1988 Toyota Van Reviews

1988 Toyota Van from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Automatic
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.0 / 10
Distance when acquired11 miles
Most recent distance156000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

Okay, but would not buy another

Faults:

Ignition switch changed 6 times.

Brakes replace 7 times.

Air condition went out at 125,000.

Heater went out at 130,000.

Speakers on radio system blown at 50,000.

Seats showed wear at 25,000.

General Comments:

The gas mileage on this van was outstanding! Would get about 30 mpg.

Turned on the dime! Could get in and out of tight areas easily.

All seats were very uncomfortable on long trips. Felt like you have been beat on after a long day.

With only two windows that opened, rear passenger side felt very closed in.

Nice dual air conditioning systems.

Because the driver and front passenger literally sit on the engine compartment, you feel every bump in the road.

Interior was not high standard. Felt very cheap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2006

20th Sep 2006, 16:45

How were these vans on the road? I mean, from looking at one, they seem like they'd tip over easy.

1988 Toyota Van LE Hamsters in a cage from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Hamsters in a cage Automatic
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 acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance186500 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

This van ROCKS!!

Faults:

Front brakes have been replaced several times, calipers twice.

The van seems to be hard on front brakes.

Replaced the torque converter at around 100,000 miles.

Replaced rear shocks at 175,000 miles.

Replaced A/C compressor at 150,000 miles.

General Comments:

This van is a fine representative of Toyota reliability. It stranded me one time; when the torque converter went bad.

Other than two Tercels that I bought new, I've bought 3 other Toyotas that had over 90,000 miles on them. I'd never consider buying a domestic car with that kind of mileage.

This van has more room in it than any of the other mini vans. I've hauled 4 X 8 plywood, lumber, and even a built-in shower unit in this thing. It is a workhorse!

I use it for camping, hauling mountain bikes and rock-climbing equipment (and climbers), cub scouts, you name it. I would set out across the country in it right now with no worries whatsoever about it making the trip.

It only gets fair gas mileage, about 17 - 20 mpg, but that is the worst thing I can say about it.

My wife has always hated the huge step it takes to get into the front seat, but she's short. I like the driving position, but if you're not the driver, and have to sit in the second seat, it's like sitting in a living room. You just lay back the seat and prop your feet up on the hump that goes across behind the front seats. It's great!

I agree with the other reviewers about crosswinds. It's quite exhilarating, to say the least, when you come into an open space such as a tall bridge and are buffeted by the wind. Gets your attention in a hurry!

To make a short story long, this is a great vehicle. I hope I never have to bury it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2003

1988 Toyota Van unsure from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission unsure Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired151633 miles
Most recent distance162053 miles

Summary:

The best older mini van money can buy!

Faults:

When I bought it it overheated and wouldn't start with out a boost from another vehicle. I was told that a thermostat would cure the overheating problem. However, in the process of trying to find the thermostat I discovered that the alternator was seized and the alternator belt was missing. No belt meant the water pump and fan was not running. So for $130 for the alternator and $12 for the belt I got it running. Replacing the alternator was very tricky since the engine is so compacted in under the front seats.

Just recently I've had the front brake pads replaced. The calipers (specifically on the right side) were stuck, but we were able to get them working again. Had an alignment done this week and found out it needs both front wheel bearings repacked. I'll just replace them in a couple of week.

A month or two ago I had a power steering line replaced.

Currently it is leaking brake fluid onto the floor under the dash. Which is where the brake fluid tank is. It gets on your shoes if you aren't careful. It has been leaking since I bought it in May. We believe it's the clutch master cylinder. Just haven't had the money yet to have it fixed.

Other than that, it runs great. It's a Toyota, it should last for ever if I take care of it.

General Comments:

The van is fun to drive. Going over certain bumps or dips in the road can be really exhilarating at certain speeds. If you are in doubt of how the van will go over a certain bump, take it slow for the first time. I've hit my head on the ceiling more than once going to fast over a bump.

Corners great! I can make tight u-turns in the road where even some small cars can't do.

I wish the inside was a little bigger. I have long legs and they get cramped up when I drive sometimes. It's also really difficult to go from the front of the van to the back with out getting out and going through the back door. It's just as hard getting from back to front.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2002

1st Jun 2008, 10:58

Hey, it is the master cylinder. My husband and I had the same problem. Our van has three hundred and ninety thousand miles, and is still going strong. We think the doors and wheels will rot off before the motor goes!! We love it.

1st Oct 2008, 18:23

Have a 88 Toyota van, brake fluid leaking onto my shoes, clutch quit working last week and just wondered if anybody knows were the fluid reservoir for the clutch is? Or is it the same reservoir that the brake uses?

12th Oct 2008, 09:00

You are correct, the brake and clutch fluid is the same reservoir.

29th Mar 2010, 12:03

Where do you add water on the 1988 Toyota van?

2nd May 2011, 17:58

We have an 88-89 van. Runs great. BUT we are boiled like lobsters from engine heat plus the window heat combined. Makes it unbearable to sit there. We had a new gasket installed under the driver's seat to no avail. Then we had race car insulation under both seats and it still heats up.

Other than that, with only 116,000 miles on it, it runs really well.

1988 Toyota Van DX from North America

Year of manufacture1988
Engine and transmission  
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10

Faults:

The tailgate lock doesn't work properly. Other than that, it has been perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 1998

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 4 reviews