Rare Rides: The 1993 Toyota Caldina Wagon, Featuring Four-wheel Drive and Five Sunroofs

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 1993 toyota caldina wagon featuring four wheel drive and five

It may look like someone blended together the wagon versions of the Toyota Corolla and the Subaru Legacy, but today’s Rare Ride is something rarely (or never) seen on North American shores. Presenting the 1993 Toyota Caldina, with Sky Canopy.

The Toyota Caldina was born of a need to simplify product offerings. Prior to 1992, Toyota offered sedan and wagon variants of its Carina and Corona models, but after the turn of the decade, much of its Japanese market lineup was redesigned and shuffled. As the cheapest of the two models, the Carina was offered only as a sedan for 1992 onward. The Corona was available in four-door sedan and five-door liftback guises in all markets where it was offered, but there was a wagon option that varied depending on market. Strictly for the Japanese domestic market, the Corona wagon vanished, replaced by a Caldina wagon with its own distinct styling. Other markets still had a Corona wagon available, but it was actually a rebadged version of the JDM Caldina.

Japanese customers had access to two different styles of Caldina: a passenger version, and a more basic cargo wagon sold as a commercial vehicle. Aside from styling and trim differences, the commercial version had a leaf spring suspension in the back, while the passenger version featured independent struts.

Various engines were offered, ranging between 1.5 and 2.2 liters in displacement. Five gasoline engines were available in the first generation, as well as three diesels. Supporting the utility mission of either version, Caldinas were available with four-wheel drive. This offering continued throughout the second generation (which debuted for 1998), and again with the third generation, which was sold from 2002 through 2007. At that time the Caldina was discontinued and replaced by the more bland Corolla-based Avensis wagon.

Today’s Rare Ride is located in Atlanta, and is a well-equipped example from 1993. A two-tone color scheme and big rally-style fog lamps are paired with the undoubtedly expensive Sky Canopy roof option. Said option raises the roof of the Caldina and replaces a lot of metal with an ovoid piece of glass. Inside, passengers are treated to multiple sky views via five different sunroof panels. The owner mentions the four-wheel drive system comes with a locking center differential for when you want to tackle more than wet leaves. Yours for $7,900.

[Images: seller]

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  • Steverino Steverino on Mar 13, 2019

    I believe there's a Nissan Figaro in the background of the sunroof photo. Corey could do a month's worth of rare rides just in this guy's barns.

    • Scott25 Scott25 on Mar 13, 2019

      The Figaro can barely be considered rare when Duncan Imports exists. There’s probably more Figaros in Virginia than there is current generation Volvo wagons in all of US.

  • Doug Dolde Doug Dolde on Mar 18, 2019

    why waste space on these old Toyotas? Who cares?

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 18, 2019

      Thanks for all your content suggestions. I've written up all the Rare Rides you've provided, and they're live on the site now. Here are the links:

  • MaintenanceCosts I saw my first IS500 out in the wild today (a dark-grey-on-black example) and it struck me that it was much more AMG-like than this product. (Great-looking and -sounding car.)
  • ToolGuy https://youtu.be/Jd0io1zktqI
  • Art Vandelay Props for trying something different. EVs should work well in this sort of race. The similar series running ICE run short distances like that
  • ToolGuy Well they wet the track down using sea water - from the South Pacific Ocean. Oceans may have a large amount of water, but it isn't infinite, is it? No, it isn't. So if this sport really takes off, what will happen when the ocean is drained? (And once you put the water on the dirt, how does it ever get back to the ocean?)
  • Bobbysirhan Some friends of mine were dazzled by a CUE demo that circulated on YouTube before this car reached the market. I was bewildered why anyone wanted a car as durable and dependable as their cellphones, but to each their own. One of them did actually show up with an XTS V-sport when the car first came out. He showed people CUE in my driveway, but I don't recall him offering demonstration rides to the assembled imported luxury car drivers. In the months that followed, I never saw or heard about the Cadillac again. He went back to driving his Yukon Denali until I moved away a year or two later.
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