I replaced my 1985 Celica that was in more-less excellent condition with a 1984 Tercel in excellent condition only when compared to other Tercels. I paid the same amount up front for each vehicle. How do the two compare directly? You won’t BELIEVE your jaw-dropping, breathless-leaving, mechanics-HATE-him, #9!


Let’s skip the easy stuff. The Celica is faster, handles better, looks better, and is honestly built better.

1. Fuel economy
Slam dunk for the lunchbox right? Wrong. The Celica bizzarely got 29-31 mpgs without fail. The box got about 24 mpgs on the last tank. Why? It’s got a Weber carb that’s running rich, and, I don’t know why, but a Holly fuel regulator (BUT WHY) that needs to be adjusted. The Celica was bone stock under the hood.

2. Visibility
Both cars are total greenhouses. Acres of glass for days. No blind spots. A tie.

3. Doggo-ness
Certainly a win for the Tercel. She is very enthused to hop in and out with no fuss. Just like my wife’s not-a-Corolla, the hatch has become doggo land and the backseat is the cargo area.


4. Driver’s comfort
One of the most important notches for the Tercel. The seats are more comfortable, the headroom is amazing, and the ergonomics are sufficient. On the Celica, it was so slow that for me it was painful after any serious length of time (hour or more), my head was 1/2" away from the headliner, the sunroof liked to take my hair with it, and there was just no position that worked at all.

5. Shit-eating grin
The Celica. That sucker moved when you told it to no problem. Also RWD.


6. Kid-in-a-candy-store smile
The Tercel. I just love it. It’s so ridiculous.

7. Novelty experiences
You have not lived until you’ve shifted into the granny gear in 4WD on a 63-horsepower toaster and driven through slush, ice, and snow.




10. The only thing that matters
The Tercel makes me happy. And will admittedly keep me very busy.

[looks at Christmas bonus check]

Very busy indeed.

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