1986 Toyota Camry LE 1.8


Great beater car, cheap on fuel and reliable


Nothing much really, just small things.

Power windows go off track sometimes; requires removing the door panel.

Seat belt latches are really cheaply made, had to replace twice.

Paint clear coat is all faded so it really needs paint, but I don't care.

Replaced valve cover gasket because of oil leaking.

Replaced battery and front tires.

General Comments:

Good little cheap car, paid well under $1000 for it. Was owned before me by an older gentleman who used it to commute to work 15 minutes away, so it had very low mileage for the year. Was stored inside sometimes, and was a pacific northwest car, so never saw salt and winters, otherwise we all know it would be long gone and rusted away.

I bought it as a second car to save on fuel costs, since I drive a full size Chevy truck for work and it's not practical for around town. The gas mileage is pretty good; probably pretty close to a 2015 Camry.

Interior is comfortable enough for a compact car, but I'm 6 feet tall and I find the roof very low. Not great for visibility; the rear view mirrors are too low for me.

Cheap seat belt clips are annoying, as are the power windows that go off track.

The engine really lacks power and acceleration, it's very slow to merge and accelerate from lights; this has taken some getting used to as I've pretty much only driven V-6 and V-8s before this car. I wasn't expecting performance though, but some extra zip would be nice.

On the positive side, the car has a lot of nice options for the year that all mostly still work, like power sunroof, power windows, locks and mirrors, power hatch release, digital dash, console shift. Not too bad for an 86 Camry!

The hatchback and folding rear seats are very practical for putting stuff in. I really like the design - that was one of the main selling points for me.

All and all, it's a great little economy car, and it has been very reliable since I've owned it. If you can put up with the somewhat cramped interior and slow acceleration, you will have a great little car. As many people have said on this site, the 80s and 90s Toyota small cars are very reliable. Not sure how I feel about the post 2000s models though, but I'd certainly buy an older one any day!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2015

1986 Toyota Camry LE 2.0 gas


Best car made period


A flat tire.

General Comments:

I bought this car off an old guy, who bought it off an old lady. I got it at 206,000km.

The day I bought it, I had a Wynns VIC done, basically a fuel system purge, which made it run a lot better and increased fuel economy.

I changed the oil one time in all the time I owned the car. It did burn/leak some oil, but I drove it hard.

I actually totalled it off (still drivable after). My insurance company low balled me on the car, so I decided to keep it for as long as possible. During this time it was winter and I live in Saskatchewan. On the -40 to -50 days, I would start it up, put a brick on the gas pedal, and hold it at a steady 5000 RPM to warm it up.

This car stood up to an amazing amount of abuse. I actually ran it bone dry of oil on several occasions, and the only way I could tell was because over 5000 RPM it started to rev slower with no oil. The hood was screwed up so I couldn't check or add oil.

We took this car off roading, hit piles of rocks at 50kmph, drove it 50kmph in first gear for 15km trips across the city, bouncing off the redline on the way to drop it off for my insurance claim, trying to kill the engine... NOT POSSIBLE.

These Toyotas and any other older Toyotas are tanks; you literally can't kill them.

If you're looking for a first car, I would recommend buying a Camry, and you won't need another one.

I drove the car for years with no problems; just topped up the fluids.

The clutch system leaked some brake fluid, and I actually thought the transmission / clutch was wrecked one day, but no, I just had to add brake fluid to the clutch reservoir and pump the clutch pedal... good to go for another 50,000km.

This car was the best car I have ever owned, and my only regret was getting into an accident, or I would still be driving the car.

Toyota and Honda make the most reliable cars on the road, and after owning a Volkswagen prior to this that lasted a day, I would never buy anything but Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans ever again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2014

15th Oct 2014, 21:11

Sorry gotta disagree, the best car ever made in my opinion is the 1977-1990 Chevy Caprice, with the Ford Crown Vic as a close second. Rear wheel drive and a V-8 make for a much, much better driving experience; great for long distance road trips with the cushy seats and suspension. I've driven smaller front wheel drive cars when I was young and broke; no thank you.

Older Toyotas are pretty reliable, especially with the 22RE engine. However I live in eastern Canada, and the rust kills the body/frame way before the engine dies. Caprices and Crown Vics are body on frame, less prone to rust due to thicker metal, and can get 300k to 500k on the drivetrain with basic maintenance. Just my opinion anyways...

16th Oct 2014, 17:28

I agree with you. Thin gauge unibody near bad weather and road salt is a tough situation. The quest for light weight to achieve higher MPG is another. I think the larger crossovers are a great choice today. I had no issues with large full frame sedans. My small Toyota though was cheap and got me through my college days. I appreciated more room and added safety when my children came into the picture.