2000 Toyota Altezza RS200 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Toyota's BMW. Next time I'll get a BMW


Ball joints worn at 90k.

A/C failed at 110k.

Rear shocks failed at 114k.

Rear suspension bushes failed at 114k, requiring whole lower suspension A arms to be replaced.

Moisture in both headlights at 120k.

Fuel gauge only ever worked intermittently.

Gloss black paintwork started to self destruct at 110k; oxidation and flaking.

General Comments:

Brought the car for two reasons. It looked fantastic in gloss black with 18inch telephone dial alloys, great japanese interpretation of a 3 series BMW. The second reason was that it was by Toyota, so I expected reliability and reasonable running costs.

Good bits:

It looked great, and was admired by many out and about.

Front seats were comfortable and supportive, steering had a nice meaty sports feel and it handled well.

Great factory sound system too, with sat nav capability.

It was a good size too, not massive and bloated like many modern cars, so parking was easy.

Bad bits:

Performance from the Yamaha Beams engine was peaky, so the car was lethargic under the variable valve timing threshold. To make matters worse, the 5 speed tiptronic gearbox was total garbage. In auto it constantly shuffled around gears, and if it needed to downshift a couple of ratios, it would take an age to do so, leaving a few seconds of no acceleration at the most inconvenient times. Overtaking required shifting manually, and the spacing of the gear ratios meant having to upshift in the middle of an overtaking maneuver. If there were four people aboard, you just wouldn't bother as the car was just too heavy. The engine ran on premium fuel, and was extremely uneconomical for a 2.0L 4cyl car.

The cost of the suspension parts were eye watering.

Servicing itself was affordable, but if anything other than belts, plugs or filters was needed, it was expensive.

Fit and finish of the dashboard was not good enough for a premium car of the post 2000 era, and when we sold it at 120k the paint was deteriorating, there were trim rattles, and the seat fabric was wearing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st May, 2008

19th Oct 2008, 01:17

Sounds like this person brought a LEMON! I have sold 100's of these things, and never had one back with a problem! Sell BMW's as well and many come back with issues.

15th Jun 2009, 02:12


I live in Japan and have owned my 1999 model Altezza RS200 Z for nearly 4 years and have not had a problem with it. I absolutely love my car. Looks great and has reasonable performance.

However the car has currently done less than 60,000km, so perhaps some of the problems you mentioned could occur later...

1999 Toyota Altezza RS200 2.0 N/A from Thailand


Appearance is very appealing and proud to be its owner!


None at all. Car is well built and all intact despite its age.

General Comments:

Very appealing outside appearance. Fully-equipped with TCS, sunroof, gear-shifter on the steering wheel, std 17" rims, rear-tinted glass... performance is OKay, not as expected from its spec of 200hp due to its semi-auto transimission. Would have been a better match had it been matched with a manual shifter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2005

29th Feb 2008, 15:34

We have one of these too, and totally agree with the reliability and the looks. Also agree with the performance deficit. We have the 200bhp model with tiptronic transmission and the trans is a dog that completely ruins the engines performance. It causes dangerous hesitations in power delivery and hunts around for gears constantly. Totally useless. Avoid the auto like the plague and get a 6 speed manual.

28th Nov 2008, 01:07

I have the 5 speed auto too, and was initially disappointed with the performance, but if you select manual mode with TCS off and use the 5000-7000rpm power band this car is a delight. I bought mine last year with a 5 year, unlimited mileage warranty and it hasn't missed a beat. if you know how to drive it, it's a real wolf in sheep's clothing!

22nd Sep 2009, 16:37

I have owned several other cars and enjoy my RS200, I share the pain of those with an automatic but have a 6 forward manual, the car is a pleasure to drive and is more economical than my SUV equipped with a QR20 engine.

Acceleration leaves a little to be desired but once the TRC is off and you run up the RPM the launch is exciting, the car is to factory specs and with the speed cut limiter I have gotten speeds in excess of 220km.

I will not sell unless I can find something similar, the body shape and interior is in great condition this car has 120k on it and gets more looks than the BMW.

18th Jul 2010, 08:44

How do you turn off TRC on an Altezza?

31st Aug 2010, 06:45

Mine came on when I reversed backward quite a long way. I drove it for a few days and clicked the TRC button a few times. I think I was reversing again and it came off instantly. Hasn't come back on since... It's been a few months now, so I'm guessing it was nothing major. Hope your one works.

1999 Toyota Altezza RS200Z 2.0 Litre N/A from Australia and New Zealand


A real stylish Toy


Factory wheel camber needs adjusting (wheel alingment) in order to reduce excessive tyre wear.

General Comments:

The VVT-i from Toyota gives you the needed boost at high end, much like a VTEC Honda. Quick and luxurious, great 4 door car with space and style.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2004

3rd Dec 2005, 20:42

Just bought an Altezza last week. A 2000, 6 speed manual with beams engine. Very impressed with the whole package of the car, handling and brakes keep up with what the engine is capable of. Was wondering if any after market turbo or supercharger kits are available for this vehicle in NZ.