1991 Toyota Tercel Base 1.5 liter from North America


Wonderful car, buy one while you can


4 new tires/wheel alignment at 170,000.

Water pump at 172,000.

General Comments:

This little car will not die. It is more dependable than any newer domestic car. 30+ MPG, and is surprisingly quick. No doubt it will reach 300,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2010

1991 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5 from North America


Very dependable cheap transportation


Starter started acting up, so I replaced it with a re-manufactured one.

Diff oil was making its way up the speedo cable and dripping from under the dash, so I went to a wrecker and grabbed another speedo gear drive. A seal was blown in the old one, letting oil get past. No problems since.

Smokes a little on start up and burns a bit of oil.

I replaced the timing belt and adjusted the valves at 140km, because I had no previous records of it being done.

General Comments:

Very cheap car to drive and fix, I do the work myself and it is very simple to work on. I will eventually buy a re-manufactured cylinder head and swap it, because the valve seals are worn on this one, causing the slight smoke and oil burning.

Great on gas.

A little uncomfortable on long trips.

3 speed auto with no OD is a little buzzy on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2010

1991 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5 from North America


It's freakin immortal


Water pump busted.

Oil burning on startup.

A tad too loud in the cabin while on the freeway.

Cramped engine.

General Comments:

The interior of the car is very comfortable and is always kept temperate thanks to my retrofitted A/C unit.

The engine actually pulls pretty good as well, which to any owner of a Tercel is sure to be shocking.

A short ram, Mobile 1 Synthetic, Flowmaster exhaust and always premium gas does absolute wonders for my horsepower.

I've upgraded the wheels and suspension as well, so it handles and feels as solid as my BMW Z3.

It's very simple to maintain as well, just have a little patience and baby tools.

The trunk is (when covered in Dead Skin) awesome and rattle free when cranking subs too.

Invest roughly $800 and keep it spotless (everywhere) and this undying kaput waiting to happen can be a very reliable, even show off worthy car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2009

1991 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5L I4 from North America


Pisses oil but just won't die


Coolant temperature sensor needed replacement, a week later had to replace the thermostat. Records by the previous owner revealed thermostat had been replaced just 5 months earlier!

Was told the head gasket is going by a friend who runs a shop, but have been watching the coolant level, oil level, and heat gage, and so far nothing...

Engine smokes... Burns AND leaks a LOT of oil. I literally go through a quart and a half every 5 days.

Has this odd idling issue. At idle in park or neutral, the car runs smooth. Once you apply the brake and put it in gear it runs much rougher. It will do this in reverse or drive, doesn't matter. Shakes a little bit (some days worse than others) - one day after a 70 mile trip on the freeway the car shook so much it stalled out on me at the park and ride. It felt like it was sputtering out by force.

General Comments:

We have only owned this car for about a year, and already it has made me feel a little different about older toyota's. My best friend had an 89 Toyota pickup, he beat the thing to a pulp, and the day he sold it was still moving despite a completely ruined automatic transmission, he had never spent more than $500 on it over the 4 year period he owned it on routine maintenance. Made me wish the same for this vehicle.

The car handles great, it's a little narrow though. Braking times could be a little bit better, tires are so small-- acceleration on the highway feels like a chore for the poor thing but we do enjoy the 38 mpg on the highway.

Forget about driving it on long trips. My legs fall asleep after an hour of driving from the seats being rather cheap and lacking in the cushion department.

I love Toyota, don't get me wrong they are great reliable cars. I'm just waiting for the day this thing will finally give up, which if I don't take care of the oil problem (either a crank seal or rear main) will be soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th March, 2008

12th Oct 2009, 19:45

Use Lucas oil stabilizer for your car leaking oil. Mine was eating oil too and now I just pour Lucas in it. We are at 350000 kilometers now.