Your opinion on 1990 Toyota Cressida

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680
Location
Hawaii
I've been looking for a RWD sedan preferably with a manual transmission and came upon this car. The bonus here is that it's an inline six. It's definitely old but I'm handy with minor mechanical repairs, but not so with electrical. What issues would I have with this car of this age? If it were automatic, how is the transmission? I'm not the type to tune it. If anything, I'd like to keep it as stock as possible.
 
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19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
Electric system is the weak point, overall these cars are VERY solid. Comparable to the Acura legend, etc., a top of the line car which is loaded with tech for the day.
 
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8,156
Location
The Midwest
I think they blew the head gasket early in life. Seems like every Cressida I've seen in the auto salvage yard eons ago was listed with a blown head gasket.
 
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13,371
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I remember Consumer Reports doing an article in 1990 with the Acura Legend, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Cressida, and IIRC, Mazda 929. It was the first time that I ever read CR saying how close these 4 cars were and a buyer couldn't go wrong with any of the four. As far as the Cressida! Well, it's 24 years old and though solid, it's going to be 25 soon! smile If it's well maintained, it should be as good as they come! smile
 
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36,516
Location
ME
+2 on the head gaskets. I had a 92 briefly, it was their last hurrah in luxury before spinning off Lexus. 235k and the sunroof, AC, cruise, and all the dooddads worked. There's leather seating then there's NICE leather; my cressida had the latter. Soft. Yeah it took a headgasket. There are lots of little bolts, brackets and cables on top of the engine that take time to untangle to get at the headgasket. I was a jerk and just lifted the head an inch to slip the old gasket out and new one in. The auto trans is the 4 speed aisin warner they put in jeep cherokees and RWD volvos. Solid as they come. Has a drain plug but no filter.
 
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17,298
Location
OH
This was a pretty high-spec Toyota sedan, with a proper 3.0 liter inline six and IRS. Maybe Toyota should have called it the 530i:) I don't think that a stick was offered in 1990 in the US market car, though. In its mechanics and chassis, this is a four door Supra. A neat old car that comes from an era in which a Toyota really did mean quality components assembled well. Parts may be more of a problem than would be the case with an old Benz or BMW, though, and this was a very limited volume car in the US. There can't be many of these in Hawaii.
 
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80
Location
Tennessee
My mom had one. 280k miles and ran strong. Only issue was the radio went south. Tried to give it to my daughter, but it was 'too old looking'. Good car.
 
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777
Location
Herndon, VA
I owned a 1990 Cressida that I bought new. Yes. I had to replace the head gasket. Also had a problem with the AC, a serious freon leak that required the dash to be pulled to correct. This is a REALLY solid car. At this age, it's going to be a matter of how well it has been maintained. The inline 6 is bullet proof, except for the head gasket, and the transmission is as well. The only reason I got rid of mine is it was wrecked for the second time, and I was able to get it declared totalled. It probably could have been repaired, but after wrecking a car twice I didn't want to chance it. I LOVED that car. Very solid. I say if you're prepared to do the head gasket, and the car has been well maintained, go for it.
 

gregoron

Thread starter
Messages
680
Location
Hawaii
I've seen a handful here in Hawaii at Craigslist ranging from $1k - $3k. The more expensive one had less than 100k miles. They're all sold now, but if something nice comes up, is this a reasonable price range for a 25 year old car? I remember these cars when I lived in the Philippines in the late 80's, and in Thailand early 90's. They were most chauffeur driven and well-maintained. I really like the old boxy Toyotas back then.
 
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gregoron

Thread starter
Messages
680
Location
Hawaii
Another question, rather than going for a 1990-92 Cressida, would I be better off getting the 1st Gen or 2nd Gen Lexus LS400 instead? The only thing is it's a V8 vs an inline 6. But, maybe their fuel consumption is not that far off. How about their maintenance, which would be less of a headache to maintain?
 
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Messages
17,298
Location
OH
If the Cressida was a very good Toyota, the early Lexus V-8 was maybe the best Toyota ever designed and is one of the most durable cars ever built by anybody. The Cressida will not be a fuel economy champ and an LS400 won't be much thirstier. I don't think that either car would be a special maintenance headache, although any older car with some miles is going to require more attention than something less than a decade old with under 100K.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: gregoron
I've been looking for a RWD sedan preferably with a manual transmission and came upon this car. The bonus here is that it's an inline six. It's definitely old but I'm handy with minor mechanical repairs, but not so with electrical. What issues would I have with this car of this age? If it were automatic, how is the transmission? I'm not the type to tune it. If anything, I'd like to keep it as stock as possible.
A car that old can be wonderful or a nightmare. You buy it and find out. Predicting reliability on something that old correctly is flipping a coin.
 
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