1989 Toyota Tercel DX 2-Door Hatch 1.5 from North America
The hottest car you'll ever buy
Required wheel bearings when upon purchase, around $400-500 with labor.
Air filter (had to buy off of ebay), $8.
At purchase, the exhaust and muffler were too rusty, a good $300 in the hole.
Drained a good battery due to previous owner's cheap wiring job.
One tire was bald.
Headlight knob fell off in my hand.
Temperature adjuster fell off in my hand.
Drivers door wouldn't open, fixed with some DIY and a dealer purchased part, only $6.
Smelled like gas at random moments.
Aftermarket radio quit working (installed by previous owner).
Brakes were going out.
Re-built transmission wouldn't downshift, or it would shift hard at times.
Paint was chipped very badly on the front hood, rust was showing up around the wheels and the back hatch.
A/C was disconnected, a very bad move by the previous owner.
It had a weber carb installed by the previous owner, this made the car more responsive but hard to drive at low speeds. The air filters for it were around $60 at auto parts stores.
Took bumps pretty well and rode well, despite the small size.
Decent gas mileage in the mid-30's.
Nimble handling with a small turning radius.
Neat 1980's Japanese interior and exterior styling, before jellybeans took everything over.
Good, solid build quality, if not cheap parts in a few areas.
Not much room unsurprisingly.
Black interior sucked up heat; simply touching anything would burn my hand like a fresh pizza. Opening the windows didn't help.
The transmission gearing is a joke, the first two gears are way too short for anything outside of city driving.
The car featured neat window vents in the back to let the interior air out, however they had no noticeable effect until you were travelling at high speeds.
A decent city car when it was new, but age and bad decisions screwed it up.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd September, 2012