Thread: Toyota Tercel 4wd or Altrac Wagon

  1. #1
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    Default Toyota Tercel 4wd or Altrac Wagon

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these vehicles? Reliability, mpg, etc. I am looking for a commuter vehicle with 4wd capability. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
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    Geez, that goes back a while. I bought the Tercel 4WD new, and it was a good little rig that never gave me a minute's trouble. It was, on the other hand, glacially slow, to the point of feeling a bit scary on an urban freeway (says the man with a Samurai).

    The fuel economy was OK for the day, but nothing to brag about now: 21 city/23 highway/22 combined.

    It's the only car I ever had with a factory-installed inclinometer. Or with big blocky blue and white plaid upholstery. Virtually a cult car now, I think.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
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    1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded
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  3. #3
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    Very hard to find these days. There was one down the street from me for a while. Rust had not been kind. You might have better luck with a Subaru, they seem to be more plentiful.
    My lack of articulation is apparent in my suspension as well as my diction.

    Haboob happens

    '12 Unlimited Sport w/ poverty pack
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 3jarrells View Post
    Very hard to find these days. There was one down the street from me for a while. Rust had not been kind. You might have better luck with a Subaru, they seem to be more plentiful.
    I dont know what happend to make someone only get 21 mpg but I still have one gets 30mpg at 75mph True its turtle slow up hill but on the flat it more than keeps up
    you can buy them dirt cheap lots going for less tham $1000 yes its old and not attractive but its the most reliable car Iv everowned The trans ( six speed) is weak its slow its funky but its also a four seat hatch back wagon that gets 30 MPG and costs less than five good tires for my VW syncro .

    There is a web list for them see: http://www.tercel4wd.com/index.php?s...7f83d649656de2

    Good luck

    No grate way to lift one but they can handle most trails that dont have big rocks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shralp17 View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these vehicles? Reliability, mpg, etc. I am looking for a commuter vehicle with 4wd capability. Thank you for your time.
    I used to have a 84 Tercel 4wd wagon. With a good set of tires, that thing was unstoppable in mud or snow; it took a surprising amount of effort to get it stuck. Underpowered at speed - a 1.4 liter transverse FWD/4WD with a single barrel carburetor and a 3 speed auto...

    It's not a speed demon. But it was reliable. I think I got 220,000 trouble free miles out that beast before the drivers side suspension finally gave way and the wheel came off. I was sorry to see it go.

    Funny story - I got popped by a county mounty on highway 51 near Rhinelander at about 3 am one day in 95 or 96. He said he pinged me doing 95 in a 55 in that car. Everyone knows that car couldn't go that fast if you threw it out the rear of a C130, but he wrote the ticket anyway. A month or so later, I dutifully reported for court and tried to talk the prosecutor into throwing the ticket out, to no avail. We got in front of the judge and as I laid out my case, the judge mentioned that he had one of a similar vintage and condition. He asked me if I was speeding, and I replied that I probably was, but it couldn't possibly have been that much.

    So, he wrote it down to 9 over, no points, 40 dollar fine. And the dirtiest of dirty looks from the prosecutor.

    Great little car. But honestly, I'd be impressed if you couldn't find something more modern and reliable for the same money.
    WO9N
    2012 Tacoma

    If you have time to kill, you should kill it
    - and enjoy the hell out of it -
    Because time is definitely killing you.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for replying, I think it is more of a luxury than practical, I am mainly looking for a commuter and probably should buy something built in the 90's or 00's. But I like the styling of the Tercel's, Altrac's, and old Subarus especially the plaid interior. I used to have a Subaru Loyale and should have kept it.

  7. #7
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    very briefly had a 90's corolla alltrac wagon. Drove it on a 13 hour road trip and around town for quite a bit....also did some dirt roads.

    -Excellent fuel economy....I got over 30mpg on the highway
    -Slowest vehicle I have ever driven....1.6l + awd + auto + wagon = dog slow. However I always thought it would be cool to slap on a supercharger from an mr2 and then it would great!
    -Tons of space
    -Better than subaru styling/unique
    -Comfy

    All in all I would consider one as a daily driver! Great cars if you're not in a super big hurry. The only all trac I would truly own though (and want badly) is a celica (awd+3sgte=mmmm)
    "When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the aesthetic harvest it is capable, under science, of contributing to culture." - Aldo Leopold

    01' Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3.5XS - 265/75R16 Cooper ATP's and Aisin Manual Hubs
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shralp17 View Post
    Thanks for replying, I think it is more of a luxury than practical, I am mainly looking for a commuter and probably should buy something built in the 90's or 00's. But I like the styling of the Tercel's, Altrac's, and old Subarus especially the plaid interior. I used to have a Subaru Loyale and should have kept it.
    Yeah, the 80s subarus were cool. I really liked the spare tire under the aircleaner. Nice use of space.

    Cars had way better styling back then, I think.

    My roomate bought subaru wagon used. I drove him out to see it and it was a decent deal so he bought it then and there. But he gets in it and realizes it's a stick. So, he comes running over to my car and asks to drive mine home and then I can teach him to drive a stick later that afternoon.

    I agree, and stand there silently as he takes my keys and goes to my car. He gets in, fiddles for a bit, gets out, and then comes over.

    "Your car is a stick, too!"

    I nearly fell over laughing. Good times.
    WO9N
    2012 Tacoma

    If you have time to kill, you should kill it
    - and enjoy the hell out of it -
    Because time is definitely killing you.

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