1989 Toyota Corolla 1.6 4-AF from North America
It's a tank
The car was clearly treated poorly. The odometer has clearly been rolled back, not that it seems to matter.
Driver's side door has been replaced, I think it was in an accident in the '90s. Also there's a fist hole (I think) on the passenger side dash.
I don't love that it's carburated.
A little bit of wheel arch rust.
The automatic, a 3 speed slushbox no less, makes it loud on the highway, and reluctant to shift down.
This is my first car, and it's been very good to me. The previous owners clearly treated it poorly, and despite this, it still runs exceptionally well.
Starts no issue in cold winter weather. Handles reasonably well, comfortable and soft suspension. Decent acceleration, a little slow up hills (3 speed slushy is a big part of that). I get an average of 25 MPG, which is affordable.
The seats are comfortable for me. Far roomier than I expected for a subcompact. I test drove various other cars before choosing this one, and most others felt like a small car, but not this one. Even my 6'5" friend can sit reasonably comfortably, even in the back seat.
Awesome visibility. I could drive backwards if I wanted.
Overall I am completely enamored with my car, aside from the transmission. I hate it. It works fine, but being a low tech 3 speed hurts fuel economy and performance. I wish it was manual. But for $250 I really can't complain.
Also no tachometer. Not loving that.
I'd recommend this car to anyone.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th January, 2015
10th Jan 2015, 14:59
What's the point of a tachometer on a vehicle with an automatic transmission?
11th Jan 2015, 04:39
In particular, your observations about the 3-speed automatic are quite accurate. This is a carbureted 1.6 liter late-eighties car. One with a (new, revolutionary concept for the time) 16-valve engine. This meant keeping the revs up at all times, what with a power peak of 6,000 RPM. Low-end torque was sacrificed for high-RPM power.
RPM @ 60 MPH - (Per Consumer Reports) -
- 5-speed manual - 2765 RPM
- 3-speed automatic - 3225 RPM
While the 5-speed gives a noticeable reduction in revs, if your world has been Multiport-Fuel-Injected (MFI) cars, cruising at 60 MPH at more than 2,000 RPM is an alien concept. The old engines could not simply pull the load at lower RPM.
Having said that, the bigger consequence of life in 2015 with a carburetor, is the inability to find a tech who knows what to do when they run amok. If you dig around, you can find an appropriate "Wizard".
Bottom line: Live with the quirks and enjoy the quality - which is exemplary :)