1987 Plymouth Reliant Station Wagon 2.2 Liter from North America


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


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'!

1987 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.2L from North America


Excellent low cost vehicle - wonderful reliability


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.


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