1985 Toyota Van LE 2.0 from North America


This van gives VW Type II's a run in the competition for best minivan ever


Differential failed catastrophically at 280000km, speed 105km/h; controlled maneuvering possible in final deceleration.

Front suspension slowly collapsed; last 2 months, wheels occasionally touched wells.

Starter died 250000km, replaced, $250.

Alternator died 2600000km, replaced, $300.

Serious rust developing on sides, esp. near wheel wells, over slider track.

Power steering leaked throughout ownership.

Ran slightly hot, could not run A/C if outside temp over 28C.


General Comments:

Absolutely brilliant vehicle-- is anyone can point to a better combination of fuel and space efficiency, I'm anxious to hear about it.

The full-option model is plush beyond compare-- moon-roof over driving position, large sun-roof over passenger area, built-in refrigerator (6-pack size) with ice-cube trays, passenger seats fold into a bed-like platform (not as comfy as the real thing, but it serves).

At 20 years old and some pretty hard service at the hands of the previous owner, the interior was essentially mint.

I've never enjoyed changing a battery in the depths of winter more than in this van; you get to sit on the middle bench, out of the wind.

It was almost impossible to get this van to freeze in the winter-- no block heater, -38c, and it started with only the slightest hesitation.

If the previous owner had made the slightest attempt at maintenance, this van would likely still be running; I got behind fixing thing he'd broken, and failed to maintain the things that were wearing in the interim.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 2004

10th Nov 2004, 19:07

I'm a complete git, and misread the Operating Costs register-- it should read 8, not 3. The low number on Dealer Service reflect rather high cost and low availability of parts; somewhat understandable given the age, but Toyota is a bit hard in that department whatever you're driving.

1985 Toyota Van LE from North America


Fun, but not very reliable


Replaced transmission. Not cheap, almost $1100.00.

Rebuilt alternator: did it myself for less than $30.

Blew a thermostat: major pain in the ass to fix, as bolts had rusted.

Blew a head gasket.

Head cracked, needed to be rebuilt. Re and Re'd myself for about $600.

Switches (power locks, etc) seemed frail. Most stopped working.

Brain box died ($900).

Fuseboxes: replaced this five times over the 5 years I had the van.

Tie rod ends.

General Comments:

I did like the van for most of the time I owned it. However, it did give me a fair amount of grief over the years.

The engine is a real pain to work on. When I fixed the thermostat, the bolts snapped off: I had to remove the seats, shifter, and console to get off the engine bay, then go throug major contortions to drill and tap a new stud in its place. All that to fix a broken thermostat?

Replacing the fuse box was easy after the first time, but got a bit tedious after the 4th time. Used ones hard to get, as fuse box was a design flaw, and new ones way too pricey, if you can get one.

Could never find a manual for it.

When I rebuilt the head and replaced it, a rubber line in the fuel injection broke, and the van subsequently caught on fire and burned to the ground. I was happy to see it go, even though it wasn't insured.

Good mileage, though, and quick and nimble around town. Was good when it ran.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2003

26th Apr 2011, 15:35

Sorry to hear your troubles, my 1984 has always worked like a charm... until now (2011) I need to replace a $10 seal in the automatic transmission, which will cost close to $800 to do.

Anyways, the manual for the van is only available through the dealer ($80).

1985 Toyota Van 2wd Passenger 4 cylinder from North America




Replaced the fuel filter.

General Comments:

Absolutely love this car! Totally reliable. Have driven it across the country a few times with no problems. It's a little squirlly in windy weather, because it's so light. I would recommend this car to anyone who is lucky enough to even find one to purchase!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2003

22nd Sep 2011, 10:59

It is a good car, and it's a fuel saver.