1997 Toyota Carina GL Estate 1.8 from UK and Ireland
A grinning oddity with no taste for costing money or going fast
Despite the long list which follows, the car has been mostly reliable over a great number of miles. But...
Toyota recalled the car to fix a potential suspension problem. They gave it a lovely valet and returned it with a bunch of flowers, which was nice, but let down by the surly delivery driver!
At 138000 the ignition keys stopped working - I could not start the car, and it was £400 for a new immobiliser, which was a bit steep.
Being a dual-fuel car, the LPG side has had a few problems: when I bought it, the computer had corroded, having been mounted right by the battery! A new computer was £600, but the dealer I bought it from footed the bill.
Then at 140000 the radiator burst. I was driving along when suddenly there was a terrible rattle and a loss of power. Looking under the bonnet revealed an oily mess all over the engine, and I suspected a blown gasket. However, the Toyota anti-freeze is oily and it was just a rusted radiator. A new radiator (£160 from Toyota) and oil/filter change and everything seems fine again.
Great work-horse with plenty of room, but never in a hurry. This car is fine for getting about with minimum fuss, but its ugly (made worse by a frightening turquoise paint job) and won't go fast until you've spent a few seconds talking it into a bit of a turn of speed.
With the LPG conversion it is mindlessly cheap to run and being an estate, the extra tank is not noticeable.
The tow-hitch makes it even more useful for pulling jusat about anything.
Seats and interior are no match for my wife's Carlton, but nicer than the tinny Pug 104 I had before.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th July, 2002