1985 Toyota Tercel FWD Wagon 1.5 3AC from North America
Best and most reliable cars I have ever owned!
(When car was 16 years old)
Steering rack replacement (oil leakage).
Valve stem seals changed due to age and wear (oil use and smoking).
Changed oil seals on axles' output ports on the tranny (leakage).
General maintenance: brake shoes and pads, plugs, fuel filters, oil filters, tires, etc.
Bought a 1985 FWD wagon with auto trans -- changed the transaxle to an '84 5-speed manual for better power and better fuel economy.
The listed above repairs were performed when the car was 16 years old or more. Otherwise the vehicle has been reliable to a 'T', and never left me at the side of the road. It is not a great long trip car; a light car on struts with smaller wheels and tires is not a recipe for riding smoothly. No electrical problems at all, including all switches in the interior, headlights, park lights, etc. No high amperage wires in the cab to arc, all high amp switching is done in the engine compartment by relays in an easy access bay (Ford could have learned from this system).
Up to 44 MPG (Imperial) and able to cruise on freeways at 120 kph in 5th gear. Amazing torque for 1.5L engine at 120+ kph (hill climbing ability, etc).
I also have a 1987 Tercel 4WD that I license in the winter. I replaced the engine with one from a 1984 4WD, and it purrs like a kitten, and burns no oil. It had 300,000K on it when I swapped it into the '87 4WD, and it still had 160-165 PSI compression. These 4WDs are NOT "All Wheel Drive" vehicles, and 4WD mode can only be used on snowy, wet or gravelly surfaces, and NEVER on bare, dry pavement or asphalt.
Some of the body work is poorer on the 1987-88 Models. Different window channel materials make the windows hard to crank up and down; dome light is prone to failure because of non-copper circuits. Otherwise the motors, transaxle, etc are of the same great quality as the earlier models. The later bodies also seem to be more prone to rusting than the 83-86 models.
I have seen a good 1/2 dozen of these wagons with more than 500,000 km on the odometer, and they were all still going strong!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th May, 2015