1983 Toyota Tercel STD 1.5 from North America
Such cheap reliability is unheard of
The rear defroster doesn't work, all the grid lines are non-conductive, will need to replace the whole glass.
It came with a peeled off headliner, which I replaced with same color vinyl.
It also came with a correct-era aftermarket stereo that I replaced, and came stock with no passenger side mirror, which I got from a DLX model.
The carburetor is new, but it fails emissions; I guess it needs adjustment as it looks really clean.
First off, the fuel economy in this car is absolutely great. It brought me from Pasadena, CA to Salt Lake City, UT on one and a half tanks. Figure more or less 650 miles, 10 gallon tank, 650 / 15, that's more or less 43 MPG. Really not bad. That's Prius mileage.
I used to drive a same year Mercedes-Benz, and it was a great car, but it's expensive to maintain, so I looked for something cheaper, hopefully the same era as I like to drive 80s cars. I found a really nice, non rusty, exceptionally clean example that used to sit at a Toyota dealership as a survivor. It's like going back to 1983. Really clean, everything was in really good condition. It's cheap to operate, cheap to insure (I pay $25 a month on full coverage), cheap tires, cheap gas, cheap cheap cheap. But it doesn't feel cheap. All appointments are well built and feel solid. The engine sounds great and hasn't given me troubles so far.
It doesn't seem to like the snow all that much; being such a light car, it doesn't handle all that well on snow or ice. It does help a bit that it has front wheel drive, but with such light weight, the car seems to skid more than I'm used to with heavier vehicles.
Other than winter, this little car is a joy to drive. It climbs surprisingly well the Utah mountains (of course, it's no Subaru) and it never lags behind traffic or has a climbing tail. No tachometer, but who needs one in such a small car. It gets a lot of smiles wherever I park it. I fell in love with the little thing.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th October, 2016