1985 Toyota Tercel User Reviews

1985 Toyota Tercel Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 4 reviews

  • Performance:3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars 3 / 5
  • Appearance:2.3 out of 5 stars2.3 out of 5 stars2.3 out of 5 stars2.3 out of 5 stars2.3 out of 5 stars 2.3 / 5
  • Build Quality:5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars 5 / 5
  • Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"reliable car" 2 reviews
"value" 2 reviews
CONS
"power" 3 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying all 4 1985 Toyota Tercel reviews.

1_car_chick writes:
1985 Toyota Tercel Review
Appearance:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Performance:
Price:
Power:
Quality:
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Overall:
5

Pros

cargo space, sturdiness, reliability, ease of repair

Cons

gutless, poor acceleration

1_car_chick
115

I Love This Car — 1985 Toyota Tercel, 4 door, automatic, hatchback. I love my car. Sure, it's gutless on acceleration, has to be downshifted out of "drive" to go up hills when loaded, and the radio is lousy....BUT gas mileage is as good (or better) than new cars of its size, I can leave it unlocked with the windows open anywhere and no one will steal it or rob from inside it, insurance is cheap, parts are available at any junk yard for next to nothing AND it's easy to fix yourself (it's ALL mechanical, there's not one single shred of computer or electronic mumbo jumbo in it anywhere). If something is acting up you can be sure you will be able to not only figure out what it is but most likely fix it yourself. I don't care if the dog sheds in it, or the kid spills something, or it gets a ding in a parking lot (those black bumpers and side panel protector strips really do what they are supposed to!) A 5 ton truck backed into it once and the bumper didn't have a mark on it, a much larger car ran into the driver side door once too but it popped right back out, on its own, without a single dent to show for it! If it was a brand new car that I had paid a fortune for, you can bet either accident would have totaled it, or cost thousands in repairs. Oh yeah, and the hatchback can hold almost anything I need it to - camping gear, bicycle, kitchen table, even 8 foot long 2x4's and lengthwise half sheets of plywood or hard insulation - because the back seats can be folded completely flat (the bottom of the back seat tips forward so the backs of the back seat fold flat, in line with the hatch floor), the front seat(s) reclines, the cargo cover removes easily, and the inside of the car is 8 feet long from the front windshield to the wall of the back hatch. True, it's crummy in a strong crosswind, but I can get through snow (and it's only 2WD) just as well as anything else out there - I've never, ever been stuck but I've motored past plenty of 4WD SUV's that were (*grin*). It also starts in -30C (-22F) every single time, even when the block heater wasn't plugged in. I'll have to replace this old gem someday, but I can't find anything that's as easy to keep running, or that I like one iota as much, or that would serve my needs nearly as well. And ESPECIALLY not with the same sticker price!!! Oh, and it still drives easily and regularly, without missing a beat, at speeds up to 120kmph (75mph)! UPDATE JANUARY 2014: (at almost 300,000 kms, or 186,000 miles) I'm starting to have difficulty finding other Tercels of this age at the junkyard. I used to be able to walk in any day of the week and walk out with whatever I needed, but now I have to check online inventory for weeks before a Tercel of the correct vintage shows up. My old gem's days are definitely numbered in other ways as well - her almost 30 year old frame has some serious rust (likely from all the salt on the roads here, and being kept in a heated garage for the first half of her life by the original owners). I've been looking at newer cars but frankly, they make me want to run away and throw up. So expensive. And so much unnecessary "stuff", with endless electronics and gadgetry for absolutely everything. Which only means more warning lights, more malfunctions, more trips to the mechanic because you can't diagnose or repair a lot of modern car issues on your own anymore. Apparently you can't even put air in the tires of modern cars without having to reset some computer code??! So I'm even considering finding another Tercel of this vintage (four door hatchback or wagon - and they both come in 4WD too) that's in safer shape than mine, and then using mine for parts. All I want is cheap, self-fixable, reliable transportation that will consistently and faithfully move me, my people, and my stuff from point A to point B. I really don't need, or want, anything else.

Primary Use: Family transportation

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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William writes:
1985 Toyota Tercel Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

4 doors that can fit 5 full size adult, hatchback that is big enough to haul big items, Toyota reliability, and good fuel economy

Cons

High center of gravity, weak engine,and poor handling

115

A Realiable 4 Door Hatchback With Loads Of Space To Haul Things. — Very reliable car with 4 doors and hatchback that can haul even big items. Good value, great insurance rate, and good fuel economy. Toyota build quality makes it very reliable. Very unattractive appearance which you can leave your keys in the car with all the windows open and still don't have to worry about losing it. Poor performance with very weak engine. Once you hit the AC at "ECON" mode, you speed drops from 50mph to 30mph. Set the AC at full with 5 people in the car, your speed will drop to 25mph. Thin tires and tall body makes it one of the worse handling car I have ever driven. Cross wind causes the car to tilt and water on the road makes the car skid easy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Nicholas writes:
1985 Toyota Tercel Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

last forever

Cons

ugly

55

Good For Long Term — Ugly reliable long lasting. was in the family for over 20 years. Only reason got rid of was becouse it failed smog and california offered to give the fam money to put it in a junk yard, so we took the money and waived good bye.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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tercel4wdOC writes:
1985 Toyota Tercel 4 Dr SR5 AWD Wagon Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Pristine examples like mine continue to gain value.  A similar wagon sold for over $10K on Ebay a couple of years ago.  I love the design.  The simple 4WD system works more efficiently than any other 4WD I have owned.  Reliable and easy to maintain.  Repairs are fairly inexpensive.

Cons

The only drawback is power - just about 60 horsepower.

tercel4wdOC
65

The Best Toyota 4wd Ever Made. Period. — My Tercel 4WD is an SR5 version that has been kept garaged for its entire life. No rust and everything works. All is original - no aftermarket add-ons. Repairs are inexpensive and rare. Regular maintenance provides for a long engine life. My vehicle has 95K original miles. No accidents. The value of the vehicle continues to increase as time goes one, and as examples of these wagons fade away - especially the SR5 4WD model. Visibility is great. Seats are comfortable and the upholstery (plaid) is tasteful and rare. The 4WD system is simple and can be engaged on the fly. Although my wagon has not been off-road on several occasions, I have personally witnessed similar wagons go through rivers, climb boulders and get out of sand situations with ease.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying all 4 1985 Toyota Tercel reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

1980 Toyota Tercel Reviews

Mint By Edward

I've owned this 4 speed 2 door with A/C gas miser since November 1985 and I don't plan on unloading it any time soon. Great 2nd car that's reliable & economical. Toyota should bring it back with a 3 c... Read More

Great Car! By bambam89

my first car back in 1989 i loved it ....it was orange SR5 hatchback wish i still had it. was clean as can be then and had 180 k on it great car! went everywhere in it, whose selling one!? Read More

Read all 4 1980 Toyota Tercel reviews

1981 Toyota Tercel Reviews

Great Car. By cappii

Not the best looking car, but it ran, and it ran well. The AC was cold even after 15 years. Never had a moment's trouble out of it. Other than fluid changes, I never had to open the hood. Averaged... Read More

Toyota By Javelin_92

It was a handy car for me. I was new to adjusting to small island living. It fit anywhere. i often made my own parking spot. I haven't seen one of these on the island of Oahu for a few years. Read More

Read all 4 1981 Toyota Tercel reviews

1982 Toyota Tercel Reviews

Built Like A Tank And Great Gas Mileage. Cute Car In An Ugly Way. By agabrielj

I liked everything about it for a 16-18 year old person. I miss it and that's why twenty years later I'm reviewing it. This was my first car back in 1991. It had 150,000 miles on it already. My mo... Read More

It I Think It Is As Much A Sports Car As An Mg. By jubei

If you are looking for a fun little DD that will turn heads and keep an excited to drive my car somewhere feeling. This car meets and exceeds those needs. It has front and rear anti sway bars. My eg h... Read More

Read all 8 1982 Toyota Tercel reviews

1983 Toyota Tercel Reviews

I Don't Much About This Car. By nsbrad

My Mom past away last month in the will , this [83] tercel was to be sold or disposed of. My Mom bought this car used fifteen years ago with 98k on the odometer this car has over 174k and has never fa... Read More

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1984 Toyota Tercel Reviews

Wouldent Trade It For The World By mps62

400,000 miles and still going strong grate on gas easy to work on fun to drive,takes me wear i want to go with no truble plenty of power,the 5 speed is the best and it gets a lot of att. Read More

A Diamond In The Rough. By Sam

This is the only tercel worth owning. it's a 1984 Toyota Tercel Wagon with 4wd. It's low gear is on the normal gear shifter instad of on teh selector. Also you can go into 4wd at anytime and speed ... Read More

Read all 3 1984 Toyota Tercel reviews

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