1990 Toyota Tercel EZ 1.5 from North America


Go-karts that go forever on virtually no $$$!


Head gasket - started to smoke so I had the head and valves redone... did most of the work myself on a whim - never had done this before, but I was bored and I didn't have anything better to do that weekend. Now I can fix any lawnmower engine you bring me!

Rust is bad also - nothing a little fiberglass body filler and touch up paint can't handle.

General Comments:

Dispite the rust, this is the best car we have ever had. My wife bought it before we were married - her dad said "don't buy one of those Japanese pieces of junk - they will never last!" That was 11 years ago. I since have inherited it and she drives the new car.

It gets like 40 mpg on the highway, it can beat most cars off the line at the stoplight (geared high to make up for the hamsterpowered engine) and all parts are cheap!

The few problems I have had have been easy to fix, cheap and insignificant. Add a few hundred dollars in repairs to the $6600 price tag and you still have a super cheap car that lasts forever!

My previous car was a 1987 Tercel which we still own. It still runs although the rust has taken most of it over. That car had virtually NO repairs other than brakes and exhaust! 150,000 miles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2001

27th Jul 2004, 22:39

I barely bought a Tercel recently and well it had only 75,000 miles on it and it really pulls up...I'm surprised I've beaten three Civics so far (two CRX and 2003 CIVIC!!!) Well I haven't put anything on this car except for Oil Change and Registration everything else is like new... OMG such a good lil hamster car. And the ladies think its cute :D.

1990 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5L carburetor from North America


Big, big lemon


Front coil spring, radiator, cooling fans motor, carburetor, electric problems, alternator (twice), cover valve gasket, hand brake cable, tie rod end (no power steering), oil pan, transmission, water in trunk, and yes... oil consumption at only 100 000kms.

General Comments:

I sold the car and I'm very happy, everything happened week after week. I spent a lot of money to keep it right and well, this car never seemed to be OK. Now I own a GM and it's better than my Tercel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th August, 2001

1990 Toyota Tercel SE 1.4 from North America


If I had to start over again, I would start with this car


Nothing has ever gone wrong with it.

It has never left me walking.

General Comments:

It burns oil, but is still very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st May, 2001

1990 Toyota Tercel from North America


Reliable and peppy


It heats up if left to idle for a while, at say - the drive thru at the fast food restaurant. Can't figure out why this happens. I heard it happened to another Tercel owner. Any ideas?

"Bucks" sometimes when you just start driving it for the day.

General Comments:

It's been reliable and I can't bear to get rid of it. Everything else is just fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2001

21st Jun 2001, 09:19

My brother's 89 Tercel with automatic transmission had the similar overheating problem. The problem continued even after the replacement of thermostat. One time I had to stop the car on the roadside just to let the engine cool down. Never foundd out the root of problem.

2nd Aug 2001, 08:01

I have the same problem with my 1990 Tercel Coupe. The temperature needle goes up to 3/4 way on the gauge, in traffic and even when on the highway. I am thinking that maybe a bigger cooling fan is needed. I have also tried the thermostat replacement but this didn't help at all.

24th Dec 2015, 10:35

OK, overheating will cause problems with automatics. If you're doing it yourself, get an infrared heat gun (they are cheap) and check the temp when the fan comes on. Fit a thermostat that opens at a lower temperature, and check what temperature the auto box is supposed to run at. If it still runs a bit hot, fit an aftermarket cooler. Also use a fully synthetic transmission fluid; it takes a lot more stick than Dextro 2 or 3, and before you change the fluid, flush the unit out. OK, that's yours fixed, enjoy!