As for the interior, the design team began searching for a direction to take the design. To determine that direction, the designers, with the help of the sales staff, visited many customers at their homes to hear opinions. Also, to incorporate the trends of that time, the team even began analyzing songs that were popular at that time (in Japan) to determine what exactly it was that would be accepted by the people. From the analysis of popular songs and from listening to customers first hand, the team was guided in a design direction that led to luxury and freshness. Specifically, the seats adopted a velour, knit fabric and a large, thick design to portray an image of luxuriousness. For the interior color, maroon was adopted — a color which had gained an excellent reputation in use in higher grade vehicles. Creating a new interior space focused on ergonomics. The shape of the meters and the layout and grouping of the controls were designed by carefully examining visibility and operability.
Of the seven types of engines available at the initial release, the 1.5-liter DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft)16-valve 5A-F and 5A-FE engines were newly developed to achieve high output, good fuel economy, high response and ample torque characteristics in the practical application range. In addition, the engine sound was carefully tuned to achieve ear-pleasing tones. The characteristic feature of this engine was the "High-mecha twin cam" mechanism created from the concept of "make the ultimate twin cam mechanism a common device." While the conventional DOHC uses a timing belt to drive both camshafts, the lightweight and compact High-mecha twin cam drives one camshaft with a timing belt and the other camshaft with a scissors gear for high intake and exhaust efficiency. As a result, the 5A-F engine achieved a maximum output of 85ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 12.5kg-m/3600rpm, and the 5A-FE engine equipped with an EFI achieved a maximum output of 94ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 13.1kg-m/4400rpm. The level of confidence that the team had in these engines was apparent from advertisements in Japan that introduced the engines as "Engines that go beyond the boundaries of their class."
The sporty, 1.6-liter DOHC 4A-series engines included the 4A-GE engine that was refined based on the fifth generation 4A-GELU engine for increased power and the 4A-GZE that was equipped with a supercharger. The 4A-GZE supercharger differed from conventional turbochargers, because it gained its power from the crankshaft, so it had the merit of superior response. In addition, high power and high response in all speed ranges were achieved through various refinements. These included adopting an intercooler and forged pistons, as well as reinforcing the internal structure and components. The 4A-GE engine achieved a maximum output of 120ps/6600rpm and a maximum torque of 14.5kg-m/5200rpm, while the 4A-GZE engine provided a maximum output of 145ps/6400rpm and a maximum torque of 19.0kg-m/4400rpm.
On the other hand, changes were made to the ignition timing, engine mount and fuel evaporative emission control system for the 1.3-liter OHC 12-valve 2E engine, which featured superior response and good fuel economy, to achieve a maximum output of 73ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 10.3kg-m/4000rpm. The 1.8-liter OHC 1C-II diesel engine with high economic efficiency and quietness also was continued from the fifth generation, but the injection nozzle was changed and the injection timing was optimized to comply with Japan's exhaust gas regulations, which were becoming increasingly stricter year by year. The maximum output of this engine was 64ps/4700rpm and the maximum torque was 12.0kg-m/2600rpm. Also, the newly developed, compact, lightweight 1.5-liter OHC 3E engine was adopted in the van model. This engine generated a maximum output of 79ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 12.0kg-m/4000rpm and focused on usability in the practical application range.
In September 1987, the 4A-F engine equipped with the "High-mecha twin cam" was adopted exclusively for 4WD models. This engine was developed based on the fifth generation 4A-ELU engine.
Then in May 1989, minor changes were made and the 5A-F and 4A-F engines were changed to the 5A-FE and 4A-FE engines with EFI control. In addition, efforts were made to improve the output of some grades of the coupe and hatchback models, and the 5A-FHE engine, which generates a maximum output of 105ps, was adopted. At that time, the 4A-GE, 4A-GZE and 1C-II engines were also overhauled to improve output. Then in September of that year, the 2000cc 2C-III diesel engine was added to the lineup of the 4WD model to meet the needs for a diesel engine with high level startup characteristics in cold regions.