For October 15, 2020, our used car find is this remarkably well-preserved 1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sport coupe with just two owners and 112k miles from new. It’s listed for sale on craigslist by a private seller in the San Jose area for $4700.
Here’s what makes this one special.
In this installment of “What It’s Like to Own,” we sit down with Edmunds staffer Josh Sadlier to talk about the highs and lows of owning one of Toyota’s legendary off-roaders, the 100 Series Land Cruiser.
Toyota has been building the Land Cruiser since the 1950s, and it has changed quite a bit over the decades. There are many different generations of the SUV, from the original FJ40, which was first imported into the United States in the mid-1960s, to the latest version of the 200 Series, a model that’s still available at your local Toyota dealer.
With so many different versions to choose from, there’s quite a bit to consider before you purchase a secondhand Land Cruiser.
Many shoppers who’re thinking about buying a used car fret about vehicle reliability, and these qualms aren’t without merit. Relative to a new car, a used vehicle is more likely to need work under the hood earlier in the ownership experience. And the older the used car, the greater the likelihood of a significant repair bill.
So it’s no surprise that reliability is often the number one consideration for shoppers in the used car market.
While there are some excellent battery-powered vehicles like the new Chevrolet Bolt trickling into our garages, the good, old fashioned, oil pumping, octane swilling, internal combustion engine is still at the heart of the automotive experience. It has been ever since, some 130 years ago, Karl Benz bolted a one banger of his own design onto the back of a three-wheeled cart.
And it’s been a glorious run. Sure, there were low points, like the anemic power plants that wheezed through the 1970s while automakers struggled to cope with strict new emissions and fuel economy regulations. Anyone remember the 1975 Ford Granada? Its 4.1 liter inline six had a California variant that puttered out just 71 horsepower. Folks, that’s less than 20 horsepower per liter.