Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

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bryanthompson
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Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by bryanthompson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:18 am

Just a quick study tonight. I believe these two cars have been compared
on this forum before, but I just bought a first year Civic wagon as a stablemate to my Tercel, and thought I'd share elevation shots and some observations:

#PROPORTIONS are everything :: #Toyota #Tercel4WD and #Honda #Civic4WD were two interpretations of the same #styling theme. But where the #Tercel is perhaps the more robust execution, the #Civic has more innovative proportions and packaging. Both are iconic #1980's #CarDesign statements in their own ways.

What say our group? (Plz forgive hashtags; all the kids are doing it) :wink:

BT
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by The Professor » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:58 am

While I think the Civic has more tidy proportions overall and is a little more cohesive, the Toyota has styling cues that are more technical to design/execute. The scalloped door skins under the door handles, the contour of the wheel arches. Clearly the asymmetrical tailgate/reverse light makes the Tercel stand out.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

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dlb
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by dlb » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:26 am

bryan, is your civic wagon 2 or 4wd? i think they're neat but the one 80's civic i worked on had a weird carb/FI hybrid fuel delivery system that i thought was a weird "halfway to FI but not quite there" innovation. i can't remember what it was called, single port injection or something like that. does your civic have that?

it's funny to see how the different manufacturers of the time all made their own variations on the 2wd/4wd wagon theme. besides the civic and tercel, there was also subaru's loyale and nissan's prairie/multi and the sentra wagon. i think they all look pretty similar, very angular and boxy. the next generation of 2wd/4wd wagons was similar too, just a lot more rounded -- the 4wd/all trac corolla wagon, subaru's legacy wagon, nissan's axxess van/wagon...not sure if i'm missing some other makes as well. did isuzu make any 4wd wagons in the 80s?

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irowiki
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by irowiki » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:47 am

I like the 4WD Civic wagons but they're near impossible to find these days. The only one I've ever seen in person was in the local junkyard.




PS: It is honestly near impossible to read that with the hashtags, please don't.
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:39 am

OT, but - what hashtags? I saw none when I first viewed Bryan's post a couple of hours after he posted it and I still see none.
Tom M.
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by irowiki » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:51 am

Pound signs, Tom :lol:
Former Tercel Enthusiast (not a practical family car anymore but they still have a place in my heart)

Site administrator, if something is broken, PM me!

81 Coachmen RV, 70k miles
95 Camry Wagon, 153k miles
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:23 pm

irowiki wrote:Pound signs, Tom :lol:
Thank you, Mr. Smarty-Pants!
I know I was born before WWII :shock: , but I do know what hashtags look like!
This is how Bryan's post appeared:
Just a quick study tonight. I believe these two cars have been compared
on this forum before, but I just bought a first year Civic wagon as a stablemate to my Tercel, and thought I'd share elevation shots and some observations:

#PROPORTIONS are everything :: #Toyota #Tercel4WD and #Honda #Civic4WD were two interpretations of the same #styling theme. But where the #Tercel is perhaps the more robust execution, the #Civic has more innovative proportions and packaging. Both are iconic #1980's #CarDesign statements in their own ways.

What say our group? (Plz forgive hashtags; all the kids are doing it) :wink:

What is the point of adding the hashtag (aka # sign) to words if they are not related to the Twitterverse?
Tom M. (aka :oldgeek: )
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by Petros » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:21 pm

I find the pound signs annoying as well, why the heck did they start calling them "hashtags" anyway? Just shows how illiterate people are these days.

I have actually owned the 4wd civic wagon at the same time I had a Tercel4wd (or two?). the civic handles like a sports car and there are a lot more engine performance parts available for the engine, also it as almost 40 more hp with the same size engine. I am very familiar with this all aluminum engine with the CVCC stratified mixture combustion chamber (4 barrel carb, two rich barrels, two lean ones, with two intake valves). Cleaver and very efficient engine design, but the emissions systems are very complex. I have rebuilt several of them, and had to diagnois vac leaks in the horribly complex vac driven emissions and fuel system (who ever find the TErcel vac system complex should spend some time on the carburated civic engines! Be thankful, the toy system is very simple.)

The civic also has the transverse engine installation, difficult to service the front of the engine (timing belt, seals, etc), Hondas are always more difficult to service, sometimes a real PIA compaed to any Toyota, everything is hard to reach on it. But it is a very reliable engine, despite its complexity. The civic rear axle I think looks a lot like the rwd axle used in the Nissans (honda never made a RWD sedan, only a very few rare sports cars), so I would think parts for that could be found if necessary. The car is roomy for its size, but the seats (like all early honda seats) really are uncomfortable, my daughter complained sitting in it for 3 min caused her back to ache. You can feel the steel frame in several bad places on your back (they were this way even new, we owned a brand new 1984 civic, it just gets worse as they age and the padding weakens). Though seats are fairly easy to swap out. The civic has much better brakes than the stock T4wd flimsy brakes (but I found a fairly easy upgrade for the Tercel4wd brakes).

Two things turned me off to it, and ultimately I decided to sell off the Honda because of it: the 4wd civic is getting very rare, and though most parts are common to other models, the transmission and rear axle is unique to the is model, and being more rare than the Tercel4wd trans I thought would eventually become a problem. The other is the Tercel has noticeably more room in the rear behind the rear seat. In fact I can actually completely lay down in the back of the Tercel with the seats folded flat, the Civic wagon is over a foot shorter. Also, I thought the Tercel was a little more ruggedly built, suspension parts are heavier and more robust. The civic, like all hondas (even their large SUVs and trucks) always struck me as more "feminine", delicate structure and components. It does not seem to harm their reliability at all, but all of the Toyotas, from the Tercel up to the trucks, appear a lot more masculine, tough and solid, and will take a lot more abuse than the Hondas. Both are very reliable however, so that was not really part of the decision, it was the interior room, and the concern for ending up with an orphan. There was no forum for the 4wd civic at all, and none of the CRX or Civic forums knew anything about it, the car geeks thought I was an odd ball owning a 4wd civic, and could not help at all, they kept silent about questions on the trans, drivetrain, etc.

So this forum was partly the reason I stayed with the Tercel4wd, and abandon the Civic4wd. So the Honda has a more powerful motor and handled better, with better brakes, all of which I have been working on improving on the Tercel4wd (and mostly have succeeded), but the Civic wagon has far less cargo room than the Tercel4wd, which would not be very easy to fix on the civic.

When I was rebuilding a CRX for my daughter, I had a rusty parts CRX, and I had a wild thought: to make it a 4wd CRX, cutting out the floor of the CRX, and welding in the floor pan of the 4wd civic. I would not be harming the value since it was going to the crusher since it was not safe for the road, but with a lot of welding it could be made to work. It was just a wild thought, way too much work and cost, not worth the effort, and judging by the crowd on the honda forums, no one would appreciate it (I can just see the comments "why the heck did you do that for?")
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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bryanthompson
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by bryanthompson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:03 pm

The Professor wrote:While I think the Civic has more tidy proportions overall and is a little more cohesive, the Toyota has styling cues that are more technical to design/execute. The scalloped door skins under the door handles, the contour of the wheel arches. Clearly the asymmetrical tailgate/reverse light makes the Tercel stand out.
This is really well stated. I agree there's a level of second-read details that make the Tercel feel more substantial and delight with unexpected execution (like the asymmetry). Thanks for the comment.

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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by bryanthompson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:12 pm

My little Civic is 4WD. 1985 was the first year of 4WD and it's actually a push button system, which proceeded the RealTime AWD that was offered later.

I do love all of the Japanese tall box designs of the 80's, and the Praerie is one of my favorites too, if only because it's so unabashedly awkward and functional. All of these designs were heavily influenced by the 1976 Alfa Romeo New York Taxi Concept by ItalDesign. The trapezoid mid-engine vans took many cues from this vehicle as well.

I'll post a photo:
image.jpeg
dlb wrote:bryan, is your civic wagon 2 or 4wd? i think they're neat but the one 80's civic i worked on had a weird carb/FI hybrid fuel delivery system that i thought was a weird "halfway to FI but not quite there" innovation. i can't remember what it was called, single port injection or something like that. does your civic have that?

it's funny to see how the different manufacturers of the time all made their own variations on the 2wd/4wd wagon theme. besides the civic and tercel, there was also subaru's loyale and nissan's prairie/multi and the sentra wagon. i think they all look pretty similar, very angular and boxy. the next generation of 2wd/4wd wagons was similar too, just a lot more rounded -- the 4wd/all trac corolla wagon, subaru's legacy wagon, nissan's axxess van/wagon...not sure if i'm missing some other makes as well. did isuzu make any 4wd wagons in the 80s?
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by bryanthompson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:15 pm

I always learn so much from your posts, Petros. And this one is no exception. Thank you! I really enjoy discovering little bits about these quirky, practical cars, with their cathedral-like interiors.
Petros wrote:I find the pound signs annoying as well, why the heck did they start calling them "hashtags" anyway? Just shows how illiterate people are these days.

I have actually owned the 4wd civic wagon at the same time I had a Tercel4wd (or two?). the civic handles like a sports car and there are a lot more engine performance parts available for the engine, also it as almost 40 more hp with the same size engine. I am very familiar with this all aluminum engine with the CVCC stratified mixture combustion chamber (4 barrel carb, two rich barrels, two lean ones, with two intake valves). Cleaver and very efficient engine design, but the emissions systems are very complex. I have rebuilt several of them, and had to diagnois vac leaks in the horribly complex vac driven emissions and fuel system (who ever find the TErcel vac system complex should spend some time on the carburated civic engines! Be thankful, the toy system is very simple.)

The civic also has the transverse engine installation, difficult to service the front of the engine (timing belt, seals, etc), Hondas are always more difficult to service, sometimes a real PIA compaed to any Toyota, everything is hard to reach on it. But it is a very reliable engine, despite its complexity. The civic rear axle I think looks a lot like the rwd axle used in the Nissans (honda never made a RWD sedan, only a very few rare sports cars), so I would think parts for that could be found if necessary. The car is roomy for its size, but the seats (like all early honda seats) really are uncomfortable, my daughter complained sitting in it for 3 min caused her back to ache. You can feel the steel frame in several bad places on your back (they were this way even new, we owned a brand new 1984 civic, it just gets worse as they age and the padding weakens). Though seats are fairly easy to swap out. The civic has much better brakes than the stock T4wd flimsy brakes (but I found a fairly easy upgrade for the Tercel4wd brakes).

Two things turned me off to it, and ultimately I decided to sell off the Honda because of it: the 4wd civic is getting very rare, and though most parts are common to other models, the transmission and rear axle is unique to the is model, and being more rare than the Tercel4wd trans I thought would eventually become a problem. The other is the Tercel has noticeably more room in the rear behind the rear seat. In fact I can actually completely lay down in the back of the Tercel with the seats folded flat, the Civic wagon is over a foot shorter. Also, I thought the Tercel was a little more ruggedly built, suspension parts are heavier and more robust. The civic, like all hondas (even their large SUVs and trucks) always struck me as more "feminine", delicate structure and components. It does not seem to harm their reliability at all, but all of the Toyotas, from the Tercel up to the trucks, appear a lot more masculine, tough and solid, and will take a lot more abuse than the Hondas. Both are very reliable however, so that was not really part of the decision, it was the interior room, and the concern for ending up with an orphan. There was no forum for the 4wd civic at all, and none of the CRX or Civic forums knew anything about it, the car geeks thought I was an odd ball owning a 4wd civic, and could not help at all, they kept silent about questions on the trans, drivetrain, etc.

So this forum was partly the reason I stayed with the Tercel4wd, and abandon the Civic4wd. So the Honda has a more powerful motor and handled better, with better brakes, all of which I have been working on improving on the Tercel4wd (and mostly have succeeded), but the Civic wagon has far less cargo room than the Tercel4wd, which would not be very easy to fix on the civic.

When I was rebuilding a CRX for my daughter, I had a rusty parts CRX, and I had a wild thought: to make it a 4wd CRX, cutting out the floor of the CRX, and welding in the floor pan of the 4wd civic. I would not be harming the value since it was going to the crusher since it was not safe for the road, but with a lot of welding it could be made to work. It was just a wild thought, way too much work and cost, not worth the effort, and judging by the crowd on the honda forums, no one would appreciate it (I can just see the comments "why the heck did you do that for?")

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My tercel:: 1983, DLX 4wd wagon with 4.1 manual gearbox, tow bar). Manual steering. 313,000 kms. Tercel 4WD SR5, 1987, 500,000kms. Other car - 2003 Rav4, AWD, 2l manual, Peugeot 407 Diesel (93,000 miles) in Ireland for use when on holiday there.
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by Jonymoto » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:56 pm

Petros, I've seen the Civic here in Oz, but I've never had the opportunity to look under the bonnet. Did it have a transverse engine (looking at the size and angle of the bonnet, I would say yes). One thing I like greatly about the Tercel is the North-South engine. Much easier to work on them without having to remove it from the car. I recently changed the clutch on my Rav4 and the whole engine had to be pulled out - from the bottom.
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Petros
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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by Petros » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:52 pm

yes, all civics had transverse engines. In fact, I think all hondas have traverse engines, this was true from the very beginning, even the odd air cooled 600, with the integrated transmission. It was more like a motor cycle engine/trans, though you could not quite call it transverse, but the cylinders were lined up the same way a transfer engine would be.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by helipilot77 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:29 pm

Don't forget about the 1984-88 Dodge Colt Wagon 4wd which was a rebadged Mitsubishi.
. / TOYOTA
./_| |/|/ |]

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Re: Tercel 4WD vs Civic 4WD :: A side view comparison.

Post by The Professor » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:55 am

I'll have to find the scan, but I have at least two magazine articles comparing 80's 4WD econoboxes, it was a REALLY interesting read as I recall.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

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