1990 Toyota Carina LX Estate 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Enduring and trustworthy, but smaller than you think


Starter motor failed at 164000.

Water pump failed at 167000.

Drivers seat collapsing when acquired, now down to frame on RHS.

Wiper screws corroded, making blade replacement impossible.

Low speed fan setting failed.

General Comments:

Utterly reliable old cart, could always start with a push-and-jump-in when the starter motor died. Has never failed to get me to my destination, or troubled the RAC.

Performance is gradually failing, it used to 'come on the cam' at 4000, now it just wheezes a bit. Still OK, given the age and mileage though.

Fuel consumption is not as good as it should be (7.0 mile per litre), although it does spend most of its life at high motorway speeds.

This car has absolutely no grip at all, and will understeer at the very thought of a roundabout. It's so bad that it's quite good fun, you can send it sideways just to lighten a boring trip up.

Apart from the drivers seat, the interior is virtually as new, everything works, no knobs have fallen off.

I had to drill holes in the rear quarters to let accumulated water out, but there's no rust even now.

The paint caught the 'old red paint disease', but some T-cut work brought it up beautifully.

What parts I've bought (starter, water pump) were quite cheap, although both were virtually an engine out job that I eventually had done at the garage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2003

1990 Toyota Carina GLi 1.6 16v from Greece




I replaced the battery at 78500 kilometers.

General Comments:

This car is not only a slow family car. The Toyota Carina II 1.6L with 105 horsepower is a very fast car and with a great brake system.

Also handling and steering can be improved if the manufacturer tires and wheels are changed. For example my Carina had 185/70 R 13" tires and didn't have such a good handling. One year ago I put 195/55 15 tires with new wheels and the car has a great handling. We must not forget that it is very wide and that helps it with its handling.

Brakes are very good and never betrayed me. This car has a magnificent dual brake system which functions if your primary brake system fails out.

As far as performance is concerned this car can speed up to 100kilometers per hour in less than 10 seconds and it can reach a 220 kilometers per hour top speed in the highway. Some people in the past mentioned that is not a fast family car because they didn't know how to function it right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2003

26th Feb 2004, 05:47

I've got a 1990 carina II 1.6 16v and I won't believe that you accelerate to 100km/h in less than 10 sec. 12 sec. is more likely.

18th Feb 2005, 10:12

220 km/h and less than 10 seconds to 100, that sounds more like the performance of a 2.0 Carina.

1st May 2005, 15:34

I've got a Carina II 1.6 xli 1990 and 0-100 is under 10 indeed. It's gone about 250000 km and is still running as a clock.

26th Apr 2006, 02:23

You'll be hard pressed to achieve 220 km/h out of a 1.6 litre, 4A-FE equipped Carina. I used to have that same engine in a Toyota Corolla I owned back in 1992, with the 5 speed manual transaxle. It achieved 0-100 km/h in 11.8 seconds, and the best top speed I could ever get out of it was in 5th gear, at 6000 rpm (189km/h), on a downhill stretch.

On the flat, it was struggling to better 183-185km/h maximum. The only thing I can put the 220km/h down to out of a 1.6 litre Carina, is a VERY optimistic speedometer. Maybe the speedo needle should be replaced with Pinocchio's nose, you'll be able to see it "grow" as the indicated speed increases then...

17th May 2006, 05:47

I've got a 1988 Toyota Carina 1.6 and I love it. its 0 - 60 mph is indeed 10 sec and I have reached top speed of 113 MPH. (on a track of course). it has taken me from the UK to spain and back 3 times and it is still trucking! most reliable car I have ever driven!