Buying Guide - Toyota Mark II GX90 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:18 PM, October 12, 2017

Buying Guide - Toyota Mark II GX90

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What is it?

Mid-90s full-size luxury sedan. X90 generation produced between 1992-96. Came in different specs - basic GX90 (and most common in Bangladesh) versions came with the 1GFE inline-six, while high performance Tourer V versions came with the 1JZGTE twin-turbo inline-six motor. Plenty of creature comforts such as leather inserts, wood garnish, digital displays as optional extra, and plenty of leg-room both front and rear. In the right hands, a ballistic drift missile with acceleration and handling that belies its large dimensions. On top of all that, very pretty.

 

Engines

The basic 1GFE motor is quite low on power (135 HP, 130 lb-ft torque) but has pretty good fuel economy. If you want more power, the best way to go about it is to chuck out the 1GFE in favour of a twin-turbocharged 1JZGTE from the Tourer V version. That will get you about 276 HP and 268 lb-ft of torque. More power can be had through a single turbo conversion with an aftermarket turbo and intercooler (with piping, blow-off valve, exhaust manifold). Or if you’re hungry for more power and would rather avoid aftermarket parts, go for the 2JZGTE twin-turbo VVT-i motor from the Toyota Supra - you’ll basically be driving a larger, four door version of Toyota’s most famous sportscar.

While going turbo is the more effective route for more power, some may want to look at the naturally aspirated options. The 1JZGE and 2JZGE naturally aspirated variants of the Supra motors offer a decent balance of power, drivability and fuel economy. The second-generation 1JZGE puts out 197 BHP and 185 lb-ft of torque while the later generations of 2JZGE put out 227 BHP and 220 lb-ft torque, which is more than enough for a large rear wheel-drive sedan on Dhaka’s cramped streets, where finding empty roads to put all that turbo power to the ground can be quite difficult.

 

Upgrades

Cooling needs a proper upgrade - go for aluminum radiators if you’re going turbo with your X90. Brake upgrades necessary with aftermarket pads and bigger discs. Invest in quality tyres with plenty of grip to keep that slidey rear end in check when things get lairy (unless you’re fond of intentionally frying rubber on grocery runs). Ultra Racing makes every possible chassis stiffening bar that you can put on the car, so if you want your large, heavy 90s sedan to turn on a dime, go for them - just make sure you’re ready to sacrifice the plushy, comfortable ride these cars are known for. You’ll need coilovers to get that sweet spot for your ride height - adjustable ones make sure your car is not too low so it’s drivable and not too high that people mistake it for a Toyota Noah.

 

Exterior

The X90 is a supremely good looking car. It even makes the average Snapchat Queen millennial look up and stare as the low, sleek sedan drives past. Not much to be done here aside from simple lips and a good set of wheels. Unless you want to really stand out and make yours look like a Jap drift missile. In that case, look into tasty ducktail spoilers, overfenders and flared bumpers. Whatever the case, it’ll wow most folks so why spend a lot on visuals when you could be saving towards converting it to Supra power? Nice paint, dished wheels, you’re gooooood.

 

Pros/cons

You can finally show the world that you can, indeed, slide. But please don’t. We know that is a burning question, but not at the expense of innocent people’s lives. Drive safe, drift safer.

It’s a difficult car to maintain if you aren’t the type to find good mechanics or garages. If you do and if your X90 is maintained properly, it’ll go on for years. Regular users report that they’re nearly indestructible even if you abuse them, but please don’t think that’s any excuse to mistreat a 90s JDM beauty. Parts are  a little on the expensive side so if you’ve got a lot of work pending, get a half-cut for complete restoration/upgrade. Cheaper that way.

 

Price?

Reasonable price for a decent X90 is around 5,50,000 Taka. There is a lot of confusion about the pricing of these cars, but considering the age, cost of maintenance and repair, not to mentionthe price of more recent Toyota Mark IIs from the late 90s and early-mid 2000s, the X90 should really not be worth any more. Different case for ones with 1JZ/2JZ motors already swapped in though. Just don't pay too much for one of these. 

 

Main illustration: E.R. Ronny

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