Datsun 510 Reviews

1981 Datsun 510 5 door HB from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1990
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10

Summary:

Greatest car ever

Faults:

Bad rust on fenders.

No A/C.

Terrible radio.

General Comments:

I loved this car! It was my first car and I put it through hell. I learned to drive a stick on this car, and was surprised when other manual transmission cars didn't beep when you put it in Reverse.

I could fit a years worth of college stuff in the back, which is pretty impressive since I had a lot of clothes back then.

It was a beautiful car, and I loved the whole thing.

I had to replace the fenders more than once, since they rusted out so quickly, which is why I believe that it was stolen off the street in Brooklyn, NY. The parts were hard to find, so I'm sure my car was chopped up into little pieces and scattered all over 510 HB.

I will miss that car till the day I die.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2013

1981 Datsun 510 Hatchback from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Automatic
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired250000 miles
Most recent distance400100 miles
Previous carDatsun 510

Summary:

Very reliable low maintenance car

Faults:

Dash rotted out, and had to replace u-joints in the front drive shaft.

General Comments:

I sure do wish I still had it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st August, 2009

1972 Datsun 510 Wagon 1.6 four cylinder from North America

Model year1972
Year of manufacture1971
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.6 four cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired140000 miles
Most recent distance164000 miles

Summary:

Fun to drive, and I love the looks I get

Faults:

Replaced head and gasket.

New radiator.

New thermostat.

General Comments:

With an automatic trans, it kills the fun of it being a Datsun.

Loud is good.

Electricals has their problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2009

14th Sep 2009, 18:29

I owned 3 510's over the years. One of each body style. My favourite was 'Sherman', a green (Datsun green 939) 1971 wagon, which I bought with 87,000 miles, and reluctantly sold with 151,000 miles.

With a 4-speed and basic interior, I moved 2000 miles in it with half my furniture, baby equipment and a 2 month old behind my wife. All the while getting far better fuel economy than I deserved...

8th Jan 2010, 20:26

My mother bought a 1972 510 Wagon brand new when we moved to the Pacific Northwest. It was a great little car and I believe she had all the options except the A/C and the automatic (she preferred the 4-speed). Great car that never let us down. We went all over the NW in it, including a week long camping trip to Canada. My mom, 3 growing male children and our dog (Irish Setter).

Once during a 'powder puff mechanics' course the idiot instructor cross-threaded the spark plug and my mom had to drive home on 3 cylinders and then get it fixed. She made it and the motor was no worse for wear.

Aside from normal wear and tear of our family, that little wagon took the abuse for 10 years and I think almost 90k miles when she traded it in on a 1982 Sentra.

The only other thing that happened was the shifter came out in her hand in the middle of a busy intersection while trying to merge. She just stuffed it back in the connection and drove it home where we installed a new nut on the lower end, and she drove it like that for another 2 yrs. I drove it for a summer and it was awesome. Went all over and with my friends. It outran many a new car (Toyota and Honda) and required zero maintenance.

1981 Datsun 510 5 Door Hatchback 4 cylinder. from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder. Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance210000 miles

Summary:

The 1981 Datsun 510 5 Door Hachback is quite possibly one of the most durable vehicles ever produced

Faults:

I had to replace the master cylinder (though the mechanic was probably trying to pull one over on me). That was done at about 140,000 miles.

The pleather began to wear after about 18 years.

The alternator went out at about 206,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car was driven very hard, and it withstood every minute of it.

My car drove from Sacramento to San Diego approximately 50 times, with out so much as a hiccup.

The average freeway speed on the freeway, for my car, was 80 mph. The 5 speed manual transmission in this vehicle was impeccably built.

This was the best $500 purchase that could have ever been made.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th May, 2006

18th Sep 2010, 20:59

Ditto.

My 1980 Datsun 510 5-door hatchback went like the EverReady Rabbit. We were given it by the in-laws in 1990 with 99,000 miles on it. I drove it on 100 mile commutes for 10 years. Also, on a rural 50 miles/day paper-route. My wife drove it also. Then gave it to my oldest son to learn how to drive stick and for school/work. The next was my oldest daughter who changed out the heater core while in high-school auto shop. Then it was my youngest son's turn. We found out that he was going out to the desert on the weekend and putting it in air-borne mode while racing around a dirt course. Told him to watch the engine. It needed coolant on a regular basis, but alas, he didn't and then "boom!"... the engine stops cold. It's been sitting for about 8 years now. If you keep the maintenance up, they'll go on forever. If you abuse any car, it'll give up the ghost. Getting ready to donate it to my daughter's former high school auto shop for a new student to have something to work on.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 12 reviews