1986 Toyota Corolla 1.3XL (subsequently 1.6GT!) 5- 1.3 SOHC (subsequently 1.6 DOHC) from Malaysia


Enjoyable and reliable


The usual wear and tear items, nothing extraordinary. A bit of rust here and there, but kept at bay by repairs whenever rust is sighted (labour cost is cheap in Malaysia).

Replaced gearbox with a used unit at about 300,000km due too bad 4th gear.

The car was originally a 72bhp 1.3 12-valve carburettored SOHC (2E engine) model with 5 speed manual transmission. At about 450,000km (in the year 2004) we had the car converted to AE82 1.6GT specs - it got the 130bhp 1.6 DOHC EFI 4A-GE engine, low-ratio 5 speed manual gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, dash/instruments and all usable ancillaries (eg. the strut bar) from the front end of a 1986 AE82 1.6GT imported from Japan (they are called "half-cuts" in local lingo) which only had 119,000km on the clock.

General Comments:

Whether in its original 72bhp 1.3 12-valve SOHC form or subsequent 130bhp 1.6 24-valve DOHC form, the car is very reliable and cheap to run.

The car is a FWD. It handles well (better now, with the firmer AE82 1.6GT suspension) and rides comfortably.

Power-assisted rack and pinion steering is quite sharp.

Both 1.3 and 1.6 engines are economical, smooth and eager. However, the lower geared transmission that is part and parcel of the AE82 1.6GT DOHC package makes high-speed cruising a bit busy.

The 5 door Liftback configuration is practical and looks quite sporty. However, due to its rarity in this part of the world (Malaysians prefer 4 door sedans and hence the 4 door sedan model of the Corolla is more prolific here), Liftback-specific parts like the taillights can be hard to source.

My family is very happy with this delightful car and will never sell it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2006

22nd Dec 2006, 22:23

I own a 1.3 XL'86. Does anyone know where I can still get original parts for it?

Need wiper arm, side mirror, drive shaft and shock absorbers.


1986 Toyota Corolla cs sedan 1.6 ei fwd from Australia and New Zealand


Great city car


+the horn has been replaced with an air horn which doesn't even work any more.

+rear door weather strips in the corners somehow have split making the water come into the car

+paint has started to fade away.

General Comments:

An fun car to drive and it sits on 150Km's no fuss and the little 4a motor in them are just made for them, but not in winter where the auto choke kicks a bit of power out of it, but not used to so little luxuries because my previous car being an SE was a fitted with air con, velour trim, cassette stereo, tachometer, luggage release in the cabin and lots more, but the corolla only has a luxury of the AM-FM non-cassette radio, but has 4 speakers which is great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st April, 2006

1986 Toyota Corolla XL 1.3L from Australia and New Zealand


OK, but with a few problems


Annoying carburettor problems.

Gearbox synchros wearing out. Probably due to lack of oil changes.

Starter motor bearings.

Driver side window winder mechanism.

Radio cassette didn't work.

General Comments:

I bought this as my first car. I saw it in the paper for NZ$6500 and the ad didn't show a mileage, but I went to have a look anyway. Had more k's on it than I preferred, but thought being a Corolla, it should last a while longer. After I had a pre-purchase inspection done it was obvious that it hadn't been well maintained by previous owner. I got the dealer to fit new rear muffler, re-cored radiator, oil change & new spare tyre. All up it must have cost him a packet, but I didn't really care, if he wanted me to buy the car.

It was only after I'd owned it for a few weeks when I discovered a few problems. It started fine when cold, but would take absolutely ages to start when it was hot. No amount of throttle, or no throttle, made any difference. Once I accidentally stalled it at traffic lights and was only able to get going milliseconds before I got mowed down by oncoming traffic. Not only that, when I would switch it off, the motor would stop and then 'diesel', as in it would almost start again by itself and chug a bit then stop completely. I was told both problems could be fixed by a tune up. This made no difference. Also, the starter motor would let out a loud rattle after the engine fired, but this was fixable. The gearbox was a pig to shift, worse when cold, and I was told by a mechanic that this model used the same oil supply for gearbox and engine, so when the engine oil was changed, so was the gear box oil. I now know this was probably wrong and in hindsight the gearbox oil was probably like tar which would be why it was so hopeless when cold. I was told to see Toyota about the starting and run-on problems and the guy treated me like a complete idiot and said it was a known problem and they couldn't do anything about it. This was my one and only ever encounter with a Toyota dealer. I ended up selling it after a year and 8000k's and bought a 3.9L EA Ford Falcon, which, as any Australians or New Zealanders will know, were far less reliable. In hindsight I should have spent the money I paid for the Falcon on getting the Corolla properly fixed up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th April, 2006