1992 Toyota Tercel Consumer Review: Environmental Hazard on Wheels
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1992 Toyota Tercel - Consumer Review

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Environmental Hazard on Wheels
By histrclgenius on

Vehicle

1992 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe

Review

I purchased this used with 106k miles. It was to replace my 1984 corolla. I don't see many improvements in the 8 years. In fact, the 1984 was superior with better suspension and fuel economy. That being said, it is extremely reliable and for the money, is an incredible value. The engine burns more oil than a rebel attack on a Nigerian pipeline - I add one quart every 400 miles. This issue is prevalent according to other owners I spoken with but doesn't seem to affect performance or longevity. So, if you can deal with a fog of blue smoke every morning, riding around with a 5 quart bottle of 10w-40 as your passenger and serial condescending glances, this is the car for you.

Favorite Features

This car has no features: an engine, seat, wheels - that about covers it. Have you ever seen a frozen pizza in the store that advertises, "Now made with real cheese!"? You wonder, "What were they using before?" The answer: the Toyota Tercel; it looks like a car but you can't shake your suspicion that it might actually be made out of cardboard. Oh, there is one 'feature', I suppose. For every 100 miles I drive for work, I get $55 and spend $10 on fuel ($3.50/gallon). To date, I've made over $10,000 - that's a pretty good return on a $1,200 car.

Suggested Improvements

The 4-speed transmission is a real drawback and the mileage would be substantially improved with a 5-speed. However, the lack of engine power might make it difficult to ascend steeper grades at highway speed in overdrive. One more thing - the rear seat appears to have caught fire at some point in the past. However, I don't think this was due to a design defect.
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