1998 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5L from North America


Cheap, reliable transportation


I haven't really had many issues with the car. A coil pack went on it a couple months after getting it, though it was probably due for a change anyhow.

The only other problem I've been faced with was, according to a friend's OB2 reader, a P0420 error, meaning that the catalyst was operating at under thresh-hold. I replaced a $5 O2 sensor, and discovered it was the other sensor on the exhaust, as the engine light was still on...

Didn't get around to correcting that, and a week or maybe a bit more later the engine light went out. Theoretically, whatever was effecting the sensor dissolved itself. How many cars heal themselves? haha.

The light has yet to come back on.

General Comments:

Overall, I'm quite happy with this car. I haven't experienced many troubles and it gets me where ever I want to go. I've replaced the 13" wagon wheels with 14's, still pretty small, but I can get through back roads with no trouble. It has all the power necessary to commute, and will sink the speedometer on the highway.

I find the car to be a bit small for my size, an average 6' adult male. Though it isn't really all too uncomfortable, I could do with a couple more inches all around.

I dislike the front speakers, and how they are an uncommon three-bolt mount. It makes replacement a pain, with brackets and such. Also, the lack of rear speakers is (standard with Toyota, but) unfortunate. All in all, speakers aren't' a big deal at all though, there's nothing much more to complain about.

Gas mileage is incredible, I seem to get better km's out of my car than some people with newer, more expensive, supposed fuel efficient cars.

I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a cheap, reliable commuter car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2008

16th Jan 2008, 19:52

It's amazing how such a small car can be so absolutely bomb proof. My aunt had a series of Tercels that were the most dependable cars on the planet. Sounds like you made a good find.

1998 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5 from North America





General Comments:

Does anyone know if the 1998 Tercel CE comes with a tachometer? If not, can one be added through Toyota instead of aftermarket units?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2003

12th Apr 2009, 19:45

Oh yeah, you can add an after market tach no problem.

And I don't think any of the Tercels ever came stock from the factory with a tach.

13th Apr 2012, 08:38

If you can find a Toyota Paseo that is the same generation as your Tercel in a junkyard, you can swap in its gauge cluster, as they have the tach. The Paseo is a sporty car that is based on the Tercel with the same drive train and dash. I am not sure if it's a direct swap (meaning that the tach will work with your Tercel's factory harness), but you should be able to find out by joining a Toyota forum.

1998 Toyota Tercel CE from North America


I'm going to miss this car when I have to concede and get the dreaded mini-van


Nothing has gone wrong with this car yet! (knock on wood) The only money I have put into this car are expected costs. For example, I've had the front brake pads replaced at about 100,000kms and had the tires replaced shortly after that.

General Comments:

I have no complaints about this car.

It has been an excellent economy car. It is cheap to run and cheap to maintain.

For a small car it's pretty roomy. I moved across the country with me and all my stuff in this car.

After 4 years it still looks like new inside and out (minus the odd scratch).

It runs smoothly and has guts for a small car. The only time it lags is on particularly steep terrain. Otherwise hills aren't a problem.

My only complaint with my experience with this car is having to deal with the dealership service center. They try and gouge me every time I go in there.

I always get a second opinion on their service reports and so far they were either wrong or exaggerated the problem. I have got any work done elsewhere for half the cost and sometimes find there is no need for work at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2002

11th Jul 2005, 21:02

You don't need to knock on wood these cars 1997 to 1999 are tanks.

4th Jun 2010, 16:18

I just bought a 1998 Coupe. It just turned over 190,000 kilometers, but that's expected from a 12 year old car.

It really is amazing on gas, I got about 80 kilometers with $5 CAD. I am expecting that number to improve after a tune up and oil change (thinking synthetic). $30 gas and the needle is above 3/4 line. Wonder if the little 'gas pump' icon on the fuel gauge lights up when fuel is low?

There is a bit of swaying and swinging on the highway. Hopefully wider (not bigger) tires will help, after all, just like everything else, the tires for the car are dirt cheap.

Super cute and much peppier than I expected. Although I will miss my highway cruiser Chrysler Sebring's comfort and ride quality, not very many cars have the same style and charisma as a 2 door Tercel. I love the little beast already!

*thumbs up*