1984 Toyota Tercel sr5 from North America - Comments

10th Apr 2007, 05:09

Any bigshots from Toyota reading this?

If so: PLEASE start building the Tercel again, from '89 to '94, any year will be fine. Make it look EXACTLY the same, build it using the EXACT same practices all the previous ones were built within Japan.

I don't even care about all of the safety upgrades and horsepower upgrades through the years. I want my 82 horsepower, 4-speed manual, green '93 Tercel coupe back again.

I don't care if it has 60 horsepower like the original Tercels, I want 45 miles per gallon of gasoline again. You guys don't have a stockpile of original '93 Tercels sitting around somewhere, do you? If so, tell me about it and I will buy two of them, if not three.

Another thing: stop making all of your vehicles bigger and bigger with worse and worse gas mileage. I wouldn't trade my mid 90's Tacoma for any of the new trucks. If mine ever dies, and it's not looking like it ever will, I don't know what I'll do.

I'm not alone in this you know. People don't want 300 horsepower Toyota trucks; they'll be happy with 150 horsepower and double the gas mileage. Same goes for the cars, keep them SMALL and NO FRILLS, and keep the gas mileage up. That's why people love Toyota's, simple, fun as hell to drive, cost efficient transportation.

I'll be waiting for a reply about one of those '93 Tercels... I'm serious, by the way.

10th Apr 2007, 08:26

Yeah, it's sad. The Scion xB, which was both small and got good mileage (but not like the Tercel!) is now growing in size and engine displacement. So a bigger gas guzzler.

The original Tercel was amazing and they should just update the basics. The Yaris is nothing like it.

10th Apr 2007, 17:17

Toyota, or any other manufacturer, unfortunately could not make a car exactly the way it was produced in the 80's or early 90's and sell it in the USA today (I'm not sure if you mentioned where you are from, but assuming you are from the USA) because of substantially revised regulations beginning in 1996 regarding the emissions and on board diagnostic system configuration/architectures that had to be included on all new vehicles. The new protocol the vehicles had to (and still do) conform to is called OBDII.

This applies to all manufacturers and adds a fair amount of complexity to vehicles sold today and since 1996. There were some growing pains experienced by all the manufacturers in the beginning (1996 to late 1990's models) because of the dramatic change in regulations that were imposed on them. The result was a large amount of cars during that time period from every manufacturer (including Toyota) having cars with their check engine lights coming on almost all the time, because the new systems just were not ready for prime time.

I recall these problems vividly, as I was working as an auto mechanic specializing in electronics and drivability troubleshooting at the time. Ironically too, the system does absolutely nothing to decrease emissions (thank you geniuses in the federal government) versus a properly working system of the previous generation, just more stringently monitor the emissions control system in case there is a malfunction.

Incidentally, Toyota severely botched up its initial OBDII implementation and lied about the technical details of its architecture to the US Federal government in order to allow cars to be sold here. They got caught after owners' vehicles were having a disproportionate amount of problems. It is not well publicized (because Toyota gets a free pass on all their foul-ups), but they got into a lot of hot water which culminated with Toyota receiving a federal judgement against them for the mishap. So even if only for that reason, the Tercel generation you prefer is definitely a better breed.

The good news, though, is that the manufacturers seem to have worked out all the bugs that had plagued the earlier versions of OBDII, and the systems/implementations sold today are sound. SOME aspects of the system are even beneficial to customers now, but the increased amount of components that must be added to the vehicles (and subsequently their increased cost) will never be.

I might have digressed a bit, but that is the reason why it would not be possible to manufacture and sell an exact duplicate of your earlier vintage Tercel today. If you live in an area where cars do not disintegrate from rust, you might consider getting/keeping an older one on the road. An engine/transmission replacement is certainly a lot cheaper than the insane prices of new cars today.

I'd stick with a fuel injected model though. When those archaic feedback carburetors which Toyota decided to keep themselves in the stone age with while the rest of the industry had long since switched to fuel injection go haywire, they can be a nightmare. I've had my share of fun with those, including on Tercels.

I hope some of that was helpful...

11th Apr 2007, 09:27

Oh, please. Like the US manufacturers haven't gotten a free pass on tons of stuff. Just look at the gas guzzler tax, a tax designed EXCLUSIVELY to punish German makers and was NEVER revised because American makers made most of their money off of exempted SUVs.

I'm not saying Toyota is perfect (although my Tercel was, LOL), but you need to keep things in context.

Also, the #1 problem with OBDII was that it was sooo sensitive that if owners did not tighten their gas caps enough, the system would flash a "check engine light". Most owners thought their car was going to blow up and this caused a lot of hassle and wasted trips to the dealership.

13th Apr 2007, 17:55

The gas cap issue was an issue, as you point out, but the car was functioning as designed. I was referring to other types of growing pains, such as misfire codes for no reason, and the evaporative emissions glitches I mentioned.

I am not sure what you are talking about with your statement that the gas guzzler tax was implemented to punish German manufacturers. The gas guzzler tax began in 1978 and applied to all manufacturers. In 1978, most German vehicles sold in the US got better gas mileage than American cars of the time, so I would think American manufacturers were impacted far more than the Germans.

But you have nothing to worry about if you drive a Tercel...

Regards.

21st Apr 2007, 11:16

We have a 94 tercel we purchased about three years ago, used. In that time we've put about $250 into the car... a real bargain for a family that knows nothing about cars or how to repair them. Who cares about the paint job when the incredible savings allows you to educate your children?

My husband is driving it into the ground with his two hour commute every day and the thing keeps going. This is our second tercel. We drove the first one for 15 years, never had a single problem or repair other than normal maintenance... and we bought that one off a salvage title!

Sorry to the car fanatics out there, but it's transportation... meant to help you reach your dreams, not be your dream. We need something reliable that we know will get us to work and school, not something that all we do is work to pay for.