This is a great car. I LOVE it. It is fun to ride, the visibility is GREAT. As a young girl, my "Runabout" got great gas mileage and had a lot of horse power for her size. She's 22 years old now and almost ready to retire, but I would keep her and fix her up if I could. She needs a new or rebuilt engine now.
I love this vehicle. 295,000 miles on my 1996 and still purring. I have to put oil in it almost weekly but a small sacrifice to drive this beast. I expect it to run another 100,000. Starts up beautifully but a little rough on the road, to be expected with so many miles. I want to buy another one when this finally gives up on me and hope to find one just like her with low miles.
I say "great" car in the title... However mechanically this car is a horror story to work on. Toyota really did not think about maintenance when designing this car. It's definitely not a Honda... Plan on small working spaces, and hard to reach bolts for any maintenance other then oil changes.
When I bought it in 2010 the car was leaking oil out of just about every orifice. So when buying one plan on changing some seals
Aside from all that this car is wonderful to drive. I've taken it up mountains, through rivers, over rainy freeways, dirt roads. It handles like a car, but can take the beating of a truck.
Versatility - it can take you to work or haul a load
Noise reduction - Any speed over 75 is horribly noisy
Redesign engine compartment to make maintenance possible without dropping the engine
Re-tune the computer for a more conservative
A/F map, and reduce the risks of detonation, or make it possible to adjust the timing manually