Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe

1997 Toyota Paseo
List price range
1997 Toyota Paseo


  • Good looks, great cornering ability, fuel efficient, Toyota reliability


  • High price, low power

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

What do you get when you plunk down nearly $14,000 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, remote hatch and fuel door openers, locking split-fold rear seats, rear defroster, and a suspension that provides handling in the twisties equal to 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 $14,000? Not in our book. Let's option one out, shall we?

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 just above $16,000. We're thinking that this isn't much of a value. We're thinking speedy and good-looking Pontiac Sunfire GT with an option package for the same money, honey.

Styling was new last 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.

The big news for 1997 is the addition of a convertible to the lineup. The four-layer insulated top includes a heated glass rear window and is manually operated. Price? A rather reasonable $17,000 and change, which makes this the least expensive convertible sold in the U.S. if you don't count the Geo Tracker and Suzuki Sidekick. We'd rather have the 4WD and balky top, thanks.

Other news for 1997 is limited to redesigned interior door panels that increase hip room, new rotary climate controls, and the addition of dual visor vanity mirrors in the coupe.

Don't get the impression that we don't appreciate the Paseo for what it is. This car is meant for stylish commuting by people who don't enjoy wasting time at auto repair facilities. We're simply suckers for a good value, and the Paseo coupe isn't one. On the other hand, we're also suckers for top-down driving, and the new convertible is the cheapest way to get some sun on your face in a brand new set of wheels.

1997 Highlights

A convertible debuts. Coupes get dual-visor vanity mirrors, fresh door trim and rotary-heater controls.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Toyota Paseo.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great First Car
I am writing about this car because I am ready to buy a new one. My boyfriend is battling me on this because he says its hard to come buy a good car and he is true. I purchased this car when it was seven years old and it has never failed me. This car has taken me from florida to los angeles and back with all of my worldly possesions and my dog. I highly reccommend this car.Don't let the age fool you - its sweeter now than ever. When my friends are paying $40 to fill their gas tanks I am only paying $20.
Sporty Tercel
Dean in Mesa,10/18/2002
I've owned my Toyota Paseo since new. It's essentially a sporty Toyota Tercel. It's fun to drive, reliable, has great fuel economy, and is an all around great commuter car.
#1 Toyota Underdog
Matsu Taktix,02/22/2004
I bought my Toyota Paseo (a.k.a Veronica)at age 16. It has become my everything. This car has handling that you could not imagine. I've pushed this car to the redline time and time again and it wont fail me. This car has been reliable and will continue to be reliable. The Paseo is one of the most under rated cars out there and should be given much more credit. It's acceleration is more than acceptable for a car that only puts out 93 horses and 100 pounds of torque. I actually own a 1998 Paseo and i expect to keep this car for the rest of my life. This car will stop at nothing.
Great first car
Paseo owner,06/07/2003
I bought my paseo new. It was the first car I ever purchased on my own. It's small but at the time (I was 21) it was just what I wanted. I love the way it handles and takes a corner. In six years I have never had a mechanical problem. Most reviews will say an adult cannot ride in the back but I am here to tell you my friends have done it many times. Of course the older we get the less we want to! :) I think this is a great car for a highschool/college student.
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Features & Specs

26 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
93 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe features & specs


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 1997 Toyota Paseo
Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe Overview

The Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe?

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Used 1997 Toyota Paseo Coupe Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 1997 Toyota Paseo Paseo Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Paseo for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $9,388.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $7,573.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Paseo for sale - 9 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,598.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota Paseo lease specials