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.
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.