1981 Toyota Corona XT130 1.9L 4 cylinder 'Starfire' petrol from Australia and New Zealand


It's a bloody beautiful little car!


When I bought the car it had a stripped cog, the distributor cap and rotor button needed replacing.

The rear seats have torn badly and the cloth seats, the material is very weak, but seat covers would cover it up.

The car is very good for its age compared to cars made in its year area.

General Comments:

The Corona is a very reliable and excellent car for its era and it is very attractive little car.

The small and skinny size is good and bad. Its squishy and not very roomy for the rear passengers, but its easy to manoeuvre.

I think it's a good car for young people who like older cars. I myself have done my Corona up and it is easy to pull apart and put back together.

I think that anyone looking for a cheap, reliable car should look into a Corona because it won't disappoint you. Mine hasn't :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2006

1981 Toyota Corona CS XT130 from Australia and New Zealand


In general, very strong and reliable engine, but gear box is old and worn by this stage


Gearbox had to be replaced at 195,00 kilometers.

Constant oil leak from the rocker cover.

Starter motor replaced at 200,000 kilometers.

Clutch went at 220,000 kilometers.

Gearbox went again at 220,000 kilometers.

Radiator leak at 220,000 kilometers.

General Comments:

Very tough reliable engine that didn't burn any oil or blow smoke.

Rocker cover oil leak caused oil to drip onto exhaust.

Body paint had faded slightly, but no rust.

Gearbox is biggest problem.

Performance was pretty good for such an old car.

Handling and comfort were adequate.

Braking was adequate.

Petrol consumption was good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2005

13th May 2006, 20:26

What is your classification of good?

1981 Toyota Corona XT130 1.9 Starfire (GMH) from Australia and New Zealand


Bullet proof. Ideal first car for a young person


Replaced alternator, starter, replaced timing gear (alloy, not recommended by the manufacturer; a bit noisy). Rebuilt motor rings, bearings, hydraulic lifters, Watson reground cam (23/60) and hardened valve inserts to run on unleaded fuel. Replaced master cylinder & rear brake cylinders. Fitted factory Cressida mags (Michelin rubber).

Fitted tacho, battery condition and oil pressure gauge.

Have problem with speedo cables, gear drive in gearbox worn, but not a problem as I drive off the tacho.

General Comments:

May be the only black Corona XT130, and although I spent $1500 on replacement parts, it was money well spent, as I paid $50 to purchase the vehicle.

Since the motor rebuild, has not missed a beat. On the highway the motor runs 3100-4000 revs, and the temperature gauge doesn't move.

For its age, the interior is fair, but fitted neat seat covers. Has a Momo wheel and 6 speaker 6 stacker.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2003

1981 Toyota Corona CS Starfire from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap to run and recycled parts are cheap


Light control switch replaced.

Noisy timing gear.

Replaced the starter motor.

Siezed thrust race bearing (destroyed a pressure plate).

All shocks need replacing.

Auto choke removed needs mods to convert to manual.

Power drain (electrical), runs the battery down when using the head lights.

General Comments:

A little tender loving care and iron out the bugs, and it would be ideal transport for the first time car owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2001

1981 Toyota Corona CS 1.9L 4 cylinder petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A budget car with a few luxuries


Automatic gearbox pan leaking, only required a new gasket.

Oil leaks from a few places.

Front struts are worn but do the job still.

General Comments:

I have owned two 81 Coronas now. One automatic and one manual.

This car is strong and solid. It will keep going for years and years but it is not what you would call a performance car.

Strictly for those who just want something to get them from A to B without any trouble.

The interior is well set out and has quite a few luxuries that you don't often see on cars of that age.

It would be a better option to go for the 2.0L 4 door lift-back version if you can find a good one.

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

Review Date: 27th July, 2001

30th Jul 2001, 21:18

I'd have to agree - the XT130 Corona is a nice looking and well appointed car (for it's era) but it is let down by a sub-standard engine... it is prone to vibrations, leaks, and heavy wear and tear. But for those who are mechanical spare parts are a dime a dozen!! :)

27th Nov 2002, 09:27

I have a Corona 181, 3T engine (4 cylinder, gasoline, 1.8liter). Is engine has never been opened and I still can get 150 Km/h with no problem, but it uses a lot of fuel (8 Km/liter). It is very reliable, the only problem I had was a fuse burn out and the engine stop working, but after replacing the fuse I was on the road again.

I think it is a good, reliable and sturdy car, they don't build car like this anymore.

1981 Toyota Corona XT130 CS 1.9 OHV from Australia and New Zealand


Conventional, reliable and very dull


Alternator x2, distributor, indicator column, driver's seat.

General Comments:

Highly unpopular engine, Toyota 1X, better known as the Holden Starfire. Does the job though, and very reliable. 4-speed gearbox and clutch very worn but keep going. Sounds like a tank.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2000

14th Jun 2001, 00:56

The review is very accurate. I have driven my 1981 Corona for four years without major troubles. Alternator change at about 195,000 kms. Clutch is very worn but still goes - mechanic has told me to replace it for past two years. Gear box worn but double clutch down into second gear seems to keep things smooth. Love the engine even though its got no guts. No oil burn. Reliable is the word.