1992 Toyota Cressida Grande 3.0 DOHC 24 valve inline 6 from Australia and New Zealand


Toyotas Luxury GT to rival the worlds best


The car has been trouble-free so far.

General Comments:

The MX83 Cressida was the last model imported into Australia before the model was discontinued and replaced by the Camry-based Lexus ES300. While no doubt a fine car itself, as a front-wheel-drive based on an everyday family sedan, it was a poor substitute for the mighty MX83. It looks like a typical conservatively styled Japanese Executive sedan, but with a mean streak underneath the surface.

The engine, the same twin cam, multi-valve 3.0 liter straight six as found in the Mk3 Supra was a masterpiece of technological wizardry in its time. Smooth, silent, efficient and remarkably powerful for its size, it provided class leading performance, and excellent fuel economy. A 4 speed electronic automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential, all of these components taken directly from the supra.

The top of the range Grande model comes equipped with every conceivable luxury feature at the time, including power windows, mirrors, remote central locking, ABS brakes, a CD player, cruise control, climate Control and electrically adjustable leather seats. Everything is well spaced out for the driver to control at the touch of a finger, and comfort levels are about as high as they get short of a Rolls-Royce.

All these excellent qualities paint a very good picture of this car, and it is indeed excellent. However if you're looking for attention, the Cressida isn't for you. It doesn't turn heads, no more than a Camry, it looks THAT ordinary on the surface. What we have here is perhaps the ultimate street sleeper, docile as a 90 year old pensioner on the outside, with a heart of a champion athlete lurking inside, ready to explode when you want to teach that ruffian in the Commodore with the big sound system a lesson in performance and dynamics.

These cars do need careful servicing and maintenance, as long as they aren't neglected however, Toyota's legendary reliability won't disappoint, this example with over 320,000 kms feels almost new. Fuel economy is around 11.5-12.5l/100 kms, for a relatively heavy car with a powerful engine, this is an excellent figure.

I would recommended this car to anyone who wants an excellent mid-size luxury GT, it is as good if not better than its rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2010

1992 Toyota Cressida Grande 3.0L Inline 6 24v DOHC from Australia and New Zealand


Buy one if you can..



Blown head gasket as a result of a cracked heater core. Luckily this was just after buying the car from a dealership offering a 12 month warranty, so no extra cost was incurred :)

Dunno when.

Blew top radiator hose from the tank when I downshifted really hard. Nothing serious, just needed to replace the clamp with a better one and top up the coolant. I'd recommend replacing all the spring type clamps for screw clamps if you do a bit of spirited driving.

If you're thinking about buying one of these cars, the most important thing to look out for is the notorious blown head gasket.

If you fix a blown head gasket correctly the first time with these engines, you can be assured it won't be blowing for another 200,000km. To fix it properly, make sure that the head and block surfaces are re-surfaced to the best possible finish. Use a Toyota genuine head gasket and re-torque higher than the recommended specifications ~75-80lb/ft.

General Comments:

The last Australian models of the Cressida (1989-1992, MX83) are fantastic cars.

This has to be one of the best used cars to buy these days. Costing new $43,000 AUD and available from $2500-$10000 used, depending on condition, they are amazing value for money. I picked mine up for $7000AUD, and they are the best dollars I have spent in a long time.

When Toyota produced these babies, they were the flagship model alongside the Supra, and share many aspects. Mainly the driveline: the wonderful engine - the 3.0L inline 6 DOHC 7M-GE powerhouse pumping 142KW through an A340 3 speed plus overdrive automatic transmission through to an 8" limited slip differential. This engine and gearbox combo made for one of THE smoothest drive-train available at the time, that puts some new cars to shame.

Reliability wise these cars are great. The only problem that is well recorded to occur is the blown head gasket. Other than this, anything that goes wrong is a result of poor service and maintenance. Keep it out of the red zone (temp.) and the engine will last a lifetime. When something does go wrong though, it isn’t always cheap to fix.

Fuel economy isn't the greatest, but what can you expect from a car of this size? I drive it like I stole it, and I still get about 350-450km from 50L city driving.

My car came with a huge assortment of extras: leather interior, cruise control, electric drivers seat, electric windows and mirrors, CD player, 6 speaker sound, climate control, LSD - all standard on the Grande, and an optional moonroof.

With a forum like www.toyotacressida.net to find information, and help sort out and solve technical problems, this car has been very easy to maintain. Not really the cheapest car to keep on the road, being classed as luxury vehicle, but well worth every dollar I've spent.

I don’t think I'll ever sell this car, and I have plans to do an engine conversion to the 2.5L Twin Turbo 1JZ-GTE that comes standard in the same chassis in Japan (JZX81). These motors put out a hefty 170rwkw when put into an Australian delivered Cressida, and have a huge potential for further modification to push well over 400rwkw.

The other plus of the 1JZ-GTE is they are probably the second most reliable engine Toyota makes. 1JZ-GTE's big brother 2JZ-GTE being the best. NO MORE BLOWN HEAD GASKETS when you go 1JZ-GTE.

When new from the factory, body roll came as standard. Weighing in at 1450kg, the Grande isn’t the easiest car to maneuver around, but it will still out handle a Commodore or Falcon of the same era. Putting in a set of lowering springs and sports shocks (Bilstein) drastically improved the handling and appearance of my Cressida. The rear no longer sits higher than the front, and body roll is down to a very useable level.

Overall, I'd have to say that I love my Cressida and it's the best built car I have ever driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2006

15th Jul 2006, 01:24

Very nice review. I can't agree enough with what you are saying about cressidas.

30th May 2008, 22:25

I have been searching Cressida's for 12 months. Patience paid off as I am now the proud owner of one Toyota Cressida Grande of 1991 vintage, with the MX83 engine. I am the third owner and it was lovingly cared for by the former owner, and the original owner. Always garaged, oil and filter changed at every 5000km. The best grade oil used, and platinum plugs installed for high efficiency and durability.

This particular vehicle was like new inside, everything worked. Absolutely no hiccups. No expense spared. Though I paid top dollar, and it was well worth it ($5000 to $7000 by private sellers).

Today's unglamorous cars will not stand the test of time that these superb babies will. Toyota should re-introduce the model. If you are looking to buy another car, consider one of these. The wife will love you for it.

1992 Toyota Cressida Grande 3.0 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A great value car


Old rocker cover gaskets allowed oil to leak into the spark plug wells.

Old spark plug leads were cracking and needed replacing.

General Comments:

This model was a great car that was badly missed when withdrawn from the Australian market in January 1993. (Production continued in Japan where the model is still known as a Mark II). Body shape is conservative, but stylish and has not dated. Interior is well laid out and the Grande model comes with leather, CD player, cruise control, climate control, power windows, mirrors, steering and ABS brakes. Mine has an optional electric sunroof fitted which is nice. Performance is brisk - the 7M-GE engine produces 142 kilowatts of power which compares well with 3 liter V6 engines made today by Toyota and others. Low gearing assists acceleration, but does not help fuel consumption when cruising. The four speed auto transmission is the A340E model used in the older Lexus SC 400s and LS 400s so it is smooth and tough.

When buying, check that the cam belt has been replaced at 100,000 kms and that the head gasket is fine (these are the engine's only weakness).

Overall, a very nice car if you can find a well kept and serviced example. The later models manufactured in 1991 and 1992 are the ones to aim for as they had some minor refinements and improvements over the 89 and 90 models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2002

3rd Jun 2003, 08:01


I have always wanted to have this car and am seriously considering to buy one. If you are thinking of selling it please email me daprav@hotmail.com. I live in Adelaide. Your review about the car was fantastic. It really gave me useful information about the specifications of the car.