© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

The Top 5 Kiwi Cars From The '80s

Liam Simpson
1984 Olds 442 Hurst Mecum

Car these days are nothing like what they used to be like right?

Well the 80’s had some of the greatest cars of all time. One car of which was cemented in 80’s history for eternity all because of a movie. But that’s in the USA. We only care about New Zealand and New Zealand had a big decade in the 80’s for good and bad reasons the government lowered the tariffs on imported cars mainly from Japan. Assembly plants started to close as well local companies that made parts for cars assembled here.

1989 CRXSi 2 56cbf2923df78cfb379febf4

Number 5: Honda CRX

A flash yet affordable compact car. The Honda CRX arrived in New Zealand in the middle of 1984. The Honda CRX was popular due to its impressive fuel usage. The CRX arrived in New Zealand with a 1.3 litre engine available in 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.

280px 1st Toyota Camry

Number 4: Toyota Camry V10

The V10 arrived in New Zealand in early 1982. The V10 had two different model’s a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. The popular model was the Sedan mainly because of its relatively cheap price when it arrived in New Zealand. They were shipped with either a 1.8 litre or 2 litre and were available with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. 

280px 1980 Datsun Sunny 7184706620

Number 3: Nissan Sunny

Zippy and Affordable the Nissan Sunny was popular with Kiwi families for its cheap price and its surprisingly large amount of space. The car arrived in New Zealand first in 1981 and stuck around till the late 80’s. The Sunny had a large variety of engine sizes ranging from 986cc all the way up to a 1.6 litre. Sunny’s also arrived with a 4- or 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.

560px Suzuki Alto Juna

Number 2: Suzuki Alto

Your Grandmothers car or even your teenagers first car in 2019 the Suzuki Alto was very popular in New Zealand in the 80’s and continues to do so to this day. The Alto’s arrived in New Zealand in 1985 with either a 543cc engine or a 796cc. Transmission was standard either a 4/5-speed manual or a 2/3speed automatic.

1987 Toyota Corolla AE82 CS sedan 2015 11 11 01

Number 1: Toyota Corolla

The Kiwi classic the Toyota Corolla was the most popular of the 80’s and has continued to do so for many years. Assembled here in New Zealand the Corolla found itself with an engine ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 litre and even a 1.8 diesel model. They were assembled with a 5-speed manual or a 3/4-speed automatic transmission.