1983 Toyota Tercel Reviews

1983 Toyota Tercel 1.5 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance214000 miles

Summary:

Unbelievably trustworthy, it will never die

Faults:

Only had small, infrequent, easy to fix cheaply problems, never needed a major repair.

General Comments:

This car is the most reliable, inexpensive transportation since the donkey went out of style. I have driven it from the desert heat, to going through blizzards over mountains at night, and it has NEVER stranded me, it always brought me home.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2010

1983 Toyota Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD 1.5L gasoline from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5L gasoline Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired158500 miles
Most recent distance189500 miles
Previous carDodge Ram

Faults:

Current mileage @ 189,500:

Alternator had been replaced.

Cooling fan had been replaced.

Starter had been replaced.

No oil leaks, but engine burns oil and has been bone dry many times before refilling!

AC not working (like that when I bought it in 2006).

Clutch wheel re-sanded at 158,000.

General Comments:

I bought this car from its original owner in 2006, and this is a 1983 Toyota Tercel Wagon SR5, and I love this car so much.

Car is fun to drive, super reliable, super cheap on gas, smooth suspension (feels like a luxury car), and lots of comments from others.

This car is not super fast, but it has good enough speed to not get any speeding tickets. This has greatly helped me in keeping the metal off the pedal!

I was thinking of getting a newer car, but had changed my mind because this is a great little car that I can't possibly get rid of it!

The repairs have been minor, and I will keep this little classic car. I just wish Toyota would make the Tercel Wagon SR5 again with its original body shape and style, I'd buy it brand new!

Quality product for such a low cost. Original owner paid $10,000 in 1983 brand new!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2010

1983 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5 liter from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1982
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.5 liter Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance210000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Beetle

Summary:

Fantastic...we have been waiting for Toyota to build something as good as the Tercels

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the car in 25 yrs, just the usual maintenance.

General Comments:

Car has many desirable features e.g. over square engine, fully independent suspension, hatchback, real bumpers and light weight. You have to go to a new V6 Camry to get a square engine and fully independent suspension.

We are not into large vehicles. This car has room for 4 people is 158" long and 54" high weighing in at 1975 lbs. It has always gotten ~35 miles/gal on the road.

Our other car is a 1985 Tercel Wagon that has 280,000 miles and was bought 16 yrs ago. It has the same features and has been just as reliable as the DX 3 door.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2007

1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 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 acquired254000 miles
Most recent distance280000 miles

Summary:

Best 4X4 out there!

Faults:

The front passenger wheel bearing needed fixing when I bought the car, but I've gotten by without fixing it.

The brakes went out a few months after I bought it.

Put in a new starter.

The clutch went out at just around 280K, not sure if it had been changed before.

General Comments:

This car was made for me! I live in the mountains most of the year and using the 4WD and studded tires I NEVER had put on my chains. This little car can get you out of anything. The extra low came in handy one night while going up a steep gravelly mountain back road. We weren't getting anywhere in 4wd 1st so I popped it into EL and we were off!

One of my favorite features of this car is the clinometer. Its the little devise on the dash that tells you the pitch and roll of the car. Always a good conversation piece.

The upholstery was another favorite. Original from 1983 and in great condition. The body of the car was bronze and the inside was a similar color plaid.

This car needs a new engine, but I can't wait to replace it or get another Tercel!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2007

17th Mar 2007, 14:05

My 83 4x4 tercel wagon is great... I have an extra engine, but am waiting for the original to die (only 247,000 miles) tho it is getting leaky and could be close... Drove down to the Copper canyon and also across the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico on torturous gravel roads... the extra low gear was a trip saver... Some year will drive up the Al-Can so the car can live out its years in Alaska, navigating my super steep driveway... My partner just bought a 2002 Subaru Forester, but she said she really wanted to buy a brand new Tercel Wagon!! There is not much comparison in fuel mileage as I get 30 mpg on the highway...

19th Nov 2007, 18:23

My '83 Tercel 4WD Wagon is the best car I have ever owned. It has 258,000 miles on it & it's finally time to say good-bye. It has been the most dependable car needing so few repairs. In 1998 & again in 2002, it needed absolutely no repairs. In 2005, it needed $275 of repairs. You can't beat that. Almost everything on it still works. I just wish I took care of the way it looked inside & out. It's beat, but still very special to me. I'd love to find an '87 that someone has kept garaged. Mine was the best car ever built by human hands.

18th Apr 2008, 10:11

I bought a tercel about a year ago despite my wife saying she wouldn't be seen dead in it, I love it. It always starts first time, it runs on next to nothing, the 4wd has got me onto job sites were blokes with 50,000 cruisers can't or won't go and I load the back up with all my gear for work and it never complains. A bit noisy yes but i'll live with that...

20th Apr 2008, 03:22

I'll be in the market for a Tercel wagon soon. they are awsome cars and I hope to find one in great shape.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 16 reviews