Every so often, certain cars here in Zimbabwe (worth mentioning) become extremely popular sights on our few patches of road left. Normally this would annoy me because of the lack of diversity but this time around I feel the opposite. I understand why. Within the Toyota stable, this trend can be traced back to the original “overnight mbingas” a.k.a the “ngoda boys”.

These were the first people to have a taste of the good life, coming off the horrible 2007 – 2008 economic crisis. Cars like the Toyota Mark II’s, Crestas and Chasers flooded the streets and for good reason. They were the ultimate ‘sleepers’ meaning they had space for the family but had performance to keep up and even pass more sports-oriented vehicles.

Fast forward to the 2010s and 2020s, the torch seems to have been passed on to the successor of the aforementioned cars and that is…(pause for dramatic effect)…the Toyota Mark X.
Here’s why…




Yes looks are subjective yada yada yada but this is a handsome fellow inside and out. Its interesting to note that this car is the amalgamation of our original three; that is the Cresta, Mark II and Chaser all wrapped up into one X!

Reclining rear seats

Few if any cars boast of this feature in this class of vehicle but in the Mark X? This feature makes it very easy to get comfortable in the back seats especially on road trips. There are also easy-to-locate anchor points to mount a baby seat so your little one can be strapped in safely.

Passenger radio controls

Another not-so-common feature is on the front passenger door which also has controls for the radio; meaning the fight for which song to listen to and at what volume can take a new twist. That’s free entertainment for backseat passengers!

Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive

When engine power is sent to the back wheels instead of the front it brings about a level of propulsion you just don’t feel in a front-wheel drive car AND ITS FUN!

The back wheels are in charge of movement whilst the front wheels only have to worry about turning and braking. If you have the all-wheel drive version in slippery conditions such as when it rains, you have added peace of mind knowing you have the grip you need to travel safely.

Two generations

Spanning across the years from 2004 to 2019 you have the option of picking one of two generations. I personally am fond of the second generation, more specifically with the second facelift because it has no business looking as good as it does. It exudes a premium Lexus aura which I love and is a night and day difference between it and its sedan stable mates.
cough cough Camry
cough cough Prius

If you lack the funds to buy and maintain a Mercedes, Audi or BMW this is the next best thing and believe me, you won’t feel short-changed at all unless the brand of car you drive means everything to you.

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