1996 Toyota Paseo Review

Used Paseo for sale
List Price Estimate:$452 - $1,052
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Toyota Paseo model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

What do you get when you plunk down $13,000 for Toyota's sporty-looking Paseo? You get tepid acceleration, poor visibility, rear drum brakes, and a two-speaker AM/FM radio. On the plus side, the new Paseo comes with dual airbags, side impact protection, remote hatch and fuel door openers, locking split-fold rear seats, rear defroster, and a car that can handle on the twisties as well as a Pontiac Firebird or Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Basically, what you get is a Tercel that corners well. Oh yes, there is also the issue of Toyota reliability. Is it worth $13,000? Well, you could buy a Neon Coupe or a Nissan 200SX. If those don't get you drooling, how bout a Mitsubishi Mirage LS Coupe, Honda Civic DX Coupe, or Ford Escort GT? The answer to the question depends on what you're looking for in a set of cheap, sporty wheels.

The Paseo comes with a minimum of standard equipment. Add some alloy wheels, air conditioning, antilock brakes, cruise control, and a cassette player, and the Paseo runs above $16,000. We're thinking that this isn't much of a value. We're thinking Neon Sport Coupe.

Styling is new this year, and while it is derivative, the Paseo certainly is attractive. The greenhouse is small, squashed between a high beltline and low roof. Windows have been enlarged and pillars have been thinned, but the inside of the Paseo is still rather claustrophobic.

This car was conceived as a commuter sport coupe. It shares its market niche with a dreadful vehicle called the Mazda MX-3. Neither car sells very well, and the reason is because any of the cars mentioned previously is far more satisfying to own and drive than either of these two vehicles. However, if we had to choose between the Paseo or the MX-3, we'd definitely go with the Toyota.

1996 Highlights

All-new Paseo looks like last year's car, but is much improved. It now meets 1997 passenger car safety standards, and has a split-fold rear seat.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Toyota Paseo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
Finally died at 342,800 miles
2dr Coupe
I bought my 96 Paseo in 2003 when I started a new job which was 194 miles round trip to and from work. It had 119,000 on it then. I never garaged it and it never failed to start, even through the winters. The only maintenance I had to perform was a clutch the day I bought it, brakes several times and wheel bearings. I was averaging 41,600 miles per year. 4 days ago on my way to work the timing belt broke while I was driving it and I was told it probably bent a couple of valves. It was still averaging 37 mpg and was the best car I have owned to date. I wish I could find another one. Finally died at 342,800 miles.
4.88 out of 5 stars
good car
2dr Coupe
My dad picked out this car for me. I think it's a reliable car. Ive had it for a year and a half now and I never once had a problem with it yet. Its great on gas too.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Paseo great car
2dr Coupe
I love my Paseo, it is fun to drive. Gets great milage, Reliable. I just wish it had a bigger engine it is underpowered for its class. But that is what makes it get such great gas milage and it still has more power than an averge compact car.
5 out of 5 stars
Best little car ever
2dr Coupe
I have had my car for over 12 years and no major problem at all. Just regular upkeep. I am now replacing old worn part like struts, CV joints, power steering pump, and O2 sensor. Good gas mileage. The car is good to me I will keep it until the wheels fall off.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Toyota Paseo

Used 1996 Toyota Paseo Overview

The Used 1996 Toyota Paseo is offered in the following submodels: Paseo Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe. The Used 1996 Toyota Paseo comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Toyota Paseo?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Toyota Paseos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Toyota Paseo for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Toyota Paseo.

Can't find a used 1996 Toyota Paseos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Paseo for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $25,217.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $18,464.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Paseo for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,710.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $14,128.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Toyota Paseo?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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