1997 Toyota Tercel 1.3 petrol


Nothing has gone wrong so far, although the battery may need replacing soon; it seems to lose charge if the car is not driven for a few days.

General Comments:

The car is a Japanese import with one New Zealand owner.

The interior and overall condition of the car was almost as new when I bought it.

It is a comfortable car to drive around town. Although the car is not too comfortable for long journeys, as the seats lack under-thigh support.

The 1.3 litre engine and three speed auto limits performance in hills, requiring a manual shift to 2nd. Performance on the flat is good and the car comfortably cruises at 100-115kmh.

Rear seat accommodation is limited, strictly for small children only.

I am somewhat disappointed with the fuel consumption. 37mpg is less than expected from a light weight car with a 1.3 liter engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2008

1987 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon DX 1.5lt petrol


Amazing economy, off road ability, load moving and reliability - the ultimate vehicle


The front under body braces broke at about 150,000kms, causing chassis cracks near the base of the engine firewall. Easily fixed with some lengths of steel and a MIG welder.

The shock absorbers have failed repeatedly, probably due to the car being raced in club level rallies. The front struts are unusually short which means custom made inserts are the best replacement option.

Low quality o-rings are used on the distributor drive shaft and water pump bypass - these needed to be replaced at 100,000kms.

Other parts - steering rack, alternator bushes, 1 set of constant velocity joints.

General Comments:

Fantastic machine. Has never broken down. Capable of extreme 4wd feats. Raced in 2 club level rallies, finishing =4th/25 and =4th/44. Can carry amazing loads. Economical to run, 7lt/100km. All up running costs per kilometer are less than my mountain bike (it breaks often), and about a quarter that of my GSXR600.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2004

3rd Nov 2008, 22:13

Excellent condensed verdict! This is all I needed to know in a nutshell. I am looking at a well kept example with 110k on the clock, my budget can't afford a Landie or a Cruiser since most of it was spent on acquiring a mini plantation (tea - Sri Lanka). They say the slopes get quite slippery during the monsoons, hope the Tercel will manage it.

Anyway, thanks a millions, good job!