THE year 1992 was a time of celebrations for Toyota in Hongkong with successful launches of new models and strong sales. The staff at Crown Motors is hoping that the new estate Corona sets 1993 off to a good start. For good luck, our test Corona Wagon came in champagne-coloured paint. From the front, the new Wagon looks just like the standard Corona, but the profile is drastically changed. The rear quarters of the Wagon are enlarged to give a large, square-carrying area. The overall dimensions of the Wagon have changed little. It is only 15 mm longer than the standard Liftback model and only 15 kilos heavier in automatic gearbox form. The width is the same as the saloon, and the roof line is only a fraction higher. But the back end has been radically altered with new rear-door windows following the contours of the extended roof and merging into the side windows in the cargo area. The tailgate blends into the shape of the Corona beautifully and a new rear lamp cluster arrangement looks smarter than the full width lens of the standard car. The changes are neat and tidy, avoiding the boxy look of some estates. The Corona Wagon looks clean and aerodynamic. The standard-size wheels look a little too small for the bigger body but, otherwise, the Wagon is well proportioned. Powering the Wagon is the same two-litre engine that can be found in the sister Coronas and, as you might expect, driving the Wagon feels much the same. The 1,998 cc engine produces a claimed 98 brake horsepower at 5,800 revs: not a huge amount, but the engine is smooth and docile. At tickover, it is so quiet and vibration-free only the rev counter shows that the motor is still running. Strong acceleration requires a lot of use of the gearbox and does not suit the style of the car. It is much better to put it into a high gear and let the engine sort itself out. The torque is strong enough to compensate for laziness on the part of the driver. There may be a tiny bit more roll as the car drives through corners and the higher centre of gravity makes itself felt. But the only real clue that you are driving an estate is the image of the unusually distant rear window in the rear view mirror. Handling is safe and predictable (the car was tested without cargo), the re-tuned rear suspension providing a good supple ride. With the car unloaded, there is a little more road noise inside the cabin than there is in the saloon Corona's. The bigger interior space amplifies noises, but tight gaps around the body panels and attention to detail have kept the grumbles down to saloon car levels. All the expected niceties of Toyota driving are present. The clutch on our five-speed manual gearbox car was light, the steering was well weighted and the instruments were clear and simple. FACTFILE SPECIFICATIONS: ENGINE: 1,998 cc, four-cylinder 16-valve. MAXIMUM POWER: 98 brake horsepower at 5,800. SUSPENSION: Front - MacPherson struts, A-shaped lower arms, with a stabiliser bar. Rear - MacPherson struts, dual-link type lower arms, with a stabiliser bar. BRAKING SYSTEM: Ventilated discs at the front, drums at the rear. TOP SPEED: 205 kph. 0-100 KPH: 9.4 seconds. The gear shift is a little notchy, changing ratios with a clunk, but the leather gear stick cover and steering wheel cover are welcome touches. Folding the rear seats down gives 1,406 litres of cargo space with a flat floor area. The tailgate opens wide and lifting awkward objects into the car is made easier by a low loading sill cut into the bumper. An intelligent detail is the roller blind that pulls out to cover cargo and hide it from prying eyes. It would be good to see the option of self-levelling suspension and anti-lock braking on the Corona Wagon. Carrying a heavy load in an estate car can be nerve wracking in an emergency and ABS would be reassuring. But the price of $188,700 in five-speed manual form and $200,700 with four-speed automatic gearbox - less than the standard Corona Liftback - clearly leaves little scope for the fitting of such expensive equipment. As a Corona with a large dose of versatility, it is hard to see the Wagon being anything but a success in the territory.