Toyota Sprinter Reviews

1985 Toyota Sprinter Corolla GTS Liftback / 1600GT 1.7 5AGE from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1984
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.7 5AGE Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired23 miles
Most recent distance152752 miles
Previous carPorsche 912

Summary:

Kansei engineering at its best!

Faults:

Although it did NOT need it, from May 21 to July 8, 2005, it got an engine rebuild at 129,457 miles on the odometer.

I had been hoarding HKS parts since 1987-1990, and the case has been machined to permit installing the HKS Stroker Kit (81mm bore x 83mm stroke); it also has HKS F.I. camshafts to go with this kit, HKS cam gears, heavy duty clutch and pressure plate, light flywheel, Koyo hi-cap radiator, Injen intake system; see my blog at

http://1985ae86hatchback.blogspot.com so I don't have to cut this short.

This car has been THE most reliable, and fun to drive vehicle I've ever owned. I've owned a Mercury Montego with a 302cid; a Ford Pinto (I'm ashamed to confess - there was a contrived gas "shortage" on!), a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1975 Volkswagen Super-Beetle, a 1967 Porsche 912 (modified with a big-bore kit. It was tearfully sold to Jess Hord of the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, CO due to an insistent ex) and a Rambler 550, with a 327cid engine and Cadillac transmission - the 2nd BEST vehicle I've ever owned, and it lasted until 222,000+ miles were on the clock before it met its untimely end near Pensacola, FL at the hands of an out-of-control trailer.

I still own my 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS Liftback/Sprinter 1600 GT Liftback, and will drive it until I can't drive any more. I LOVE this little car, and care for it as if it were a high-priced super sports car. It deserves it!

General Comments:

What can one say but "a thing of beauty is a joy forever".

This IS the car made to be passed on from one generation to the next if people weren't so busy smashing them up against walls, light posts and other vehicles!

You do ride a bit higher up than in my old Porsche, "Zuffie", and there is a bit more body lean than in the Porsche as well, but they both have that familiar and endearing tendency to slide sideways if you take your foot off the gas at high speeds while taking a turn. But, that's what the drift crowd likes, though: controlled oversteer.

I'm a big guy, 6 feet tall, muscular build, 225 lbs, and there is more than ample leg and shoulder room. The seat isn't even all the way back. It is also a "work-horse". With the rear seat down, it almost has as much room as "station wagons" in its class. Did I say, I LOVED this little car? LOL.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th December, 2012

1997 Toyota Sprinter Carib Z Touring (4WD) 1.8L petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.8L petrol Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired170000 kilometres
Most recent distance175000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Nice family car for the older motorist

General Comments:

This car had incredibly comfortable seats, & was very smooth riding.

It stuck to the road unbelievably well, being full time four wheel drive, & could get around greasy tar-seal corners in the wet like nothing else. The 4WD also helped it handle brilliantly in thick gravel, making it a very safe car.

However, in being safe, it was very boring to drive. It gave a very dull, but comfortable ride, while at the same time chewing through petrol.

The performance was very much similar to two wheel drive cars with much smaller, & much more economical engines. On average, I managed roughly 10L/100km of city driving, emptying the 40L petrol tank relatively quickly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2008

22nd Feb 2009, 21:13

Thank you for the vindication. I have the 1998 Carib Sprinter Rosso and everything you said, I can support. The fuel consumption is terrible for a sedan 40L tank = 400km, maybe less if you have to deal with traffic, and lots of stopping.

The pros are: A VERY safe vehicle, it sits on the road where a 2WD would over-steer. Steady torque at the expense of acceleration, and finally a very comfortable cabin. Not a great buy unless you need the space really.

Average review marks: 8.9 / 10, based on 7 reviews