1997 Toyota Tercel 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


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


Best car I have ever owned, PERIOD!


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




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.

22nd Sep 2015, 01:29

Do you still have the car?

1997 Toyota Tercel from North America


I bought 2 Toyotas. One was fav, the next is having a series of serious problems prematurely


My transmission bombed on me at 46,000 miles.

Other more major problems have occurred with this Toyota.

(listed in detail on repair sheet; had to reopen an insurance claim for one problem)

General Comments:

I had a Toyota Tercel in 1995 with over 100,000 miles with no major problems, EVER, got stolen so I had to get new one in 1997. So of course I went back to Toyota. I loved it.

This one was totalled in an accident in 1997, and instead of giving me another car as I had wanted, they rebuilt the damages and ever since, it has had major problems as if I had a used car with 46,000. I'm very distressed.

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

Review Date: 2nd June, 2006

4th Jun 2006, 00:54

Well, you can't very well blame your car for having major problems after a serious accident.

29th Oct 2006, 20:09

What kind of problems?