1985 Toyota Tercel Hatchback 4 cylinder from North America


I love my little Toyota Tercel! It's cheap, comfortable and reliable. Great Bargain for 1,500 bucks!


Nothing yet...Hooray!!!

General Comments:

I bought my '85 Toyota Tercel Hatchback from my father who sells used cars. I had asked him for a reliable car and he said he had one. He wasn't lying! It's not a looker but it is comfortable, cheap on gas and it starts every time, even in the blasting cold of PA.

It goes through snow great, drives smoothly and handles well.

It's not much on power or speed, but I have 3 kids now and my Trans Am days are over, (for now) Hee-Hee.

It only has 87,000 original miles on it, and is in Pristine condition, so I expect on having it for at least another 5 years...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2002

25th Jan 2011, 11:36

I just had a friend give me his deceased grandmother's 1985 Toyota Tercel.

It has been sitting under a carport since 1992 and has 25,006 original miles. He suggested selling it for scrap metal, but I could see it's hidden potential. Without the keys available, it was difficult to maneuver out of the carport and onto a trailer. It is a spotless time capsule, back to 1985 as the interior and exterior are in perfect condition.

The car was apparently purchased used in 1992 with 25,003 miles, driven by the elderly lady to her home, and parked. Yes, she only drove the car three miles from the dealer and the car still has the faded dealer tag affixed to the rear.

I can't wait to get the dry rotted tires replaced, fluids changed, and take it for a spin.

1985 Toyota Tercel SR5 3A-C from North America


A great gas mileage, off road machine


The seats are wearing out.

A rubber seal that lead to the driver's side kick panel sprung a leak in 1999. Rain would seep down through gap near the windshield wipers and run down the electrical cables, through the seal, and into the car. The car could get several inches of water during a rainy day. I fixed it by using some silicone sealant on the seal, and it hasn't leaked since.

The hatch door is rusting out, but that started around 1997 and is from being driven on beaches a lot.

General Comments:

This car is a great little off road machine. Everything on it is stock, and its been able to handle beach sand, mud, snow, rocks, and 1.75 ft of water with almost no problems (going through the water came close to drowning the engine).

It gets great gas mileage, 24-27mpg on the highways and cities, and about 20mpg in the dirt and mud.

The engine is underpowered, 62 horse power, and with having 200000+ miles on the engine, its acceleration isn't the best.

I'm 6'3" and I still have a few inches of space before my head hits the ceiling, its got plenty of leg room in the front and rear (if you don't sit behind me). The back seat though, feels like you are sitting on a trampoline, it bounces you around if you hit some big bumps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2001

1st Sep 2001, 19:14

Hey! That's my car! I would have never thought to see my car being praised as much as that. Don't get me wrong, it truly is a great little car. My parents bought it when it first came out in late 1985 (about 11 months after I was born) and since then it has worked beautifully.

There have been some little problems with it, fan chewed up the radiator, it's been through 2 water pumps, I had a similar problem with water leaking into the interior but it was because my dad unknowingly knocked out a rubber seal into the inner-fender when he was installing fog lights or fixing, I don't remember. But little things like that will happen when you have over 270,000 miles on it.

It still has the stock 1500cc 4 cylinder and manual 5-speed transmission. I don't get as good gas mileage as you do though, I'm guessing about 17 to 20 mpg town and 25 highway driving. Being a teenager's first car though has taken its toll on the body, one wreck that almost totaled it (did absolutely nothing to the Chevy Blazer) and a fair sized dent in the hatch. Windshield has a crack in it, nothing big.

The only things that are wrong with it: body made of tinfoil (why it gets great gas mileage), stock speaker holes are too small, and some of the speaker wiring is bad. That's pretty much it.

Good car for hauling around friends, 4 wheel drive helps a lot for steep gravel driveways and getting through deep mud.

Me, being a teenager, felt it necessary to install a sound system to fit my personality (wiring is really easy if you know what to do), I have a 12" subwoofer in the hatch, a pair of 6x9 speakers in boxes, two pairs of JL audio speakers (in stock holes), and a nice Kenwood deck.