The Toyota MZ Series Engine

The MZ engine family was introduced in 1994 and is one of Toyota's go-to engines for V-6 applications. It has won numerous awards and accolades including becoming one of Ward's 10 Best Engines in 1996 with the 1MZ-FE. MZ engines feature an all-aluminum design with light-weighting as a replacement for the heavier, more expensive VZ series of V-6 engines. These engines are tuned for optimum performance at about 3,000 rpm, which is the average speed for highway driving. The engines have recently begun phasing out in favor of the new GR Series.

1MZFE Engine

1MZFE Engine

MZ Powered Vehicles

The MZ Series has appeared in many vehicles. In the U.S. market, the 1MZ-FE powered the 1994-2006 Toyota Camry V6 models, the 1998-2000 Toyota Sienna, and others in non-U.S. Markets. A bolt-on TRD supercharger kit from Toyota Racing Development was available for the Camry, Sienna, and Solara, bumping power output by about 50 hp and lb-ft of torque.

A variable valve train, intelligent option (VVT-i) was offered in the 1MZ-FE as well, being used in several vehicles including the 1999-2003 Lexus RX 300, 2000-2004 Toyota Avalon, 2002 and 2003 Highlander, 2001-2003 Sienna, and 2003-2006 Camry V6. Overlap with the above model list usually favors the VVT-i option.

Second Generation MZ

The second-generation 2MZ-FE is a smaller 2.5-liter (versus the 3.0L 1MZ) used in the Toyota Camry and some Japan-only models. It is uncommon in the U.S. but can be found on some mid-and late-1990s Camry cars here.

The larger 3.3-liter 3MZ-FE has a higher output with little loss of economy and became the V-6 standard on many of Toyota's larger vehicles and some sport models. It first appeared in 2003 on the Toyota Highlander, where it remained until 2007. From 2004-2006, it was on the Sienna, Camry SE V6, Lexus RX 330, and Lexus ES 330. In 2005 until 2010, it was on the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h, though with reduced power output. The 3MZ-FE features VVT-i as well as an electronic throttle control system, intelligent (ETCS-i) and a new flat-type knock sensor, giving the engine less problems when using fuel with octane ratings under 91.


  • Firing Order: 1-2-3-4-5-6 and 1-4-2-5-3-6
  • Order depends on vehicle model and year. Pre-1998 vehicles will usually have the latter.
  • Spark Gap: 0.044 in

1MZ-FE with VVT-i

  • Firing Order: 1-2-3-4-5-6
  • Spark Gap: 0.044 in


  • Firing Order: ?
  • Spark Gap: 0.043 in


  • Firing Order: 1-2-3-4-5-6
  • Spark Gap: 0.044 in

To learn about other Toyota engines, see our comprehensive list here.