1980 Toyota Tercel Reviews

1980 Toyota Tercel 1.5L 4 Cylinder from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership1992
Engine and transmission 1.5L 4 Cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Reliable, economical, and cool despite what some say

Faults:

Water Pump broke. Easy fix.

Oil Pump broke. Replaced.

General Comments:

Fantastic car... Looking for another one (or by some miracle my old one). I traded it in for a Ford Escort in 1992, and my father told me it was the biggest mistake I'll ever make. Too true. The car ran perfectly when I traded it in unlike the 2 Fords that followed which lasted about 75,000 miles each. I really like the styling of the front end compared to later models with the squared off look. If you have one don't give it up! Unless you want to give one to me that is... A paint job, and a wing spoiler and it looks just like a rally car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2005

21st Mar 2007, 09:44

Hey, I too own a 1980 Toyota Tercel! I have owned many cars inbetween, but have kept on to my Tercel for 10 years now. It started off as a project car, and I have now driven it half way across the country. The Tercel is probably one of the most reliable cars out there, mind you I have had to do some major upgrading on mine (new head gasket, radiator, carburetor, water pump, wheel barrings, etc), and had thought that that was enough and was time to get a new car, but your comments on how you should have kept yours has made me rethink holding onto mine for a while longer. Thanks :)

1980 Toyota Tercel SR5 1.5 3A from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.5 3A Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired289165 kilometres
Most recent distance307850 kilometres
Previous carToyota MR2

Summary:

It's really a rally car

Faults:

Rear cross member rusted out.

Front strut rod bushings worn.

Front tie rods shot.

Cooling system deteriorating.

Seats worn badly.

Ingition points tired.

Rear brake master cylinders seized.

Emergency brake cables seized.

General Comments:

This is one of the best cars I have ever owned.

It is excellent on gas (around 35mpg)

It handles well enought to satisfy my desire for a somewhat sporty car.

The interior is plaid, which draws a lot of positive attention.

I love the short-ratio 5 speed transmission because it makes the car a lot more fun to drive.

The best thing about it is reliability... in the morning I know it's going to start.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2004

1980 Toyota Tercel Corolla 1.8 Liter from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 Liter Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carMultiple car parts Made my nieghbor

Summary:

Fun car that is cheap and easy to maintain

Faults:

Front tire bearings crushed.

The faulty alternator was cheap and really easy to replace.

Transmission needed a lot of work from wear and tear.

Over-sized tires frequently scrape against the fenders.

Main coolant hose needed to be replaced.

Steering is unresponsive, but the car is small enough to maneuver pretty well.

General Comments:

It is hard to find old cars in such as good shape as the 2 door '80 Tercel I have. It has no rust and all parts that needed to be replaced were easily found and cheap. It drives really nice and it still gets over 35 mpg.

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

Review Date: 11th March, 2004

1980 Toyota Tercel Corolla 1.5 liter 1AC from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.5 liter 1AC Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired60500 miles

Faults:

The front right wheel bearings were crushed because the former owner did not grease it. None of other wheels have had this problem now that I greased them.

The alternator was completely blown by the middle of the winter making my battery drain. New alternator was cheap and easy to find.

Car needs stiffened springs and struts.

General Comments:

For a $900 car for a 16 year-old it is a very reliable car.

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

Review Date: 22nd January, 2004

1980 Toyota Tercel SR5 1.5 from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 kilometres
Most recent distance215000 kilometres
Previous carFord Tempo

Summary:

An outstanding beater, if you can still find one

Faults:

One of the rear bearings was badly damaged and had ground itself into the spindle, requiring the replacement of the whole lower control arm assembly.

Hatchback doesn't click or lock anymore.

Suspension is badly worn, but not worth replacing at this point.

General Comments:

Old Tercels are plentiful on the west coast, but they don't survive very long elsewhere in northern climates due to rust from winter road salt and body decay.

I bought this car for $200 and after replacing the brake pads and 3 bearings it has basically been maintenance free for the last 2 years. Gas mileage is very good and I expect to drive it for many more years to come. Including gas AND insurance, this Tercel only costs me about $100 a month to operate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2003

1980 Toyota Tercel Deluxe 5 speed 1.4 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.4 liter Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.2 / 10
Distance when acquired102000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carBuick Centurion

Summary:

It is much better now that I have spent $2000 to fix it up

Faults:

Front brakes required replacement.

Catalytic converter was shot.

Front half shaft needed replacement.

Had to rebuild carburetor.

Head gasket was blown.

Had a broken front seat.

General Comments:

This car was represented fraudulently by the used car dealer that I bought it from.

He lied about its condition and would do nothing to make good on any of the repairs. I took the car back to him and he was resolute in his refusal to do a thing about the car.

Car looked really great, with a nice body, but mechanically it was a complete lemon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th May, 2003

7th Dec 2004, 12:24

You can't expect a car this old to be anything other than sold as seen.

Most of the problems you mention should have been obvious from inspecting it prior to purchase.

1980 Toyota Tercel 1Ac from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1Ac Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

A magnificent bargain beater

Faults:

Blew a rear brake cylinder.

General Comments:

Great beater cars.

Very in-expensive to buy, I paid 600 or less for each of the last 3 I bought and they all have been fabulous.

Easy to repair.

Parts are cheap and very available.

Only problem is the axle joints were badly designed and usually click.

Great handling.

Good mileage.

Minor rust problems as compared to most 20 year old cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2002

1980 Toyota Tercel 1.5 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.5 liter Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired226000 kilometres
Most recent distance235000 kilometres
Previous carChrysler Laser

Summary:

A damn good beater!!!

Faults:

Clutch went when I first got it.

Seats are worn badly.

Half shafts are shot.

General Comments:

The car is excellent for a student like me. I'm 16 and have a normal job and plates to pay. It's excellent on gas, but the half-shafts are cooked. My dad had one and he had to replace them also, must be a manufacturer's defect!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2001

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 8 reviews