1987 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.2 Fuel Injected from North America


A nice, reliable vehicle


Replaced brake rotors, brake calipers, brake pads, brake lines and master cylinder at 65000 miles.

New struts at 72000 miles.

Replaced radio/speakers at 85000 miles.

Replaced fuel pump at 87000 miles.

Replaced gas tank, fuel lines, emergency brake cable, rear brake shoes and left front axle at 90000 miles.

Jack mounts fell off, quarter panels badly rusted.

Paint beginning to fade.

General Comments:

This is an excellent car! It goes like a gazelle in the snow and handles well. The seats are comparatively comfortable and its got a big trunk. Routine engine maintenance is straight-forward and easy to do at home.

This is not a high-performance car, but I have found it to be respectable. Replacing the spark plugs and air filter as required greatly improves performance. I have no fears of passing people or merging into traffic.

Style-wise, its not flashy. My car has begun to rust somewhat, but I live where the roads are frequently and heavily salted. Nothing that can't be handled by a big bucket of Bondo and some screen.

This car gets pretty good gas mileage, about 27 MPG on the highway. You can get 300 miles/tank without trying too hard. There was nothing wrong with the radio, but I wanted a tape player so I replaced it. Put some Kenwoods in the front and Pioneer 6x9s in the rear, so it sounds pretty good these days. Insurance is dirt-cheap and there is virtually no chance of anybody stealing it. I've put some money in this car in the past year to get through inspection, but its still a lot less than a down payment on a new car. Overall, I would highly recommend the 1987 Plymouth Reliant.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

1987 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.5 from North America


A good, basically reliable car, but not if you like to go fast or look cool


I know the battery went dead a few years ago, stranding the driver and passengers in a grocery store parking lot. This was when I wasn't driving it yet. Don't know if that's related to the alternator problem.

The alternator was bad when I started driving it. We replaced it with a junk yard alternator (for some reason there were a lot of K cars in said junkyard...)

The brakes went bad at maybe 81000. They went very bad, as a matter of fact, they started grinding and groaning and got darn near welded to the wheel by the time I got the car home.

The radio and clock were bad when I began driving it. They didn't work at all. I replaced it with a $200 CD player, which has been very reliable.

The 2 rear and 2 front speakers all began to have vibrating, buzzing cardboard at different times. I had all four replaced with much better speakers, but the front speakers make the dashboard rattle now. It's very sad.

One of the window knobs came off and I had to replace it with a junkyard one.

Have had a bad experience with the rear brake lights (ie, one failed to work at an important time).

It currently leaks oil. I'm not sure what that's all about.

It also rattles and groans and makes all kinds of unpleasant, unexplained noises. It has from the day I started driving it. The noises discourage me, so I turn up the volume on the CD player to drown them out.

There may have been more that's gone wrong that I forgot (or blocked out)...

General Comments:

Well, it handles very well. Several friends have driven it and say it was the best handling car they've ever been at the wheel of.

It's a very maneuverable car, quite easy to park, and steer through tight spaces or around sharp curves.

Better headlights then the 97 and 98 Ford Tauruses we own.

No ABS, but the brakes it has aren't bad. A good stop and go driving car, even though the brakes quickly heat up to the point where you can smell them.

The heater and front defroster are great once the five minutes it takes them to warm up have passed. The air conditioner is good too, although it needs recharging now. You can feel a noticeable cut in either heat or cool air when the car starts to go up a steep hill, or you pass someone on the highway The rear defroster is superb.

The interior is very good for an economy car. The seats are comfortable and there's a front arm rest. The dash is basically utilitarian, but again, not bad for an economy car.

The front seat is a bench seat, which is annoying since I'm 6' and my passengers tend to be 4 or so inches shorter. With the front seat all the way back leg room is good for me to drive. When the seat is all the way back, there's little leg room for the people in the rear seats, and it can be quite cramped back there. I have a couple inches of headroom at least.

It's not an ugly car on the outside. Mine is baby blue. It would be an attractive car if it wasn't already associated with old people. (In fact, I got mine from my grandmother.) It looks like a lame car, and I feel embarrassed to drive it around my peers, especially those with sports cars. I'm tired of my friends with Camaros mocking me. And man, if there's a lamer car to pull up in at a date's house...

12 gallon gas tank, I get maybe 200-250 miles per tank highway and town driving combined. It wasn't bad for its time, but in the days of the Geo Metro...

Well, I think I've covered everything, but performance. HA! This is absolutely the slowest car on earth. I would be afraid to drive it on an interstate highway. The engine audibly struggles passing, going uphill, and even during normal accelerating. You have to stomp it to the floor to go through intersections, and may God be with you if you're trying to merge onto a highway. I get very upset at the car's lackluster performance, so much so that it blinds me the car's other, mostly good features. In fact, this car's dismal speed has started me on the search for another vehicle.

If speed doesn't matter to you, and looking lame doesn't matter to you, its not a bad car. It is an economical car more or less, and has never left me stranded. It's easy to turn around, and is a relatively pleasant drive, except when going over 65 or attempting to accelerate.

It's the perfect car to learn to drive in.

It's a great car to have in order to just have a car, but if you want to go beyond that at all, get something else.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2002

8th Feb 2002, 17:02

This review rocks!!! Man, I'm gonna start a fan club for the guy who wrote the review!!! He's awesome!!! Heck yeah!!!

26th Oct 2002, 16:30

I have a 1986 Plymouth Reliant, also in baby blue. This is overall a generally good car. Reliability wise. However you mentioned that your Car has the 2.5 litre engine and it lacks performance. Well I'm here to tell you that mine has the 2.2litr and the Automatic and air conditioning. When all that is combined, it makes it impossible to beat itself out of horse urine.

22nd Aug 2004, 22:53

Well, yeah if you turn the air conditioner on while accelerating in any 4 cylinder, I don't care how old or new, you're gonna hear (or feel) struggling. Your performance issues may be to do with the car's condition. I've driven a 2.2 on the highway before, and although foot-to-the-floor acceleration induced noise reminiscent of a dying cat, it DID suddenly feel like it had gotten kicked in the posterior. A 2.5 litre would be even better for around town, more torque. Just don't get one with a 2.6 Mitsu engine it it... damn those are crap.

And Camaros? C'mon. We all know the K is the classiest machine on four wheels.

23rd Nov 2004, 14:42

Most accurate comment ever! I drive a brown one, I know his pain!

23rd Nov 2004, 15:03

Lemon laws would not protect you from buying an '88 junker. You must have been able to persuade the seller to give you your money back, but not under the threat of any action under lemon laws, which only apply to new car purchases.

29th Apr 2005, 08:32

Here's one Plymouth Reliant that you might want to take a look at.

It runs mid 10 second 1/4 miles.


1st Aug 2008, 22:46

I'm not one bit embarrassed to drive my k-cars around. Today my friend pulls up in his Camaro, and we chat, I use both of them as summer cars, great little cars with the 2.2 or the 2.5 engine, 2.6... PIECE OF JUNK.