1984: Toyota Corolla is reborn, gets 59 mpg*

North American Toyota shoppers in 1984 had the choice of this AE82 front-wheel-drive Corolla or the AE86 rear-wheel-drive Corolla.

Although Toyota finally pulled the Corolla name off the Tercel after 1982, things remained confusing in the 1984 Corolla world due to the presence of rear-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive Corollas in the same American Toyota showrooms. The AE82 front-wheel-drive Corolla, new for 1984, wasn’t nearly as much fun to drive as its soon-to-be-legendary AE86 cousin, but it was a reliable, sensible commuter car that sipped gas… just in time for the crash in fuel prices of the middle 1980s. Here’s an “Oh what a feeling” magazine advertisement for the AE82, touting the amazing fuel economy of the 58-horsepower diesel engine.

And you thought you had to pay a bundle for taut, wind-cheating styling!

As it turned out, these cars proved to be even more reliable than their predecessors, generally racking up more than a quarter-million miles before succumbing to rust and/or cosmetic damage. If anyone knows of a real, live American-market diesel AE80 Corolla, please let us know.

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