1986 Toyota Tercel Reviews - Page 4 of 7

1986 Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon 4 cylinder gas from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder gas Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired165000 kilometres
Most recent distance185000 kilometres
Previous carOldsmobile Delta 88

Summary:

If you can find a decent one buy it...!!!

Faults:

The front seats have worn badly, the vinyl is cracked and torn. Some cheap seat covers solved that problem.

I replaced the timing belt at 165,000 km and the gas tank at 172,000km.

The front fenders rusted out (too much salt in our eastern Canadian climate).

General Comments:

My car is an automatic and underpowered is an understatement, however, this little car is the most dependable automobile I have ever driven. Cold and/or wet temperatures don't seem to bother it at all, it will start first time every time.

The 4WD option works quite well, snow and ice are no problem and the car works even better in the mud than it does in the snow.

The car was poorly maintained (it had the original timing belt when I purchased it) but wasn't abused. Since I've owned it all I've done (other than a gas tank) is regular maintenance.

Fuel mileage is good (25mpg city / 27mpg highway) however the engine works too hard at 100kph to get great highway mileage.

I've always been a fan of large North American cars, but this little thing has won my heart.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2004

1986 Toyota Tercel from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 kilometres
Most recent distance190000 kilometres
Previous carPeugeot 504

Summary:

Good Student Car

Faults:

Transmission broke down in the middle of Lions Gate bridge! Got a second-hand one for $700.

The Carburetor has failed and it could not pass the air care! spent $250 for a second hand carburetor.

Exhaust pipe was broken due to rust! bought a new for $250 (CaD)

The wiring has got problem... I am not going to fix that.

General Comments:

It is very a very old car yet extremly strong and roomy when you want to move lots of stuff around.

If you want to buy one, shop around and find some thing clean.

Yes you have to fix it every once in a while, but it is not very costly to do so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2003

1986 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon 1.5L 3A-C from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5L 3A-C Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired139500 miles
Most recent distance140050 miles
Previous carBuick Park Avenue

Summary:

The little SUV that could!

Faults:

All of the below were done at 140,000 miles:

Head gasket.

Exhaust valves and guides.

Timing belt.

Water pump and thermostat.

Radiator.

Accessory belts and hoses.

Alternator.

Battery.

Starter motor.

Spark plugs, cap, rotor and wires.

Tires (Cooper Trendsetter SE 185/75R13)

General Comments:

I traded my old roommate from college a can of Dr. Pepper for this car, as it had been sitting in my driveway for a number of weeks waiting for a new battery!

My old roommate and I plan on rally racing the car, hence the $1,000 worth of parts we threw at it. The car is in remarkably good shape, considering it's hardly seen regular maintenance in it's 17 years here on earth.

It's more comfortable than it looks, with plenty of head room and decent seats. The 4WD system is amazing for a small econobox, it's hard to lose control even on dirt when in 4WD mode. Of course, with 62 HP, it's hard to even break the wheels loose in the rain!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2003

1986 Toyota Tercel SR5 4x4 Wagon 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance147000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Best utility econo car ever

Faults:

CV axle broke, breaking trans-axle in the process.

Burns a small amount of oil.

General Comments:

Although this car is a bit underpowered, I've really learned to love this car. It handles highways speeds well.

I love the multi-adjustable driver's seat, and haven't heard any complaints from my passengers.

Some body rust around the wheel wells.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2003

7th Nov 2005, 02:38

Can anyone tell me the difference between a SR5 and a Deluxe model 4WD wagon?

1st Dec 2005, 03:00

The DLX is like the SR5, except in 83-88.

Down-market trim, inside and out.

No cargo cover and rear speakers.

No optional sunroof, alloy wheels, air con or power steering.

No rev counter, clock or silly angle gauge thing.

No interior release for hatch and fuel.

Tercel4wd.com

1986 Toyota Tercel Wagon 1.5 gasoline from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 gasoline Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired211000 miles
Most recent distance241000 miles
Previous carDodge Caravan

Summary:

Quite possibly the greatest utilitarian car of all time

Faults:

Replaced rear struts (still had originals when I got the car).

Replaced starter.

Worn driver's seat replaced with one from junkyard.

Front window regulators/ window channels failed (common) making the windows difficult to roll down. Replaced with junkyard parts at a cost of $15.

General Comments:

As roomy as a small SUV inside.

Gas mileage is very good even by today's standards, at 35 mpg highway.

Seats are very supportive and comfortable for traveling.

Other than the worn driver's seat, interior components are very durable.

Parts are cheap and easily obtained.

Tires can be bought for about $20 each.

I just can't say enough good things about the 1983-88 Tercel wagons. This is my fourth, and whenever I need a cheap, reliable car, this is what I look for. In the early 90's I was selling vintage guitars and amps on the road, travelling about 60k miles per year, and this was my vehicle of choice. with it's huge cargo capacity, and dead-solid reliability, my Tercel never failed to get me there with all my merchandise intact.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2003

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 24 reviews