1985 Toyota Tercel 1.5 from North America


All in all, a great commuter car if you're not concerned with looks


Replaced clutch pressure plate.

Driver seat coming apart.

2 rust holes over headlights look like bullet holes.

Windshield is cracked.

Air conditioning does not work yet.

General Comments:

Car is great on gas! I use mostly 87 and every once in a while a tank of 93 and always get 39-42 MPG! I use it to commute to & from work, 68 miles a day. It has the 5 speed inline 4 cylinder, and it's the ugly gold color with those cheap silver hubcaps.

Its very cheap to maintain... tune ups and parts like brake rotors, drums, wires, etc are really cheap. Work is pretty easy too... I don't have a manual, but components are easily replaced.

Smooth ride at 70mph too. Some people look and some laugh, but I laugh back at the gas pump next to them.

The seats are very comfortable, despite having the vinyl on the driver seat falling apart. A seat cover makes it look new... the dash and interior is otherwise like new!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2005

27th Aug 2005, 04:32

I've seen these mid-80's Tercels log over 400,000 miles on them. Yours has 118,000.. so with proper care your car has years of life still left in it. Happy motoring!

21st Aug 2015, 22:43

Just bought a 1985 FWD Tercel with 150,000km or 90,000 miles, $300 and almost rust free, original owner too!


1985 Toyota Tercel 1.5 from North America


A reliable car for someone who can't afford a newer toyota.


Currently, the carburetor is cracked and leaking. (175,000)

I've had to replace the rock and pinion steering. (155,000)

I've replaced the alternator several times. (170,000)

The radiator has been replaced.


The passenger door is broken (will not open). (172,000)

The muffler has been replaced. (172,000)

The engine is leaking oil (have fixed it before). (165,000)

The ball bush bearings have needed replacement (165,000)

General Comments:

Even now, with a cracked carburetor, it still runs!!!

The body has suffered rusting by the window of the hatchback as well as around the tires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2004

1985 Toyota Tercel SR5 Wagon 4X4 1.5L 4X4 5 speed from North America


A very reliable and affordable ride


There is not much to report on this section. The CV joints are starting to go out for the first time, but that's it.

General Comments:

I love this car! It is the most reliable car I have ever owned. When I bought this car, it was very well taken care of by its previous owner. Everything works on it, including the sunroof and the air conditioning. It handles turns very well and I have had it up to 100 miles per hour with no problems. I love the gas mileage it gets and the room it has. I believe this car will survive past 300,000 miles and more. I recommend this car for anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th May, 2003

1985 Toyota Tercel DX 4WD Station wagon 3A-C 1.5L 4 cylinder from North America


Stodgy and reliable


Rear axle bearing needed replacing.

Mechanical fuel pump leaked, requiring replacement.

Had to replace both half-axles.

Rust is creeping around the edges of the wheel wells.

General Comments:

There's no such thing as an old Tercel. Sure it may have an engine that at it's most optimistic, possesses 62 to 65 HP. However, it possesses reasonable acceleration, even for the 3-speed automatic I own.

The 4WD system works like a champ on these things. Push a button on the shifter and it'll go into 4WD. Push the button again, and it'll come out of 4WD. And the vehicle is perfectly balanced (50/50) so you can actually feel the vehicle gain traction when it goes into 4WD. Not like some other vehicles, where it's debatable whether the 4WD system is actually giving you any additional traction. And even though it' an automatic, I'd take it to places some big beefy SUVs would fear to tread.

Finally, they're a breeze to maintain, and they'll run on a minimum of maintenance. I'm approaching 240K, but I think the car has at least another 30-50K left in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2002

16th Jan 2006, 11:49

I remember writing this review over three years ago! Since then, I put 20k more miles on the beast. In that time, I replaced a fender and refinished the other one, in the epic battle versus Mr. Rust. I coaxed it through a few more smog tests, rebuilt the starter, replaced another half-axle, and was involved in a 6-car chain-reaction sort of accident which was absorbed with aplomb by the car's rusty 21 year old bumpers.

At 256,058 miles, with iffy brakes, encroaching rust, arthritic suspension, and a motor with a head and carburetor rebuild in its immediate future, it was finally time to send the beast off to a quiet, well-earned retirement.

Overall, a fine car. They don't make 'em like the used to.