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.
I will DEFINITELY take the USA 🇺🇸 Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis any day! Although these two became more aero in their last years, up until early 90s, both had great formal look, comfortable riding, dependable. Had 89 Crown Victoria LX with optional formal roof and red velvet interior. What a stunner! Current 2007 Town Car Signature Limited is last generation of REAL American Luxury Sedans. 🏆. Always thought TOYOTA name was appropriate 🙄 🤣 as their vehicles looked like little toys! 😉 FMCs biggest mistake was NOT the EDSEL, but axing Crown Vics, GRAND MARQUIS, and TOWN CARS. This Town Car will be my primary vehicle until I can no longer drive! Nothing currently built can compare.
Apt comparison. And for pretty logical reasons. Who needs anything bigger, especially in a crowded big city? Maybe Rick W.
ABSOLUTELY! Could always maneuver and park my LAND YACHTS anywhere. Bigger is always better. Chrome, fins,and monster V8s made America 🇺🇸 the standard of the world! 🏆. Absolutely detest current assortment of vehicles.🤮. Will happily drive my 2007 Town Car into the sunset 🌇.😎. 🚘
A conversation I had many years ago with my grandmother, when I was a car-crazy teenager: I’d been babbling about changing from power to nonpower steering in my car, and she was curious why I would do that. So I started babbling about road feel and such. She said she had no problem feeling, through the steering wheel, where her ’86 Town Car was. I don’t recall how I responded, but what was called for was a polite smile and nod and “Of course you can, gran”.
Thank you for being polite and respecting GRANDMA! Not much of that these days!👍. When I was a kid, we had to trade cars for one with power steering when MOM got arthritis in her shoulders. Personally have always preferred power steering.
I believe we received a related model in the U.S. in the form of the Lexus HS250h, which kind of sank without a trace but represented a “normal”-looking Prius-like option.
I do see the appeal, the Corolla can be seen as too small while the Camry can be seen as too large for some, this fits right inbetween. And being imbued with Toyota’s general reliability and longevity along with likely ease of use and somewhat formal/safe styling it obviously found a market.
PS: AARP is marketing down to the 50-year-old mark nowadays although being retired or even being 50 is not required to send them money for a membership.
The HS250h was related to the Avensis, so it was sort of a cousin of these. Likewise the Scion tC, which was essentially an Avensis coupe.
First pic looks a bit like a scaled down version of the 2005-2007 Toyota Avalon.
I see that there are pics in this post, and from the text I infer the pics show a car or cars, but no matter how I look, I…don’t see them. I see what looks like other/background cars in a few of them, and in others I see various background-y stuff, but for some strange reason I don’t see what I guess to be the subject cars. It’s as though I’m looking right through them or past them or something.
I think it’s the Toyota Effect. 🙂
Lots of those here, Ive driven a 2.0 Premio 4×4 nice enough inside but appalling road manners, it didnt react to the helm well at all, I guess my expectations were too high I owned the late NZ assembled Corona with its wider rims 4 wheel discs and Amon suspension tune it steered and handled great the JDM effort not so much
This would be a great post sometime – the top ten cars favored by old people in each decade.
I suppose every country with an auto industry gets its own Grand Marquis or Buick LeSabre. It is interesting to think about what this car offered the Japanese market that all the other choices did not.
I am fascinated by how little publicity the issue of demographic implosion gets in the various countries that are being or will be heavily affected. It is amazing how that late-60’s fad science predicting a disastrous population explosion still has a hold on so many in academia and government.