One of the most popular auto manufacturers today, Toyota has more reliable vehicles in its portfolio than any other brand in the world – but it doesn't mean it never made mistakes.
Not everything the Japanese automaker touches turns to gold and, just like any other marque, it too has had its fair share of automotive flops over the years. Here's a glimpse at some of the best and worst vehicles in Toyota's history.
Best: 1993 Toyota Supra Mk4
In the entire history of Toyota, no car has been so beloved and sought after than the 90s Supra Mark IV. This legendary sports car is a total show-stealer and has starred in everything from movies to games.
Powered by a twin-turbo straight-six good for 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque, it's arguably the most powerful among all JDM collectibles today, with tuners frequently taking its iconic 2JZ-GTE engine to up to 1000 horsepower.
Worst: 2007 Toyota Camry
While Camrys are universally regarded as very reliable, the 2007 model was an exception. The four-cylinder trim was fine, but the one with the 3.5-liter V6 was prone to premature wear due to excessive oil consumption.
The 2007 Camry was recalled several times, most notably for the gas pedal entrapment problem that led to numerous deadly crashes.
Best: 1967 Toyota 2000GT
Born out of Toyota's partnership with Yamaha in the late 1960s, this legendary limited-edition sports car is the Japanese marque's equivalent of the Lamborghini Miura & Countach and the Ferrari 250.
Under that hood of this 2-door RWD fastback coupe, an inline-six made about 150 hp, which was a big deal back then. Toyota’s first supercar, the 2000GT is a rare find today, with well-kept units fetching millions at auctions.
Worst: 2012 Toyota Scion IQ
Introduced in 2012 as a tiny urban commuter, the Scion IQ is hailed as one of the biggest automotive flops ever. Though it was nicely built, the problem was that this "half-car" cost almost the same as a well-loaded Corolla.
A massive sales failure, Toyota pulled the plug on the Scion IQ in 2015.
Best: 1990 Lexus LS400
The 1990 Lexus LS400 surprised everyone when it inaugurated Toyota's luxury division. With an absurdly low tag of $35,000, it had better build quality and finishing than the vehicles from many well-established luxury automakers of the time.
The 4.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 engine was absolutely silent and insanely powerful (at 250-hp). Simply put, the LS400 was the worst nightmare for BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Jaguar.
Worst: 1984 Toyota Van
The 1984 Toyota Van (yes, it was named just "Van") was an ugly vehicle with a short wheelbase, a choppy ride, and terrible handling, especially at corners.
The Van's long list of flaws was unable to compensate for the panoramic sunroof and fridge/water cooler, and Toyota had to end its production by 1991.
Best: 1984 Toyota Corolla AE86
Though not so powerful as the JDM legends like the GT-R, NSX, and Supra, the Toyota AE86 became a global drifting icon thanks to its appearance in the Japanese street racing manga and anime series 'Initial D.'
Having featured in numerous video games and movies, this almost 40-year-old RWD sports car influenced an entire generation and left a lasting impact on car culture, with many drifters tuning its 121-hp engine to up to 800-hp powerhouses.
Worst: 1993 Toyota T100
While Toyota was practically unrivaled in the compact-pickup market, its first effort to compete with the Big Three in the full-size segment was a failure.
The T100 lacked an extended cab and even a V8. Toyota addressed the first issue, but with the second concern, it chose to add a supercharging blower to the V6. It didn't work and Toyota eventually had to replace the T100 with the larger, V8-powered Tundra in 2000.
Best: 2000 Toyota Tundra
Replacing the poorly received T100, the Tundra was a powerful full-size pickup truck with a 190-hp 3.4-liter V6 as standard. The top-of-the-line 4.7-liter, I-Force V8 sourced from the Land Cruiser/LX 470 produced 245 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque.
The 2000 Tundra was a full-fledged truck with insane off-road capability and enough power to tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Worst: 2019 Toyota 86
The trio of Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, and Scion FR-S was built in collaboration between Toyota and Subaru.
Though nearly identical to each other, each vehicle used its own set of parts sourced from its respective manufacturer. Toyota, however, made one of the weakest and slowest of the three, with poor value for money.
Best: 2020 Toyota Supra
Revived after a hiatus of two decades, the fifth-generation Supra was co-developed with BMW using a CLAR platform and a 3-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-6 from the German marque.
Ditching the 2+2 seating configuration seen in previous generations, the 2020 Supra is an impressive rear-wheel sports car with a behemoth output of 335 horses.
Worst: 2009 Toyota Venza
The first-generation Venza had nothing special about it. Also, it was released at a bad time – when gas prices were skyrocketing and "SUV" was a forbidden word.
Toyota decided to follow a vague and ambiguous branding strategy, which badly backfired. The Venza failed to convince buyers and was eventually killed off in 2017. Toyota later revived it in 2021 as a hybrid SUV.
Best: 2011 Lexus LFA
This carbon-fiber supercar, the first from Toyota's luxury division, has a 9000-rpm redline, a 553-hp power output, and 354 lb-ft of torque.
The behemoth 4.8-liter V-10 powerplant enables the LFA to hit a top speed of 202 mph. The performance is complemented by a stylish exterior and a remarkably lavish interior to match the $375,000 tag.
Worst: 2022 Toyota C-HR
The 2022 Toyota C-HR has a nice exterior and decent interior – but that's pretty much it.
With a 0-60 time of 11 seconds (downright unacceptable for today's standards), the C-HR is painfully slow, thanks to a lethargic four-cylinder engine. Moreover, the rear seat is one of the most cramped in its class.
Best: 1960 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
One of the most popular SUVs in the world, too many Land Cruisers deserve to be on this list, but this is the one we like the most.
The 1960 FJ40 was neither sophisticated nor luxurious, but it was brutishly tough, so much so that it became immensely popular with the agricultural community. Interestingly, it remained almost unchanged for more than 2 decades.
Worst: 2009 Lexus HS250h
Toyota introduced the Lexus HS250h as a luxury hybrid sedan after taking note of the popularity of the second-gen Prius with affluent buyers.
Unfortunately, fuel prices collapsed soon after Toyota launched it in the US. To make matters worse, the HS250h had nothing special to offer except for the nice Lexus interior. Sales kept dropping every year and production was finally halted in 2012.
Best: 1984 Toyota MR2
One of the most beloved cars of the 1980s, this sports coupe used a repurposed Corolla Sport's drivetrain to get a sporty spirit.
This mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-seater (or the MR2) car was produced in three generations from 1984 to 2007, but it was the first generation that went on to become an automotive icon.
Worst: 2007 Toyota RAV4
The 3.5-liter V6 trim of the 2007 Toyota RAV4 SUV was plagued with the same oil consumption problem as the 2007 Camry. Its steering assembly components were also defective and noisy.
The crossover was recalled numerous times due to several issues ranging from premature corrosion of rear tie rods to power window switch melting to defective flexible flat cable that would disconnect the driver's airbag.
Best: 2021 Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry has established itself as a reliable, dependable, and comfortable family hauler ever since its launch in 1983.
It has repeatedly outsold every other vehicle in its class and the 2021 iteration was no different. The best seller sedan in the US, more than 313,790 units were sold in 2021.
Worst: 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
The 2007 FJ Cruiser was a tough off-roader with attractive retro styling – but this sentiment was shared by a small group of enthusiasts. To all others, it was a bouncy SUV that was too costly to operate.
The rear door was so absurdly designed that accessing the rear seat required a pretty flexible body. Toyota finally discontinued the FJ in the US in 2014.
Best: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
One of the most fuel-efficient SUVs today, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid returns an impressive combined mileage of 40 mpg.
This affordable and reliable family hauler packs the punch as well, thanks to a combo of 2.5-liter straight-four gas engine and electric motors that churn out an output of 219 horses.
Worst: 2001 Toyota Prius
While the second-generation Prius has been a revolutionary car and a massive sales success, the first-generation was nothing like that.
With a $20,000 tag, it was way too overpriced for what it offered. Even the fuel cost savings couldn't convince buyers as most of them opted for roomier, nicer mid-size sedans that cost just as much.
Best: 1964 Toyota Stout
Powered by a 1.9-liter inline-four good for 85 hp, the 1964 Stout was the first Toyota pickup sold in the US.
Ushering in a new era, the Stout made compact trucks the heart and soul of the Japanese automaker. So, the next time you drive your Hilux or Tacoma, just remember the pickup that started it all.
Worst: 2000 Toyota Echo
An entry-level Toyota, the Echo had an unattractive exterior and a cheap interior.
In a bid to keep the cost down, Toyota went so far as to remove basic features like air conditioning, power steering, and power mirrors from the base trim. Power windows weren't an option at all. Sales kept dropping and Toyota eventually axed it in 2005.
Best: 1999 Lexus RX300
Lexus had a strong reputation for building luxurious, quality, and reliable cars at the turn of the century. The only thing it lacked was a good sales figure. But that changed with the 1999 RX300.
Representing over 40% of Lexus sales at one time, the RX300 steered the way for Toyota's luxury division to dominate the mid-size luxury-crossover segment for the years to come.
Worst: 1999 Toyota Camry Solara
The Camry Solara was marketed as a thrilling replacement for the Camry coupe – but its handing turned out to be even worse than the Camry sedan. The second generation, unveiled in 2003, was no different.
Buyers eventually lost interest in the Solara and Toyota ended the production of the coupe in 2008. The convertible version was axed a year later.
Best: 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser
When the Land Cruiser 100 Series replaced the 80 Series in 1998, Toyota decided to take things up a notch.
It was the first Land Cruiser to feature a V8 powerplant with dual overhead camshafts. Another significant change was the replacement of the solid front axle with independent front suspension.
Worst: 1991 Toyota Previa
Remember the 1984 Van that was axed in 1991? It was the Previa that succeeded it. But unfortunately, it too was a massive failure. Though Toyota improved the handling, the styling was just as unattractive.
Moreover, unlike the domestic minivans that came with V6, the Previa had a measly straight-four that could hardly move this two-ton vehicle in a decent manner. It was finally replaced with the Sienna in 1998.
Best: 2022 Toyota Sienna
Featuring a hybrid drivetrain with most of the power coming from a 245-hp 2.5-L 4-cylinder gas engine, the 2022 Sienna is quite capable. It's also quite comfortable.
But what makes it one of the best Toyota vehicles on the market today is its unbelievable fuel efficiency. This gigantic minivan can cruise up to 36 miles per gallon of gas. Yes, 36 miles!
Worst: 2007 Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is one of the most popular cars, not just in Toyota's but in entire automotive history. But the 2009 Corolla was a bit too problematic.
The inline-four trim, in particular, had a serious oil consumption problem. It was plagued with several other issues as well, most notably pedal entrapment, power window switch melting, and an engine overheating problem due to failed water pumps.
Best: 2018 Toyota Century
Widely regarded as Japan's Rolls-Royce, the Toyota Century is one of the most expensive and lavish vehicles from the Japanese automaker. Introduced in 1967, this limousine has always been meant to transport royals, diplomats, and high-level officials.
Toyota redesigned the Century in 2018 and fitted it with a 5.0-liter V8 hybrid powertrain to ensure a stellar yet smooth acceleration. It has an absolutely silent cabin and an ultra-lavish interior rivaled only by RR.
Worst: 1990 Toyota Sera
The Sera was Toyota's biggest failed attempt to break into the supercar market in the 90s. It was too expensive for Toyota fans and too "Toyota" for those looking for a good sports car.
The presence of Italian sports cars at comparable price points meant the Sera had no future – and Toyota realized it by 1995.
Best: 1971 Toyota Celica ST
Taking design hints from the widely popular Ford Mustang and the pedestrian mechanical bits from the Carina, the Celica was an instant hit as soon it was unveiled in 1971.
It was the perfect reply to the 1964½ Ford Mustang and the start of one of the most successful lineups in Toyota's history.
Worst: 1992 Toyota Paseo
The Paseo was targeted toward young drivers as a sporty two-door coupe, but it turned out anything but fun and convenient.
A bad under-steer combined with stiff competition from the Nissan Pulsar NX and the Mazda MX-3 slowed down sales until Toyota was left with no choice but to end production in 1997.
Best: 2022 Toyota Corolla
With 50 million units sold so far, this compact sedan has enabled the masses to move reliably and comfortably at a bargain price ever since its launch in 1966. And the 2022 iteration is no different.
It boasts a fuel-efficient powertrain, a roomy cabin, an attractive exterior, an affordable tag, and lots of standard driver-assist features.
Worst: 2008 Scion xD
The Scion xD was an affordable subcompact hatchback that was marred with numerous issues right from the first model year. The most notable recall, in 2014, was related to a faulty sliding mechanism in the front passenger seat that could result in serious injuries.
The Scion xD was also a noisy and bumpy vehicle. It never was a hot seller and was finally discontinued in 2014.
Best: 2020 Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma has been a cool truck right from its inception, thanks to its unrivaled durability and reliability, but the 2020 facelift was on another level. Combining agility and maneuverability with immense capability, it was the most a pickup can offer.
In addition to the exterior facelift, the 2020 Tacoma also saw Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa becoming standard.
Worst: 1958 Toyopet Crown
Toyota's first car in the US was a massive failure. While suitable for Japanese roads, the measly 60-hp engine was so underpowered that you needed 26 seconds to go from 0-60 mph.
The car trembled on highways, the engine overheated on ascents, and the brakes were just as bad. The Toyopet was such a disaster that Toyota had to end its production just 3 years later in 1961.
Best: 1965 Toyota Corona
If Toyota could survive in the American market in its initial years, it's all due to the 1965 Corona, that went on to become synonymous with reliable family transportation.
It was also the first Toyota that could easily be identified so, thanks to a distinctive styling and wedged nose that would continue in other cars from the marque.
Worst: 1999 Toyota Celica GT
The Celica remained one of the best sports cars in the history of Toyota, but the seventh generation turned out a failure.
The mid-2000s Celicas were marred with weak engines and sluggish performance. To further make matters worse, they were also prone to constant breaking. The plummeting sales eventually forced Toyota to end the lineup in 2006 after a long run of 36 years.