1983 Toyota Corolla GL 1.3 from Philippines


The 1983 Corolla is like a good pair of old shoes.


In 2003, the engine had to be rebuilt and overhauled for the first time since the car was bought brand-new in 1983.

In the twenty-one years of its existence, it rarely gave this owner major problems.

Only the radiator and factory air conditioner failed a couple of times.

General Comments:

The Corolla is a very reliable car. The 1.3-liter engine proves to be a durable workhorse.

Suspension parts are still factory-original except for the tie rods and of course, the routine replacement of shock absorbers.

Despite not being equipped with power steering, the Corolla steers well on curves, and can be parked with ease in tight spaces.

The Corolla has been driven on several occasions on trips where the car was kept running for 14 hours straight at variable speeds and subjected to extreme road conditions. In all these long trips, the car never broke down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2004

1983 Toyota Corolla from North America


Extremely unreliable expensive junker


I've had to replace the tires over 24 times since owning this car.

I've had to replace the alternator going on 4 times since owning this car.

I've had to replace 2 tailights that burned out.

There are holes rusting in my doors.

The paint is bubbling everywhere.

The car stalls.

The car revs inexplicably.

The car shifts from neutral to drive repeatedly until the engine is warm.

I get about 10 miles to the gallon.

The dashboard is beginning to rot.

Alignment is a consistent problem (about once every other week)

General Comments:

This was a great car when I first bought it used. It ran fine for about 6 months and then everything started to fall apart. I'm in college so do not currently have the time or money to look for a more reliable mode of transport. I spend an average of $3000 on this car yearly. I bought this on the assumption that Toyota's are reliable. My girlfriend has a 1996 Toyota and she is already starting to experience similar problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd November, 2003

7th Aug 2008, 01:29

Toyotas are good cars. This one needs a little bit of attention. If your tires are wearing out that fast, get your alignment checked. $90 can save you a lot more money. If you are noticing engine problems, get it tuned by a shop. $70 can change the way you pay for gas in this car. You have the timing to thank for rough running, or a carburettor problem. Rust on a 1983 is not unexpected, especially a car from the Land of the Rising Sun, where undercoating and rust protection aren't necessary. If you think your taillights are burning out too fast, check for exposed wires that may be short-circuiting. These are all common things that you have to do on older vehicles, and regularly. Basic maintenance is cheap, and as you've found out, owners' neglect (previous and current) is expensive.

1983 Toyota Corolla plain 1.6 from North America


Cheap reliable car


The wheel wells and door are rusting badly.

My head gasket blew at 230000km which was relatively cheap. This resulted in a bent distributer shaft cause the car to miss terribly at idle.

Occasionally my carburetor plugs up causing the car not being able to idle.

My drivers seat is in really bad shape. The foam is almost all gone, and the seat is ripped.

General Comments:

I have spent only about $200 (can) in repairs. This excludes maintenance.

Not very attractive. Sometimes it is almost embarrassing to drive. I get a lot of nasty comments about my car.

For a poor student I really love my car.

I would definitely buy a Toyota again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2002

14th Apr 2004, 21:17

I agree, the car is not very attractive, but I have had mine for almost a year and it runs great and I spend very little for repairs. I Recommend this car for poor students with very little money.

21st May 2004, 12:21

I had a 1983 Corolla for about a year and it was 19 years old when I bought it. I am now convinced it is immortal. I put 100,000 miles on it in the time I had it and it just smiled and kept going. I also covered it all over with stickers. I sold it to friend who needed a good reliable car and now it is 21 years old and she still drives it. I still see it every now and then and I really miss it. I drive a 1998 New Beetle now and it is phenomenal, but I want my Toyota back!!

Blake Barnhill.

16th Nov 2004, 18:19

My first car was a 1983 Corolla station wagon.. it had 185,000 miles on it when I got it from my parents (who had bought it new), and when I sold the thing it had over 240,000. In all that time, the car never once went to the shop for anything other than routine maintenance. Not. One. Repair.

10th Jan 2006, 12:46

The above comments are all great! The one stating that the purchase was for a dollar is unreal. It is unreal because I too just bought an 83 coupe SR5 for $1.00!!! With 143,000 miles and an impeccable service tract record, I am extremely thrilled. I am hoping to take the current mileage as high as it will go and as soon as something major goes wrong, it will get a larger engine and become a track car.

I bought this 01/05/06 and I took today off of work to play with it and get to know it better. I will never let this one go. :)


26th Sep 2008, 14:44

My 83 Corolla is AWESOME! I got it 5 years ago with only 67k miles and it's been running ever since. Sure, it's ugly and it smokes for the first 5 minutes of driving but no one ever tailgates me! Plus it's actually fun to drive!