Chasing the roads
Initially marketed as a stock, it came as a four-door sedan and two-door coupé. The second generation however discontinued the coupé version
Commonly referred to as one of Toyota's "triplet sedans" (alongside Cressida and Mark II), the Chaser was a mid-size car produced by the Japanese automaker from 1977-2001.
Initially marketed as a stock, it came as a four-door sedan and two-door coupé. The second generation however discontinued the coupé version.
The automobile came in six generations, the first one starting from 1977 to 1980. They were made keeping economy in mind, rather than performance. Hence the engine displacement came as 1.8L and 2.0L. The front wheel drive further brought in fuel economy, by giving power to the front two wheels.
Most of the models used a double wishbone suspension with coil springs. The Chaser and its platform sisters are considered a rung below the Crown, allowing Toyota to offer a sedan with similar levels of luxury content and a sportier image with a slightly smaller body length, powered by the 2.5-litre 1JZ engine.
The second generation of Chaser came out as a four-door sedan and four-door hardtop, no longer offering the 2-door hardtop. The "Avante" trim level had a sport tuned suspension using Michelin tires.
The dimensions of third generation cars were slightly smaller in comparison to sister cars Mark II and Cresta. In addition, this version of the Chaser also had a larger bumper.
After the third generation, the car finally got a facelift in the sixth and the final generation of the vehicle which included changes to the rear tail lights, new fog lights with a slightly redesigned front bar to accommodate them and a grille with two horizontal bars instead of three.
As mentioned earlier, the key goal for Toyota was economy rather than performance. The interior is fresh with factory carbon-fibre trim on the centre console. As the car's third generation came into existence, it features larger disc brakes with bucket seats.
The JZX100 Chaser V, the vehicles sixth generation had stripy patterned seats and matching door inserts. The driver's seat offers plenty of adjustment for people of different sizes and a lumbar support bar accompanied with analogue control for continuous linear adjustment. The vehicle has one of the simple centre console units a car can have, containing the controls for the vehicle's digital climate control system and front and rear demisters.
The dash contains clearly displayed dials with a large tacho and speedometer which are crisply lit up by white light at night and are a joy to read and look at.
In order to provide buyers with a luxury sports sedan, the vehicle was limited to an engine size at 2000 cc. But as more generation of the car was produced, it brought in certain room for improvements in the engine department. Chaser's 1JZ-GTE had a 2.5-litre, straight six, 24 valve VVTi with a CT15B turbocharger. It produces 280hp and 280lb.ft torque. The older version of this engine came with twin turbos, but the single turbo version is the better choice – increased fuel efficiency without a reduction in power.
Weighing just under 1500kg, giving a power to weight figure of 189 hp/tonne – not too shabby even by today's standards.
The 1JZ-GTE is available in rear wheel drive only, linked to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Other variants of the Chaser are available with a 4WD engine. There are three other lower powered petrol engine options and even a diesel option. The car has double wishbone independent suspension all round with anti-roll/sway bars.
For enthusiasts and collectors, this is your go to car. The engine and drivetrain are superb, the car is comfortable and quirky, and handles extremely well. Like all large sedans, it has heaps of space for a family to go away on a trip in, or even a visit to the mall. Though being out of production from 2001, second hand Chasers are pretty available in the country. Depending on the variant, the vehicle will be available within Tk2,00,000-Tk13,50,000.