1999 Toyota Tercel Reviews

1999 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5L from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.5L Manual
Performance marks 8 / 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)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired210000 kilometres
Most recent distance380000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Cheap on fuel, cheap on parts, but will last forever

Faults:

Nothing special. The usual wear and tear. Rust is growing, but not at an alarming rate.

General Comments:

This car is just so good! 380000 Km with the original clutch. I do mostly highway, and I am perfectly comfortable.

The engine is not consuming oil, and no seal is leaking. Toyota quality right there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2012

10th Apr 2014, 16:37

I am amazed. According to the numbers you punched in for your review, you've owned the car for two years and have put 170 000 km on in that time. That's absolutely incredible.

1999 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired170000 kilometres
Most recent distance179000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Maxima

Summary:

Reliable, cheap on gas, cheap to buy

Faults:

Stop lights went south, easy to fix at 178 000 km.

Driver's seat belt - hard to use.

Bad oxygen sensor at 173 000 km.

Rust spots (can be everywhere).

General Comments:

This is light car - shaking at highway speed (>120km/h).

Comfy front seats for tall persons.

Nightmare - back seats for tall persons (not a family car though).

Perfect for 2 adults.

Handles well in city driving.

Hard cheap plastic inside.

Gas and insurance very cheap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2010

1999 Toyota Tercel from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 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)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 kilometres
Most recent distance150000 kilometres

Summary:

Toyota has made me a customer for life

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

I have never had a problem with this car, except for the usual wear and tear issues (ie. replacing worn brake drums, burned out turn signal bulbs, tires, ect.)

This car handles very well in all weather types: rain, snow. I live in Ontario, and a few years back we had a very heavy snowfall, and yet this car never got stuck in snow. Very pleasantly surprised.

Truly a great little car for the money. I will always buy Toyota after my experiences with this, my first car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th November, 2007

1999 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5L from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.5L Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired95000 kilometres
Most recent distance110000 kilometres
Previous carMazda Protege

Summary:

Reliable, cheap to run, and comfortable

Faults:

Nothing major so far. Up to 100,000km, it's been just tires and brakes. We had to replace one wheel bearing last month as it was getting a bit noisy, but this is just normal wear and tear on some tough Canadian roads. We also did the spark plugs around the same time, as they were due for a change as well. No rust, no burning oil, and no surprises, thus far.

General Comments:

This is my mother's car, but I've been driving it periodically since she's had it. My uncle worked in the local Toyota dealership's service department for some time, and he supported the general consensus that Toyota's are mostly reliable (the Tercel in particular).

Dealership support has been average. Friendly service, but when we brought the car in for a general check-up they gave her a clean bill of health, despite the fact that one of the wheel bearings was obviously shot. We knew this going in, and didn't tell them on purpose just to get a fresh opinion. Oddly they didn't even pick up on it... Repair quotes to change the bearing were roughly double from the dealer than at other garages we asked. That's nothing new from a dealer though.

As one might expect, the performance is below average. A 5 speed probably has a little pep, but the 4 speed automatic dulls it considerably. You won't get much pull if you put your foot down. It won't win any drag races obviously, but it will keep up with traffic, and even fast moving traffic. This car doesn't pretend to be sporty, so any harsher criticism of performance would be fruitless. It will get you where you're going, so that's all that matters.

The transmission shifts a little bit harshly into second when the car is cold, but this goes away once the car heats up. The transmission fluid is fine, and the operation is otherwise normal, so I guess this is a common trait, or at least it isn't a problem.

The engine is a little coarse, which can become a bit tiresome since you'll have to rev it a little higher than the average engine to get up to speed. Road noise can be a bit loud at highway speeds as well.

My mother finds the car quite comfortable, but being 6'2, I do find it a little cramped while driving. I think this car was designed with shorter people in mind :) I also bump my head (frequently) on the hangar's just above the door. Not the most practical of designs there.

Visibility is a bit poor if you're tall. Compared to my Mazda Protege, it is a little more difficult to make comfortable lane changes. Also, the rear door windows steam excessively in cold weather, even with the heat jacked up, or the windows jarred down. We've yet to find a solution to this, but it's a nuisance more than a problem.

The suspension is tuned more for comfort than sport, so expect the ride to be pretty good. It'll lean a bit if you push the corners, but this isn't a car you'll be ripping through corners with anyway.

For what this car is, it's unbeatable. If you're looking for basic, cheap, and reliable transportation then you'd be stupid not to consider a Tercel. I doubt I'd buy one personally (young guy, w/a bit of a lead foot), but most people looking for a car in this class will want something reliable and cheap, and Tercel meets all of these criteria and then some.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2004

22nd Nov 2004, 13:08

To your rear windows fogging problem:

If you have air-conditioning, use it. Even when your knob is turned to "HOT". It the air will not become cold, but the windows will clear. I have a 1995 Honda Accord with the same thing. If you don't have air-conditioning, make sure the air is coming in from the outside, NOT recirculating. This is located around the fan switch area. Also, there are sprays that you can put on your windows that help with fogging. Check Canadian Tire.

22nd Nov 2004, 16:03

I'm not sure why I have the blue frowny face associated with my review. For the record, I wholeheartedly recommend this car... I just wouldn't buy another personally (not a knock against the car or company, just personal tastes).

22nd Nov 2004, 21:46

There's no A/C and the switch is always set to circulate fresh air. I'll look for some of that spray you mentioned though. Thanks.

17th Nov 2008, 06:34

I like this car as well. My 98 Tercel never let me down, despite the unexplainable problem of rusted bolts and exhaust system on the engine. I recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap car or has a CHEAP USAGE in their top 3 in their lists. I'll be heading down the economic line from them (Tercel, Echo, Yaris)

1999 Toyota Tercel CE from North America

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired26000 kilometres
Most recent distance75000 kilometres
Previous carChevrolet Chevette

Summary:

Fabulously reliable economical bargain

Faults:

Nothing major has gone wrong, just the usual very cheap regular maintenance work, including brake pads and rotors just recently.

General Comments:

Very dependable little car, this is the most economical and reliable option I've researched.

It has enough power to pass on highways, though not like any high performance sports car, just comfortable legal driving.

I do notice the power to the brakes and gas are weaker when the AC is on, so you learn to compromise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2004

1999 Toyota Tercel CE 1.5L from North America

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5L Manual
Performance marks 8 / 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)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired7 kilometres
Most recent distance128000 kilometres

Summary:

It cost a little more than most small cars, but you get what you pay for

Faults:

The locks can be difficult to open from the outside of the car - they don't seem to like my car key.

The seats are low which is good if you are tall, but bad if you are short like me.

General Comments:

Excellent fuel efficiency and reliability. Handles well in adverse conditions like snow.

Front seats are too low and there is little room in the back - not a family sedan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2003

7th Apr 2005, 16:25

My 1991 Toyota Tercel doesn't like my car key either. It's still a good car though.

1999 Toyota Tercel from Saudi Arabia

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 kilometres
Most recent distance109000 kilometres
Previous carHyundai Elantra

Summary:

An excellent economical little car

Faults:

Nothing major.

The usual changing of brake pads.

General Comments:

A very reliable four door little car.

Excellent gas consumption. As a Canadian working in Saudi Arabia, I pay about 8 Dollars to fill it up and it drives between 450 and 500 Kilometers.

Consumes more gas when AC is on, but still Drives between 420 and 460 Kilometers.

Very good acceleration when AC is off.

Small seats, but fun to drive.

I believe that if you keep doing the regular maintenance for it like changing oil and tune up it can last forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2003

Average review marks: 8.6 / 10, based on 7 reviews