1997 Toyota Tercel Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1997 Toyota Tercel CE from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carBuick Century

Summary:

It's a great economical, reliable vehicle

Faults:

The brake fluid lines seem to be flimsy, and have ruptured a few times in the past year.

General Comments:

I love this car; It's incredibly, insanely reliable, and it won't leave me with a hole in my wallet after buying gasoline. It is better for the environment and absolutely adorable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2008

1997 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5 Liter from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.5 Liter Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance178000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Most economical car I've had

Faults:

Recently, my Tercel has been burning fuel (since about 170,000 miles). This never was a problem before. I'm losing about 1 quart every 3 months. I replaced the original timing belt at 111,000, nothing was wrong with it. I had the belts on the alternator get loose, but the replacement was inexpensive. I've had to replace sparkplugs twice since about 140,000 miles. I've had to periodically replace the calipers and rotors. Not sure if that was the car or less than scrupulous mechanics... Otherwise no major problems.

General Comments:

I get amazing gas mileage... from 37 to 44 miles per gallon depending on the driving conditions. It handles well. the engine is quiet. Have not had any transmission issues in 178,000 miles. I've driven the car from NY to California and back 3 times, and many other long distance trips around the eastern US. Car has ample power. I wish Toyota hadn't discontinued this model!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2008

1st Jul 2008, 13:32

Oil consumption is not unusual for Toyotas, as stated in the owner's manual of my 1991 Camry (the second such car I've owned). A quart every 3 months is not a problem at all, especially at 170,000 miles. When you get to a quart every 1000 miles, you might seek out a qualified mechanic.

Just keep a check on the dipstick every 10 days or so, just to be on the safe side.

1997 Toyota Tercel 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired105000 kilometres
Most recent distance109000 kilometres
Previous carMazda 323

Faults:

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

1997 Toyota Tercel CE 2 door 1.5 DOHC from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.5 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired18 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Best car I have ever owned, PERIOD!

Faults:

An alternator at 68k, otherwise.. No Problems..EVER!! NO warranty repairs at the dealer in 5/50K! I do ALL my own maintenance, have all records since day one! Oil/filter every 1.5k (only 3 quarts!).Tune-up once-a-year.

General Comments:

Rock solid, easy to maintain, a wonderful car for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2007

1997 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5 EFI from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.5 EFI Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired250000 kilometres
Most recent distance306000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

ALL MIGHTY GOD OF COMPACT 90's CARS

Faults:

Nothing, sounds like a sewing machine though. Runs like a little dream even at 306,000 mi. I thought I could blow it up, but nope! Japan sure does make the best cars, haven't replaced anything, just gets its nice Valvoline or Castrol oil changes (non-synthetic) and Fram oil filter... never had a problem with it, always starts, even at -30degC... better then the 2005 neon I totalled... this little car even goes for some light rally driving and it holds up with zero problems... likely going to get a Yaris if this thing ever breaks... but I don't see that happening - it will outlast me... lol, anyway best car I've ever seen in terms of super low costs and insurance.

General Comments:

BUY One even for a winter beater you just can't beat them (oh PS no rust on this 97 literally none, but you have to have any car oil sprayed every year for that)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2007

21st Sep 2008, 20:57

Right on! My 96 Tercy with 144K is purring along. I do my own oil changes and use only premium non-synthetic oil and FRAM Extra Guard filters. Best gas for this car is Chevron Regular and also an occasional shot of Marvel Mystery Oil in the tank really keeps the fuel system clean and boosts mileage. Anything more complicated, like regular major tune-ups, is done by the dealer because I know they'll do it right the first time and use only genuine Toyota parts. These little cars rule: perfect weight-to-power ratio, great mileage, the tires are an affordable size (michelins from Sears), etc. I don't even miss power windows but I do wish it had intermittent wipers!Has anyone had issues with the oxygen sensor giving a false positive 'Check Engine' light? I had to replace mine about 120k mark and it wasn't a cheap fix.

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 18 reviews