficiency of 12.8km/l in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) with CO2 emissions under the test cycle just 181g/km, achieving fuel efficiency that exceeds by 20% the level called for by the Japanese 2010 standards*. Both NOx (nitrogen oxides) and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) have also been reduced, meaning that all vehicles now have emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under MLIT’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.
  • Toyota employed Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System)—its original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system—to efficiently achieve overall reduction of environmental impact throughout the vehicle’s entire lifecycle.
  • Environmental targets were set in the initial vehicle development stage and a life cycle assessment was carried out to achieve a reduction of air contaminants and CO2, etc., throughout all stages of the vehicle’s life from production and use to disposal.
  • A review of the materials, processing methods and adhesives used for interior parts resulted in a reduction in the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) used, thereby also reducing the unpleasant odors emitted from such compounds and achieving the Japanese automobile industry’s voluntary goals.
  • An Eco Driving Indicator lights up when the vehicle is efficiently driven to raise the driver’s awareness of environmentally considerate driving.

*Specified by the Japanese Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy

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