1985 Toyota Corolla GT-S 1.6 Twin Cam from North America


A perfect driving machine


Alternator went out at 120,000.

Posi-Traction differential went out at 186,000.

Clutch Master and Slave went out at 190,000.

A/C switch went out at 200,000.

Clutch replaced at 120,000 (only time)

Springs and shocks replaced at 170,000.

Nothing else at all.

General Comments:

This was perhaps the greatest car I have ever owned. I bought this as an undergraduate.

I treated it badly. I raced it, did do-nuts in parking lots, roasted tires whenever I could, frequently got it up to 120+ on the freeway, and took country roads at 90.

It ran and ran and ran. The only time it failed to start was my fault - it was -30 outside (-75 wind chill) and I tried to start the car without pushing the clutch in. It would have started without the extra resistance of the clutch assembly.

I once passed 4-wheel-drive trucks on a black ice road, uphill, while they sat in the ditch. This because the tight manual trans and posi differential (and a little driving skill) were utterly controllable.

We traded it in on our 98 Taurus. It had 215,000 miles at the time, and thought the A/C did not work and it had become somewhat hard riding and loud, it still ran PERFECTLY.

It would keep up with Mustang 5.0's if shifted and driven properly, it outhandled anything on the road in cornering, and it always got over 30 mpg and never smoked, no matter how hard I accelerated.

If I had treated it better, I'll bet it would have gotten to 300,000 miles. Three cheers to Toyota. Now if they could start (or begin again) building cars like this that are actually affordable, I'd buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2004

14th Apr 2010, 09:20

Nice review!

Funny thing is that my LSD Posi traction differential went out at 186,000 miles too!!

1985 Toyota Corolla LE 4AC from North America


Ho-hum performance, but very reliable


No major repairs or replacements were needed sooner than would be expected.

Clutch, timing belt, around 100,000 miles.

Minor items such as windshield wiper interval timer failed early, around 15,000 miles. Also hard to crank down manual windows after rain.

General Comments:

Not the most lively engine/transmission, but economical on fuel and reliable.

Starts up every time.

Handling could be sharper, but safe and predictable.

Has given excellent service life and a very good value considering lack of major repairs and few surprise visits to mechanic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2004

1985 Toyota Corolla Basic Model 1.5L Hatchback from North America


Extremely reliable, everyday automobile


Absolutely nothing!

All I've had to do was regular maintenance (timing belt, brakes, tires).

Other than that, the only repair I needed to make on it was replacing the radiator. The old one was rusted through.

General Comments:

The car was not well taken care of when I purchased it for 700 dollars Canadian. It came from Eastern Canada, so it was VERY rusted. One could punch a hole through the front end and the underside.

There were many interior pieces missing (not the fault of the car, but of the lady who owned it). These parts were easily available at local pick your part places for pennies.

The car was a tank! After the replacement of the radiator, one of the hoses was not tightened, and I lost all of my radiator fluid. I decided to drive the car home anyways (roughly 30 kilometers).

After coming home, I tightened the hose, added fluid, and it drove like nothing has happened. My mechanic was SHOCKED that the head gasket did not blow.

This by the way happened twice because I also did not tighten the hose well enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2004

1985 Toyota Corolla GT 1.6 4AGE from Australia and New Zealand


Unbelievable performance from a 1600 engine


Gearbox lost 1st,2nd, 5th gears, replaced gearbox.

No other problems.

General Comments:

I bought this car for $1500 (NZ). The previous owner had already fitted it out with stabilizers and lowered it as well as hardened the suspension. This is a four door sedan and looks like a very standard car apart from the standard GT flares and badging. It is white, which does not make it stand out at all. Since I have had it I have had the following improvements to it:

2 ¼” exhaust.

Cam timing adjusted for about 12% performance improvement.

When I bought this car it was already very quick and would rev to 7000 and beyond running at about 126BHP. Now with the mods I have done it accelerates noticeably quicker and will give most turbo and non-turbo imports a run for their money at the lights. What is interesting is that it now has 145BHP, which does not seem like a lot, but it now has a huge amount of torque especially between 3500RPM to 6000RPM. The best thing I like about it is its ability to stick like glue to winding roads and pull out of them at ridiculous speeds. I would definitely recommend this car to anyone who wants the performance and reliability without the risk of blowing a turbo. One thing to watch is its ability to get sideways on tight roads if pushed, but being a front wheel drive it is easy to put back in line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2004

11th May 2009, 16:50

Cam timing adjusted for about 12% performance improvement. >>>>>> what does it mean, and please specify and give a few more words about to get good performance. 2 1/4? It just need a pipe way out to the exhaust, that's all? Or how to make this?