1984 Toyota Tercel Deluxe 1.5 from North America


The perfect car for the practical person with impractical hobbies


I've needed to replace both drive half-shaft (CV joints). They began clicking.

The carburetor needed a rebuilding to make it run smoothly. Could've gone without it though.

Rear brakes needed replacing (drums/shoes/etc.). This was my fault.

General Comments:

Gutless engine, but you can easily keep up with traffic if you work the 5 speed.

The car's handling isn't great, as is expected of a soft-sprung wagon, but the balance that the extra weight in the back affords is excellent when you're "at the limit" or in an emergency.

The car doesn't over-steer of course, but it doesn't under-steer nearly as bad as one would expect. It is very neutral.

Very sure-footed in the snow/rain.

Front seats are very comfortable.

The noisy cabin/motor at high speeds takes away from the comfort during long trips.

The wagon looks so small from the outside, but you'd be amazed at what it can swallow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2004

25th May 2015, 14:14

I disagree strongly with the handling comments. I have an '85 deluxe wagon and one day met a 5 ton truck coming up a hill (double solid line). About the time I had just about reached the front of the truck, a car that had been right behind the truck (invisible to me before) pulled out to pass (about 1/2 his vehicle in my lane). I had no time to think, but just yanked the wheel to the right, then immediately back to the left to keep from hitting the bank (mountain country) on the right side of the road. Stuff in the back of the car was flying all over, but I never lost control, and the vehicle responded flawlessly. When I arrived home I sat and realized how close to a possible death I had been, and how wonderful my faithful Tercel had handled. I would suggest checking your struts. Push each corner firmly down and count the 'bounces' until it stops moving. It should come back up, then settle down slightly, and all four corners should be this way. If one or more corners are "soft" then you need strut (or strut insert) replacement. Good Luck!

1984 Toyota Tercel Deluxe 4WD Wagon from North America


The car that would never die


Master Cylinder needed to be replaced at 190,000.

Engine was replaced around 100,000.

Rack and Pinion replaced at 220,000.

General Comments:

It's hard for me to believe that I actually loved this car at one time. It belonged to my best friend in college - back in the 80's when it was still new. I even got my first driver's license in it. My friend finally gave it to me three years ago.

Now we have a love-hate kind of thing going. I hate how much noise it makes, and it always feels like something is about to go horribly wrong with this car. The reality, though, is that I've only spent $1,000 in repairs in three years and 45,000 miles. Except for a occasional problems with the battery, this car has started up for me every day for over three years. Not bad for a car that has well over 200,000 miles on it and is about to celebrate it's 20th birthday. My friend replaced the engine about 10 years ago, but I think it was his own crappy maintenance that led to this.

One pain about this car is that the battery dies very quickly if I leave the lights on. Once I left them on for ten minutes and I needed a jump. Even just leaving on the dome lights for an hour will kill it. Then I have to drive the car around for a good 30-45 minutes or else it won't start the next time I drive it. It's a new battery, not-too-old alternator, everything has been inspected and no one can identify the problem. And in fact, the car had this same problem back in 1987.

I like the way it has the feeling of a compact car, but you can still fit tons of crap in it. It's actually a pretty comfortable car, even after all this time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2003