1987 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon SR5 3AC from North America


Cheap, versatile, quirky and ugly as hell


First it needed an engine...

Then it needed shocks...

Then an axle...

And then an exhaust (cat back).

General Comments:

Although this car may appear to have required a lot of repair, it is important to note that it was free. The woman who owned it before me didn't really understand the concept of an oil-change, hence the need for a new motor. After the new rebuilt motor from Jasper was installed, this car has been great.

I've got snow tires on it and when things get rough, the chains go on. This car is unstoppable in the winter. It has no power and it's ugly as hell, but it is the most versatile and economical car I've ever owned. With a couch on the roof, a Lazy-Boy in the closed trunk and three college kids inside, this piece of crap got me home one night through 2 feet of snow in the mountains of Vermont. I've slept in the trunk. I've pulled people out of ditches. I've driven three hours at 80 mph with the thing stuffed to the gills and never dipped below 20 mpg.

After these New England winters, the body is starting to look like swiss cheese, but that doesn't stop these cars. At first I thought I'd get rid of it after college, but now I plan to run it into the ground. I never thought I could warm up to a Toyota station wagon. Trust me, you can.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2001

1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 Wagon 4 cylinder from North America


Drop what you're doing and buy one now!


New CV joints every 3 years or so.

Patched windshield at 131,000.

Partial gear box failure at 162,000 which was prohibitively expensive to repair.

General Comments:

This was my first car, and we did truly obscene things to it, like not changing the oil for 8 months, and driving it with no oil at all for nearly 400 miles total. Any other car would have become scrap, but the Toyota didn't seem to mind the punishment at all!

Like most Toyota wagons in my experience, it handled very well for a wagon due to the responsive steering, but was underpowered for steep hills and high altitude work.

The 4 wheel drive was a dream come true. Between backwoods Montana and Flagstaff Arizona I put it through snow, ice, slush, hail, and light offroading. At times, my Tercel became the cold weather taxi for drivers afraid to take their fully decked offroading Jeeps on the icy roads.

I can't imagine a more reliable car. Perfect for a high school kid or college student.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2001

1987 Toyota Tercel Deluxe Wagon 4x4 1.5 I4 gas 2bbl carb from North America


Unforgettable to own one


One transmission.

4 windshield's.

Body/Floor rusted out almost completely, had to repair numerous times.

Seat wear.

Handbrake snaps every winter.

Speedometer cable seized.

Horn died 3 times.

8 CV joints.

6 ball joints.

4 Front wheel bearings.

Rear door handles no longer function. Siezed.

Rear tail door-lock non functioning.

General Comments:

This/These cars were the most amazing little things that Toyota have ever produced. I've used mine from rally practice in the winter, to mud bogger in the summer, to going over 185km/h to heck and back.

Great in snow, dirt, mud, just watch out for her low ground clearance.

Easy on gas, ample power for a small old simple engine.

Plenty of cargo capacity.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2001

15th Dec 2001, 10:03

It looks like all the repairs came from the way it was driven.

10th Feb 2002, 08:30

Although he may have spent money repairing it, he didn't spend much. Toyota parts are cheap and generally last forever. These are amazing cars, not well built, but truly amazing.