1979 Toyota Corona XT-130 1X 1.9 petrol (Starfire)


Excellent value, very reliable motoring


Main Nylon-Fibre Timing Gear tends to fail at around 60-80,000km, can be replaced with noisier steel type.

The TOYOTA 1X (Starfire) engine is a robust but mechanically noisy little engine, with its Holden roots going back to 1963, then back to 1940s.

The engine starts to seep oil on most main seals and gaskets by 60,000km, so regular degrease is good idea.

This CORONA CS XT130W WAGON has air conditioning and is at 540,000km at 80,000km into engine N0.3.

General Comments:

The TOYOTA 1X (Starfire), combined with a great little 4-speed BorgWarner gearbox with the bottom ratios matched to the engines good torque and mid-range, makes this a very driveable vehicle in traffic and off the mark. The engine / gearbox combination gets the most out of those nearly 80kw. This vehicle is a happy 100-120km cruiser, but is NOT a high speed performer. A fifth gear might have helped with cruise backed by a lower fourth gear. Gears 1 - 3 are in exactly the right place for the diff /eng combination.

With the suspension well maintained, it handles surprisingly well. We have replaced the front seats, given the kms. It is garaged, with good external finish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2009

18th Oct 2009, 08:27

THIS COMMENT BY VEHICLE OWNER: Just to qualify the above mentioned review a little, as a previous owner of a HQ MONARO (4-door) Shelby kitted, with a blueprinted 308-V8, with a friend who gives me a drive of his latest V6 Mercedes (Brand-New) on delivery and I also owned an XD S-Pack Falcon with a 351-V8 warmed up a little... So I do know what performance and good handling is.

My review of the Trusty 1979 Corona CS Wagon is written against the design intentions & limitations of the vehicle. It remains one of best things I've ever owned!

1979 Toyota Corona CS 1.9L Starfire Engine


A great old car if you can find one with a good engine


I got the car rusted out and running poorly for $350.

Door seals stuffed so water leaks.

Water leaking caused carpet to mold.

Bad front seat upholstery.

Cracked windscreen.

Stuffed battery.

Tread-less tires. (I think it is an ex bush-basher).

General Comments:

Bogged the rust and gave it a new paint job.

Cleaned inside right out, started smelling normal.

Put in new windscreen.

Changed oil, oil filter, air filter, degrease and cleaned engine, flushed old petrol and gave it new petrol.

New battery.

New tires.

The car was a dream for my first car. Handled very well. Poor top speed though. Very dodgy tape player that could not be removed. Sprung a leak in the radiator hoes I was unaware of and burnt it out. My mate took it for a drive a month later (after it had been driven a lot) and destroyed what was left of the piston rings and bearings. The whole engine needs an overhaul now. It is a great car as long as you treat it like it is old or when you first get it you replace all the rings, bearings, pipes... everything nearly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2003

21st Nov 2009, 11:23

Woo, I came across this site so I think I'll leave review. The 1979 Corona CS was my FIRST CAR, and it came with 1.9 liter inline 4 engine. I had the station wagon with 3 speed auto. It's fantastic car, and it used to be my father's car, and he gave it to me. The wagon has done so, SO SO much work for our family and it has been reliable, except that it as pretty hard to start in the cold, uses a lot of fuel, and it's down on power, but hey.. You're not gonna go race people with 79 wagon right?

Now I'm at my 4th car, after having a 86 Honda Integra, an 96 Daihatsu Charade, and 97 Integra. that wagon was still the best ride! coz I learned my driving on it! For performance of course it's no match with the Integra, but it's a RWD! so it drifts in the wet! (not enough power for dry) and finally the BEST BEST thing about this classic thing is... the SEAT.

Modern car seats, especially sport cars are good, but nothing can match the seats of the old school corona, not even modern leather seats. The seat is so soft and comfortable! Hahahaha.