by Doug on Aug 28, 2010 Vehicle: 1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe
Found this one-owner gem on the internet with 29k miles. My 12th Toyota, 3rd Tercel. Toyota's place in America was won with a simple strategy: make their entry-level cars cheap to buy and keep, and buyers will keep coming back for upscale models. The Tercel exemplified that strategy. Comfortable seats; simple, serviceable drivetrain; straightforward interior (you never need an owner's manual to figure out how everything works). Smooth runner (tho noise levels high when compared with 20 today's cars)-- and with 76 bhp, you won't be winning any races. 3-spd auto revs high and hurts mileage (28-30 avg), but does the job; it gets you there cheaply, and with just a little bit of fun thrown in too!
by Sue on Feb 7, 2010 Vehicle: 1990 Toyota Tercel EZ 2dr Hatchback
My aunt gave me this car 3 years ago. this car is a great commuter car : I drive 140 highway miles round trip, it gets great gas mileage and I regularly go 70mph. Its a fun zippy little thing and its very responsive. No rust, no maintenance issues. It won't win any beauty contests, but it is so reliable and fun to drive.
by mtcan on May 27, 2009 Vehicle: 1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe
I bought this car seriously neglected for $1K & 50K miles. I doubt they changed the oil ever as it was owned and operated by an elderly woman who actually died and the nephew sold it to me. That's not a good combination for a reliable vehicle, but after investing another $700 in overdue maintenance, it has given me nearly flawless reliability for two years and 15K miles/yr. The car has had an issue with its thermostat, and it can overheat without you knowing it, so be aware that near-red is actually RED. Also, there is a carburetor adjustment screw that we had to dig-into the carb metal to get to at the back (near firewall), but after that, it runs fantastic for simple transportation.
by rtreviewing on Sep 6, 2008 Vehicle: 1990 Toyota Tercel EZ 2dr Hatchback
I bought this car when it was already 11 years old and with about 70K miles on it. I kept it for 6 years and put another 30K miles on it. When I parted with it, it was still going very strong. The car had zero problems. Besides routine maintenance, once in a while I did have to replace a part. But that's once in a long while. In the six years I owned it, I might have put in $500 to $600 in maintenance and repairs, and I don't even do the oil changes myself.
by Mihai on Sep 15, 2006 Vehicle: 1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Hatchback
This car is the best I've ever had. I abused it in every possible way. Almost never breaks and when it does it's dirt cheap to fix. Tires are $15 new or $6 used. Changed the brakes for $40 at a mechanic. Can't ask for more. You can take it anywhere - even off road. We took it to Oregon and drove 200 miles on unpaved roads and then back to California. Lookwise it's not the best, but I took it to over 50 dates and I've been far more succesfull [weeding out the bad girls] then when I was driving a gas-guzzler money-eater Pontiac. Toyota costs 9.5 cents/mile for gas, insurance, repairs and loss in car value (including one accident) during my ownership. Pontiac was 37 cents/mile, no accident.