1996 Toyota Tercel 1.5 turbo diesel from Malta


A truly bad bargain


As soon as I bought the car, the clutch began slipping, the ignition blew off and a short in the lighting system of the car led to a fire in my car interiors. I had to say bye bye to that car.

General Comments:

A car which has very low performance and low acceleration when compared to the NISSAN skyline I've just bought.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2004

3rd Apr 2006, 20:19

Credible or not, any car potentially could catch fire... but it's a rarity amongst the Tercel.

22nd Nov 2006, 12:24

I can't believe that you just compare the performance from a Toyota tercel to a Nissan skyline. For what I know, there isn't any Toyota tercel diesel out there, at least in stock form. Those two factor pretty much tell me that your review is a fake, and a very very bad one.

14th Mar 2008, 19:03

Yes, Toyota did produce a 1.5 turbo diesel tercel. The same engine was used in the 1996 Starlet, although non turbo-ed.

1996 Toyota Tercel SD 1.6 from North America


The most economical car on the road


The check engine light went on at 80 000km. The dealer told me it was a misfire at cylinder 2. They told me it was a bad reading and erased the message form the computer. The light never came back on again. This check-up costs 75$.

Hand brake cable needs adjustment every month. No big deal on an automatic car. On a 5 speed, it's a must!

General Comments:

This car is made to get you from point A to point B as cheap as possible without any problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2003

1996 Toyota Tercel SD 1.5 from North America


A Fantastic Reliable Little Car!


Brakes: Had been grinding for some time so this was one thing I couldn't put off.

Timing Belt: Changed this at 96K as recommended by Toyota. Apparently this can be very expensive if the belt breaks, and a piston hits a valve!!

(Get it done, and forget about it. Cost me $184 Cdn)

General Comments:

If you are looking for something fast, buy a Ferrari!

This car lives up to the quality one expects from Toyota.

It is superbly built, and drives like it's new.

It will run forever on one tank of gas.

Despite having a reputation for cold starting problems, it has never given me any problems.

I use Pennzoil 10W30 Synthetic oil, and it starts in -30c without a problem.

Buy the recommended Toyota twin grounded plugs, and you can't go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2003

1st Apr 2006, 22:10

For what it's worth, the website for Gates belts says the engines in Tercels were of the interference type from 87 (I think) to 94. It shows that the engines were free-running (non interference) types from 95 to 97. It seems that mostly high compression Japanese engines (and most diesels) used an interference design. I always thought my 91 Mazda 323 was an interference design, but the website says otherwise. Granted, regular timing belt changes are still a good idea to avoid being stranded. This seems like yet another thing unscrupulous dealers & mechanics are using to drum up business.

1st Sep 2006, 12:18

It is nearly 5 years since I bought this car, and it runs better now than when I first drove it. Only things replaced are brakes and alternator. Nothing major. I have been tempted to sell it and buy a larger car, but I cannot let it go for what I could currently get for it on the market. It is the most reliable car I have ever owned, and needless to say I am extremely pleased with it!!

12th Mar 2008, 10:02

Well I was finally tempted and sold it last year. Never used a drop of water or oil the whole time I had it. I thought the rad. was a fake or something since the level never moved a millimeter! Lovely car, but got a little to cramped for me as I got fatter!

1996 Toyota Tercel 1.5 Liter 4 cylinder from North America


A perfect car for a first-time car owner


For the past 10,000 miles, my Tercel has burned about.5 liters of oil every 1000 miles. This could have been caused by a recent rear-end accident though.

Seats stain easily due to the cloth material.

I also didn't like that my back seats do not fold down, I accidentally tore bolts off trying to fold them down.

General Comments:

This Tercel does not have a sports car acceleration. It was not designed to accelerate or go up hills very well.

The car does have great gas mileage though, if you happen to go the speed limit. When you go 70 miles per hour or greater, your gas mileage decreases exponentially.

Unlike many other people who reviewed the car, I found the seats to be comfortable. I'm a college student, and I sometimes like to my left foot on the dash board. It may be a bit tight, but it's comfortable.

I highly recommend this car, as it is more dependent than any other manufacturer out there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2003