1987 Toyota Corolla GL 1.6 4AF from Australia and New Zealand


The most economial overall car you could own


130,000km; Clutch was shuddering (although we think this was the 1st owner's driving), replaced clutch.

200,000KM; Thermostat jammed shut and caused the car to badly overheat. Blew the head gasket 2 weeks later. So crack tested the head and replaced the head gasket

Cam belt + water pump done.

250,000km; Clutch master cylinder failed.

335,00km; Rear suspension very worn - replaced.

345,000km; Water pump leaking

Replaced water pump, cam belt.

348,000km; Clutch went. Replaced clutch.

General Comments:

We bought this at 129,000km when it was 2 years old. Yes that is correct, 129,000km.

We have serviced it regularly when required, and generally spent as little money on it as was possible.

It has been the most reliable car we've ever owned, and has hard a very harsh life as the family car, Chief Trailer Tower and off roader.

At 351,600km, this car is now my son's daily driver with him doing 10,000km/year. It still goes really well, and is showing no signs of letting go.

The interior has lasted very well with no rips in the seats, and the dashboard has had a custom made carpet mat on it for the last 12 years, protecting it from the harsh sun.

We still tow our trailer with 1.2 tons of firewood on, and it does this so well.

Currently it is back as my Wife's main car, as her's has broken down.

We still take it on long trips, and it doesn't use/leak any oil or fluids, and just recently returned 8L/100km fuel economy.

In conclusion, if someone had told me 20 years ago that this Corolla I bought without even test driving, would be back as our main car at 351,000km, I'd have never believed them.

No one can believe how well this Corolla goes, and how quiet it is on the road given its mileage, and how little we've spent on it. The paint might be peeling off it, and it may have an odd colored door, but at heart it is as trust worthy as they come.

All it needs is new front suspension and some rust removed, and it would be a very respectable vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2010

1987 Toyota Corolla SE 1.6 litre carburettor from Australia and New Zealand


Very reliable and bullet proof


I worked at MSS Patrol Services, a national security company back in the 1980's, and they had a national fleet of base model manual Toyota Corolla SE sedans 1.6 lt, and Wormald Security had a national fleet of SE hatchbacks 1.3 lt.

On a typical night patrol zone, we would clock up between 250 to 300kms of hard and fast driving with hundreds of gear changes, clutch and brake engagements as we worked a 10 hour night shift, and had to complete the patrol within this tight and critical time frame in a professional and ethical manner, so you had to drive fast, and we would have those motors revving hard through out most of the shift.

All I can truly say is those vehicles were totally reliable and bullet proof, and as tough as nails with only brake pads being replaced approximately every 6 weeks, because of the frequent stop start driving nature of this work and the high mileage in a very short time ie. 2,000 kms per week or 100,000 kms per year, as we also conducted daylight patrols on weekends and long weekends. We ran dual fuel LPG gas and petrol. The mechanical gear was always maintained with regular book service by a major Toyota dealership.

At one point we had base model Nissan Pulsar hatch backs, and they were also very reliable, however the Corolla was the winner in my books.

I know people who have got 500,000kms out of those old model Corollas in recent times before the motor needs reconditioning. So yeah if you want a very reliable, tough, durable, rugged no thrills 4 cylinder car, go and buy a Toyota Corolla.

General Comments:

The Corolla was comfortable, it handled well, suspension and ride were good, motor was quiet.

Overall quality and build 10/10, great value for money, they are a mechanics curse because if everyone drove a Corolla there would be a lot of mechanics out of business, as you don't see many in workshops, and most owners tend to hang on to them for a long time, because of their history and record of reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2009