1981 Toyota Cressida LX 2.2 diesel


Low cost car


1993: When I bought the car, the tank-meter wasn't working. Typical for this car - and I never bothered to do anything with it. In the 9 years I owned it, I only ran out of diesel once (but I had an "emergency" can with 5 liters of diesel in the trunk, so...)

1996: I changed the engine from the original 2.2liters to a newer 2.4liters after 330.000km because of high oil consumption (see below).

1997: I welded some rust to make the car last longer. Around the wheels and in the bottom of the trunk.

2001: I changed the ball bearings on one of the wheels.

General Comments:

Two big faults with this car:

1. The original 2.2 diesel engine lasts only 2-300'km. A few years later Toyota made the famous (at least in Norway) 2.4 diesel engine, an engine that lasts "forever". The good thing : the 2.4 is practically bolt-on, so changing the engine is relatively easy.

2. Rust! You get it around the wheels, in the trunk and on the doors.

I never changed any springs or dampers, so driving a bending road could make you seasick. The top speed was less between 150-160km/t, but going faster than 120km/t felt like a gamble with ones life.

Winter : The rear is a bit light, so in the winter it improves a lot if you put a sand bag in the trunk (common to do in Norway). The engine starts immediately even when temperature drops down to -30 Celsius (it has two batteries).

The driving position was good as it gave good leg support and good view in all directions. But the seats were a bit uncomfortable, as I would feel exhausted after riding the 500km home to my parents house.

These European model had hardly any electrical stuff that could fail, no aircondition, no electrical adjustable windows/seats/mirrors/etc.

Regular maintenance : oil change, timing belt, breaks.

I never changed : clutch, springs, dampers, etc.

The Cressida was my first car and I had it for 9years, riding it 138000km. I gave 29000Nkr for it when I bought it and got 5000Nkr when I sold it this year (2002). In those years it has been to the garage only once. By Norwegian standards I have had the cheapest cars possible.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2002