In 1978, Toyota Wanted Part of the Domestic US Luxury Market

1978 toyota cressida magazine advertisement
Introducing the Expensive Toyota for 1978Toyota

Toyota got its start in the United States when the 1957 Crown went on sale in Los Angeles. The 1966-1969 Corona was a smash hit here, and Corollas, Hiluxes, Celicas, and other Toyotas filled American streets soon after.

By the late 1970s, Toyota felt ready to move up the prestige pyramid in North America. An Americanized version of the Toyota Mark II debuted as the Cressida for the 1978 model year. Here's a magazine advertisement for that car.

1978 toyota cressida magazine advertisement

The '78 Cressida listed for $7389, about $36,388 in 2023 dollars. That was similar to the price tag on a new '78 Buick Electra 225 sedan ($7319, or $36,043 now), and the Buick weighed 1000 pounds more and boasted a V8 engine. But, as this ad states: "If you can find a better-built small car than a Toyota… buy it."