CC Outtake:  Toyota Premio/Allion – the Crown Vic and Mercury Marquis of JDM-world

One of our neighbors, whom I have not met yet, has owned this car for several years – I frequently see it parked in our community center lot.  What I first realized the other day is how many times I have walked by it – without noticing it.  It may be one of the most nondescript and anonymous cars in Japan.  It’s a Toyota Allion – and this looks to be a 2010-2015 model.

My guess would be this neighbor is likely my age or older (AARP eligible).  CC readers may be aware of the fairly large demographic problem facing Japan – too many old people, not enough young folks.  The Japanese government is trying a number of initiatives to increase the marriage and birth rate, with little success so far.  Interestingly, I saw an article recently on a solution offered by a researcher at Yale – though meeting the definition of senior citizen, I can’t say it’s the one I’d prefer.

But lots of older people mean auto manufacturers here in Japan see a potential market – and as most folks in this demographic segment tend to be conservative and traditional in their tastes, the models offered are pretty bland.  And in my view, they don’t get much blander than the Premio/Allion twins.  





The Premio/Allion were follow-ons to the long-running Corona/Carina – in fact from 1997-2001 the Premio was named “Corona Premio.”  They mirrored the Crown Vic-Grand Marquis marketing approach; identical with the exception of the grille and some trim pieces, the Premio was the more up-market of the two, and was sold though Toyota’s “Toyopet” dealerships while the Allion could be found at regular Toyota stores.  

They used the same platform as the Avensis sold in Europe and Asia  – which means 1.5. 1.8, and 2.0 four cylinders were offered.  

They were built in three generations from 1997 ending in 2021, though a version (stretched Corolla) is still sold in China.  Its discontinuation meant the end of the Corona line first introduced in 1957.