Each Vista model is essentially a Japanese-market Toyota Camry, with different front- and rear-end treatment; plus, while Camry is always a sedan, most Vistas up to V40 are hardtop. When the Camry was redesigned, so was the Vista. This pattern will continue until late 1996, when a new, larger, US-oriented Camry took over the "Camry" name (earlier this larger CX/CV platform was marketed in Japan as Scepter (MCV10) and Camry Gracia (MCV20/MCX20)). Then in August 1998 the last generation Vista would be redesigned, independent of the Camry.
The Vista first appeared April 1982 as a nicer trim level of the second generation Toyota Camry, and was sold exclusively at a new Toyota dealership channel with the same name, Vista. The bodystyles offered were the 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback with a 5-speed manual transmission initially the only offering, with an automatic transmission introduced later in August 1982. Trim levels were the VC, VL, VE, and the VX at the top. The official name of the vehicle was the Camry Vista. A glass moonroof was available on the top level VX, with the 2S-ELU engine.