1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5 from North America


Best 4X4 out there!


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.

1983 Toyota Tercel SR5 1.3L 3A-C from North America


This is the best car I've ever had!!!


The horn didn't work when I purchased the car at 200,000 miles.

The ignition and starter needed to be replaced soon after purchase. Both were easily replaced.

The clutch went out at around 250,000.

General Comments:

My mom purchased her 1983 Tercel with over 200,000 miles. It was very reliable and easy to fix and maintain. She loved it so much she bought one for me as my first car when I was 16 (yes, same model and year).

I gave my car to a friend when I upgraded mine, but the upgrade didn't last long. I want my old Tercel back! It just wouldn't die no matter what you did to it.

It also won't get stolen no matter what you do (including leaving in a busy parking lot for several hours with the windows rolled down, doors unlocked and keys in the ignition... oops).

This car handles great in bad weather and is very reliable. If you take good care of this car, it will take good care of you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2005