1987 Plymouth Reliant Reviews - Page 3 of 6

1987 Plymouth Reliant Station Wagon 2.2 Liter from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.2 Liter Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired12500 miles
Most recent distance132000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Corvair

Summary:

I'm amazed I haven't been able to beat it to death

Faults:

Power steering pump just failed.

Cooling system hoses rotted out and replaced last summer.

Pickup coil in distributor replaced once.

Distributor shaft seized up and broke off once, requiring replacement.

Heh, heh! Didn't get the lug nuts tightened up once, causing wheel to fall off and pass me on the freeway. That broke off the grease fitting for one wheel about 100,000 miles ago ---still not worn out!

Recent problems with stalling out at idle, hesitation when accelerating and such ---wonder if that could be due to no tuneups in 50,000 miles or so!

Car struck in rear quarter panel when another vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign ---got $1300 settlement from their insurance caompany, more than the car was worth. Spent $40 on a new rear taillight cover and runs as well as ever.

Rear view mirror fell off 50,000 miles ago ---I'm used to the side mirror I added ten years ago. I expect to reinstall the mirror any day now.

Driver side window crank broke off twice so far ---lucky the car comes equipped with four! Still have a spare...

Oh yeah--- the spring that causes the station wagon hatchback lock to latch fell off three years ago. No one bothers to steal anything even though the door doesn't lock. I expect to find a spring that will work any day now...

The windshield washer quit working years ago, and the rear window wiper has needed a blade for several years.

Mostly I do repairs myself ---it's been more than two years since it's been in a repair shop --that for the seized up distributor problem.

Also--- the hydraulic support arms for the rear window fail every three years or so. I haven't gotten around to replacing them recently, so I use a wooden pole to keep the hatchback door open!

General Comments:

My father bought this car new. He was self employed and always had a "work" car, and this was his work car even though he had been retired for years when he bought it.

When he died in 1993, I got the car with 12,500 miles on it. Four months later, I started my own business, moonlighting from my repair job with a gas utility and using this car as my business vehicle.

It has almost always been loaded down with all the parts, tools and equipment that would fit in the car. It sorta looks like it's sinking by the stern if you look at it from the side.

On the rare occasions that it's not loaded down with all that gear, I use it for hauling my 17 foot Bayliner power boat weighing in at a ton or so. I've seen others post complaints about acceleration, but they oughta try accelerating with a boat on the back. Stopping is no problem if you leave a few hundred yards clearance to the vehicle ahead...

I put 10,000 miles/year on this car, regular as clockwork. I get 20 MPG with around town with all the gear in it... 30 MPG empty on the highway, and 10 MPG towing the boat. (The boat gets 4 MPG in the water).

No rust anywhere.

The windshield has had a crack developing the past couple of years or so.

Cramming all that gear in for years has left the headliner in tatters, and the carpets on the driver side are worn. Even the rubber mats that came with the car are worn.

All these things are really minor on a vehicle that has had such hard use. I've been very pleased with the car, and I plan to run it until I reach my usage goals:

20 years ---- 2007.

200,000 miles ---- 2012.

20 years of use BY ME --- 2013.

After that ---on to 300,000 miles!

As I recalled earlier, my father considered this his "work" car, even though he was no longer working. It has been a work car for me, and I have given it very hard use. Still, the engine and transmission have been great (aside from the distributor problems). I figure he would be happy to know that his old work car is allowing his offspring to be self employed, following his example in a small way.

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

Review Date: 10th January, 2006

11th Jan 2006, 17:33

Congratulations on keeping the car going, and good luck making it to 2013. imho, life's too short to subject yourself daily to driving something like this, but hey if you are OK with it then that's all that matters, right?

12th Jan 2006, 00:45

As for the last comment, this is probably some individual who drives a Japanese import. Now that's the real meaning of 'life's too short to drive something like a Honda'!

12th Jan 2006, 08:04

I don't drive a Honda, but it would be safe to say that there are a hell of a lot more Honda drivers who really like their cars than there are Reliant drivers.

21st Mar 2006, 00:30

People have a false sense of security with any Japanese car.

I have had them and trust me, the Reliant is far superior to any Honda or other Japanese import. If people like them better, great for them.

22nd Aug 2006, 20:37

So trade your prelude in on a k-car already. You should have no problem finding a dealer who would do an even swap.

15th Mar 2011, 22:42

Okay... You have convinced me! I will be buying one tomorrow with 92k on it... Hopefully it is still there!

16th Mar 2011, 17:44

Chrysler has built, and is building some awesome cars. Some years back I bought a "beater" to drive to the university, so I wouldn't have to subject my good cars to the vandalism and theft that was so prevalent on campus. I bought a 1-owner 1990 Dodge Omni from my best friend. I knew the car's history very thoroughly, and knew that although he horribly abused and neglected it, he had never had a single problem with it. I bought the car with 180,000+ miles on it, and drove it to just under a quarter of a million miles before selling it for exactly what I bought it for. It still used not a drop of oil, had required only a timing belt, heater hose and brakes and still had cold A/C with never any freon added. It lasted longer than any of our imports.

1987 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.2L from North America

Model year1987
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.2L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance320000 kilometres
Previous carChrysler Spirit

Summary:

Excellent low cost vehicle - wonderful reliability

Faults:

Front struts are very poor quality.

Starter died 200,000.

Brakes replaced 5 times.

A/C repaired twice.

Power steering pump replaced.

Rear shocks replaced.

Fuel line repaired.

General Comments:

Excellent cars.

Great ride for minimal repairs.

2.2L engine is noisy, but will never quit.

Drive-train combo is wonderful - the transmission is just as strong as the motor.

Comfortable.

Tons of leg room in the front.

Always starts +35 or -35 and never needs to be plugged in - ever.

Single point fuel injection system is very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2005

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 16 reviews