1989 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.5 EFI from North America


Excellent, economical, reliable transportation


I just replaced the front and rear brake linings, drums and rotors. The whole job cost less than $190.

The pulse wipers quit recently, went to a wrecker and got another module for $2.

General Comments:

This is the third K car I have owned and this one is just as reliable, cheap to fix and as cheap to run as the first one I bought in 1991. (That one, an '87 by the way, is still running, a friend of mine bought it from me 3 years ago.)

The middle car, also an '89 was written off in an accident. (The other vehicle was a Ford F-250) My wife and child were in the car with me at the time. Not a scratch on any of us. The body absorbed the impact perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2003

1989 Plymouth Reliant 2.5 from North America


Cheap Reliable Durable


Half shafts and heater core replaced at 85,000.

Timing belt failed in the driveway at 110,000.

Front strut mounts rotted and started clunking around 110,000.

Clear coat was peeling when I bought it (50,000).

General Comments:

The most reliable car I have ever owned. Made many trips (800+ miles) and many commutes. Average 320 miles per tank on highway. Bench seat not big on comfort. Torquey 2.5 liter motor in light car (2317 lbs.) means great acceleration. Hit concrete wall on freeway (ice) twice, only a dent. Goes offroad for firewood hunting while camping. Repairs easy and parts cheap. Insurance extremely cheap. Original starter and alternator never failed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2002

1989 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.2 electronic fuel-injection from North America


Good starter car, but expect costly repairs


The fuel pump, completely corroded, died at 140,000 miles.

The paint on the engine hood, top of the car, and trunk has almost completely faded from its original sky blue color to pale blotches.

I have had to replace both front wheel bearings in the past month.

Without improper usage, the factory speakers are blown up front and scratchy-sounding in the rear of the car.

The transmission and engine mounts are torn, which causes jerks and lag during shifting, if it even shifts at all.

A spring came loose in the driver's seat, causing me to fail inspection!

I've replaced seven tires so far, and it handles VERY poorly around turns, regardless of the brand of tire.

General Comments:

This car was supposedly produced to economically transport up to six people, but I am utterly uncomfortable and feel cramped with even one passenger.

My dad owned the car before me, and he bought it new: it has lasted thirteen years and 150,000 miles, while the expected lifespan of a Reliant is about 100,000.

It has exceptional pickup for a four-cylinder economy car: occasionally I'll feel like I'm driving a six-cylinder.

Gas mileage is still pretty good for such an old car as I get about 325 miles to a full tank.

With a moderate load of tools, books, or whatever one might transport in bulk, however, the amount of mileage can be reduced to only 190 per tank!

With no ability to recline the front seats and limited trunk and back-seat space, I would not at all recommend this car as a family vacation vehicle.

I've had a 500 watt amp, extra speakers, and a fifteen inch sub woofer installed for about four months now, and I have never had a problem with the battery or alternator.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2001

25th Jul 2009, 13:20

"expected lifespan of a Reliant is about 100,000"

Where'd you get that idea? We had two Reliants in our family. Both made it almost to 300,000 miles before rust ate through the frame, motor and transmission still ran fine.

1989 Plymouth Reliant 2.2L Trans-4 from North America


A waste of money, regardless of price


The fuel pump died at 99K.

Both wheel cylinders for the rear brakes started leaking at 100K.

One of the cylinder heads cracked at 101K.

The water pump broke at 102K.

The heater broke 3 times in less than a month (this was December in Massachusetts, mind you).

General Comments:

I bought it only because the price was right and I desperately needed a car (my '72 LTD died after 169,000 miles... RIP).

I knew Ks had a bad reputation, but this is insane. As soon as I can afford something nicer, I'm dumping this piece of garbage.

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

Review Date: 27th February, 2001

9th Aug 2005, 00:32

K's had a bad reputation? where did you hear that false information. K cars actually have an awsome reputation through and through. They were one of the cheapest cars available and had a great reputation from 85 and up. 2.2 and 2.5 engines were almost indestructable and repairs are cheap and minimal. If you really want a car with a bad reputation - Try a ford any ford.

20th May 2012, 15:01

I have one that my mother has passed on to me. It's a 1989 Reliant and still runs well. I have done the brake cylinders recently, and some electrical thing under the distributor cap was changed, plus the alternator... This car is 25 years old, and still is going strong. The paint shines like new still, speakers work great, front and back, air con works fine still. Leaks a bit of oil, but I have had many people tell me they have had a K car like mine before, and what a great car it was, and still is.

22nd May 2012, 20:34

A 1989 car is 25 years old?

It's 2014 already?