We purchased the 1996 Toyota Tercel, stick shift, two-door, for our daughter in 1999 prior to graduating high school in 2000. The mileage on the vehicle upon purchase was approximately 56,000 miles. When she moved to New York, she no longer needed a vehicle; I needed a vehicle to drive to and from work every day. Since 2007 I have been using the vehicle on the highway driving from Hernando to Tampa, approximately 160 miles (roundtrip). I cannot ask for a more reliable vehicle than this little. The performance is still good. The odometer just turned over to 400,500 miles this past week. The amount of money we have spent so far on this vehicle has not been that much, the most we was replacing the air conditioning. As I stated, I am still driving the vehicle every day at 75 miles an hour on the highway and it is still running strong. It is getting approximately 21.5 miles a gallon. Not bad for a vehicle that has that many mileage on the odometer. As far as I am concerned Toyota vehicles are the best made vehicles by far.
Bought a '96 four door Tercel in October of 2012 but with automatic transmission. It had 198k miles on it but ran great, other than needing new brakes. AC works fine, power steering, Got 40+ miles per gallon on the highway, 30mpg in town. I now have 207k miles on it. Needs a few things, like fan selector needs tweeking, CV joing is rattling on sharp turns, and will probably install new front calipers. High beams don't work but it is a switch problem in the column. All easy to repair I hope. I don't mind the faded paint. Bought for $1400 and won't part with it unless I find another, maybe a straight drive to get better gas mileage and cruise control.
Gas mileage, simple manual controls, like the mirrors and windows, good visibility, but I miss cruise control. Typical road noise for a small car but I don't mind. Snow tires make it go well in snow. Definitely not a chick magnet but at my age, who cares.
My wife and I bought our Tercel new in '96, joking that our 7-year old would drive it someday. She's now 21. She's still driving it. Yes, being a young college student she sometimes complains that it's not 'pretty' like some of the newer cars her classmates drive, but the reliability has been nothing short of incredible. At 325,000 miles, the old girl finally gave one last blast of blue smoke and burped her last breath. Our daughter actually cried. while she shopped with her mother for another car, I installed a rebuilt engine and she couldn't be happier. Another 300,000 miles? I don't see why not!
If I had the patience to type that word a thousand times I would.
Even with an automatic we still get 37 mpg on the highway, and average about 28 in town.
What repairs we've had to make are consistant with any car that has this many miles, and parts are readily available.
A bit underpowered, but considering the gas mileage I can live with that.
rear seat legroom is lacking, especially in the coupe. The only other complaint I have is that they don't make it anymore!!!!
What are you thinking?!!
I bought my Tercel w/53,000 miles about 9 years ago and I just had my most expensive repair (coil at $250) at 143,000! I got a newer/used Corolla and I hope it lives up to my Tercel. Reliable is an understatement. I'm having separation anxiety from having to sell it, but can't afford to maintain 2 cars. If you take care of your Tercel, it will take care of you. I'll miss "Big Red" but I think my "Silver Bullet" will rise to the challenge. I don't care what they say-TOYOTA, I'm with you for life!
Paint job, bright red and always shiny, even when dirty. Wish the newer cars had this quality.
Why bother, you don't make them anymore. Just ensure you continue to make quality cars.