1996 Toyota Carina GS 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland
Reliability is not guaranteed
Head gasket was blown when I got the car - not easy to spot because the coolant was going through the exhaust rather than into the oil. Only discovered it when the car overheated. Gasket replaced under warranty.
Water pump failed. Replaced under warranty.
Automatic choke faulty. Would rev to 3,000 rpm when cold - very embarrassing at the lights!
Very poor performance - even for the small 1.6 engine. Hesitates, coughs and splutters, miss-fires. Sometimes dropped to 3 cylinders for a sustained period, and then go back to 4. Baffled several proffessional mechanics.
Plastic strips along all 4 doors peeling away at the ends. Looks very tatty.
Sunroof sticks open - the motor just doesn't seem powerful enough to do the job.
Fair enough - this particular one is a bit of a "lemon". Couldn't bear it any more and got rid after 4 months.
That aside, if you are looking for any enjoyment from your car or your driving - don't bother with one of these. Poor performance, wallowing rolling suspension and handling, vague steering, rubbish brakes.
And they really are ugly!
It's only good point are the interior space - plenty of room for 5 udults, and it's huge hatchback boot.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 18th July, 2005
The Toyota Carina is not ugly and is very good. The brakes are great and I've never had a problem in 8 years and 123,000 miles.
I agree the Carina is ugly, but it's a very nice car to drive. Economic running costs too. My car is 12 years old, looking a bit tatty, no rust and still drives like new.
To blow the head gasket on a Carina, you'd need to try very hard. I've driven one 175km with no engine oil - mechanic forgot the sump plug - and it survived, also boiled another to the point where the engine locked solid with heat, let it cool down, filled it up with Fanta, the only liquid at hand (radiator cap had gone walkabout, hence water loss), and driven on to dealer for a new cap, no harm done. Those two cars are still running about, untouched. As a bit of a rough numpty myself, I salute anybody hamfisted enough to kill a Carina, it takes a lot of doing.