1984 Toyota Tercel 3 c from North America


This car is FANTASTIC, I will be loyal forever!!!


Water pump at 600,000 miles.

Fan belt at 670,000 miles.

Front passenger door will not open 735,000 miles.

(front passenger window still opens for access.)

Head-gasket at 753,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car will not die! I just opened the motor up to change the head-gasket and literally used a spoon to scoop out the mayonaise like oil and coolant mixture and took the head to be redone.

The shop said it was fine and so it is going back in after 2000 miles with no head-gasket!

I love this car and it seems to love going on forever!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2007

11th Nov 2007, 00:41

The mileage is amazing. However, I am not surprised. The Toyota Tercel is the most reliable car EVER built. Period. No frills, no expensive gadgets to break, just a small completely flawless Toyota engine that practically never quits. I sold one years ago, and as far as vehicles go, that was the worst mistake I've made yet. 2 or 300,000 miles on a Tercel is nothing. Every time I see an older one that looks decent, I try to buy it off of whoever is driving it. Not once yet have I met a person who'd even consider selling it to me. Most Tercel owners seem to be almost offended when I ask to buy them. I don't blame them. I'm just looking for some fool who doesn't know what he has; which is the PERFECT car.

1984 Toyota Tercel 2WD SR5 5 Spd Hatchbacl 3AC from North America


The finest car ever made!!! period!!!


Exhaust leak developed at 220000 miles and had it repaired. replaced radiator at 200000, my fault for not running antifreeze regularly. Nothing more than tune ups and oil changes.

General Comments:

The original owner installed a special drain plug to facilitate quick and easy oil change. So the oil was changed at 2000 to 2500 miles for over twenty years and it paid off. This is the most reliable car I have EVER owned, I have owned many so called good cars, every VW bug from 1949 to 1975, early and later models dodge darts. Those were both good cars. But the Toyota Tercel is so far beyond them in design and reliability there is no comparison. Yes I know the VW was based on 1930 technology's and the dodge dart was based on 1940 technology's. The tercel does not even leak when I go into the car wash, the hatchback is almost like owning a small pickup truck, I love the seats they are very comfortable, although the car does ride like a small economy car. Electrical system, Emissions system is incredible, It has always passed the smog test. Great turning radius, incredible gas mileage. I am looking for a replacement. But I doubt if I will be able to find one that anyone would sell for any price. Toyota OH what a feeling THIS is the best car Toyota ever built. better by far than the land curser. Any of them. PERIOD.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th November, 2005

6th Nov 2005, 13:40

I could not agree more!

My family bought a 1980 Tercel new when it first came out. They also bought a 1980 Buick Skylark the same year. The Skylark literally had so much replaced by the time they sold it it was like a new car - absolute junk.

The Tercel had ONE fault (slipped out of fifth gear) in the seven years we owned it. This car went through horrific western New York winters and was driven everywhere - and came back and asked for more!

Plus, it was fun to drive!

1984 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon 1.5L from North America


A comfortable, reliable friend - best car I'll ever own


Electronic ignition module failed at ~50,000 miles.

Three rear wheel bearings have failed (about every 60,000 miles).

Muffler rusts out every three years.

Electric radiator fan failed at ~25,000 miles.

Propeller shaft seal failed at ~200,000 miles.

Alternator failed at ~100,000, but still on the original clutch, water pump, and starter motor.

General Comments:

This car has been a faithful companion for 21 years. It has left me stranded only once when the electronic ignition module failed, but otherwise has hauled me and my bikes, canoes, camping gear, building materials, and groceries all over the place.

It was never fancy, quiet or fast, but it has been above all, reliable, comfortable, durable and economical. Except for some dirt, the interior still looks like new after 21 years in the sun.

The only negatives I can think of are that it is underpowered and a bit noisy.

My only regret is that it is reaching the end of its usable life and I can't buy another one to replace it. If Toyota still made this vehicle, I'd buy another in an instant. Can you imagine what this car would be like with modern aerodynamics, an up-to-date engine, a stainless steel exhaust, and modern rust-proofing? I've looked for a comparable vehicle, but haven't come up with anything that measures up. Any suggestions?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2005

20th Oct 2005, 09:02

It is a shame that Toyota has a far more limited selection than it used to. In any case, I'd recommend the Matrix as a replacement for your old friend.

21st Oct 2005, 01:33

I recommend you go to tercel4wd.com and go to the forums. There are over 250 members that can help you with these little wonders.

There are factory manuals to download and people to swap parts with etc., to keep yours on the road longer.

Good luck and enjoy.


31st Jul 2007, 19:06

Yeah, I love this car. Unfortunately, the closest modern replacements are AWD all the time. Selectable 4WD is a much better option and that isn't available any more... shame on Toyota for opting out on that feature. This was the best car ever made in my opinion... extremely reliable!

25th Oct 2010, 20:47

I have one with 88,055 miles. Recently having muffler problems.