Used 1990 Toyota Tercel Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1990 Toyota Tercel - Consumer Reviews

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Why Toyota won customer loyalty
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Doug
on

Vehicle

1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe


Review

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!


Favorite Features

Starts instantly (though it needs 10- sec warm up to run best); very good seat comfort; corners like a go-cart with 185/70-13 tires; tight turning radius; good visibility; previous exp. w/ Tercels bodes 300k miles with minimal TLC. HEY TOYOTA: why are the seats more comfortable in this than the Yaris?


Suggested Improvements

Road- and engine-noise makes conversation tough above 55mph; oil filter in LOUSY place close to exhaust manifold; sheet metal THIN; OEM tires so small they belong on a stroller; poor headlights and VERY DISMAL brakes mean leaving lots of room to stop-- good luck if you need to slam on the brakes!!


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Zippy and Fun
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Sue
on

Vehicle

1990 Toyota Tercel EZ 2dr Hatchback


Review

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.


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Free Transportation
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mtcan
on

Vehicle

1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe


Review

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.


Favorite Features

I LOVE the geeky seat belts. Very useful to keep me from forgetting or hating putting a seat belt on, and it serves as a great handle to pull the door closed after you're in too.


Suggested Improvements

That main carburetor adjustment screw is key to having a car with actual (and safe) power to accelerate in traffic. I still have to merge by braking, but it takes a professional mechanic to figure out where to literally dig-into the carb metal to adjust that carb screw at the back of the carb.


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Good car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Italianprincess
on

Vehicle

1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Hatchback


Review

I have a 1988 Toyota Tercel with 80,000 miles. Thing runs beautiful. Little bit of an oil leak but what do you expect for a 20 yr old car. Just had a tune up but no major problems.


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Never Quits
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rtreviewing
on

Vehicle

1990 Toyota Tercel EZ 2dr Hatchback


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Indestructibility. This car will die from salt rust before anything else.


Suggested Improvements

Add a right hand side mirror. I know the EZ Hatchback is the econ model, but it's a pain (and potential safety issue) to check the right blind spot twice just to make a lane change to the right. Exterior styling is non- existent.


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