Used 1998 Toyota Tercel

Pros & Cons

  • Toyota engineering, new styling, fuel efficient.
  • Has a little engine that can't.
Other years
Toyota Tercel for Sale
List Price Estimate
$1,364 - $3,242

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Before we tell you to buy something else, let it be known that this is a good car. It will run forever, won't cost much to insure or operate and is put together with the precision of a Swiss watch. Unfortunately, fit, finish and reliability don't come for free, and the Tercel has traditionally pushed the boundaries of acceptable pricing. Toyota has dropped its Tercel sedan this year, offering only a two-door model and banking on the car's fuel efficient reputation and new styling to jump start sales.

Tercel Coupe CE offers new multi-reflector headlights, a revised grille and front fascia and clear lens turn signal lights. On the outside, a color-keyed grille, dual remote black outside mirrors, black bodyside molding and scratch-resistant bumpers are newly designed.

Inside, the CE has cloth interior and Toyota has added rear-seat headrests and updated audio faceplates with an expanded stereo option list. Dual airbags, crumple zones, optional ABS and impact-absorbing bumpers create a safer environment for passengers. The interior of the Tercel is nice enough that it is no torture chamber, but the tight dimensions, engine racket, wind noise and tire roar are there in spades to remind you that this ain't no Lexus.

The Tercel we drove last year was tight, but not rattle-free. If the Tercel were priced realistically, we could wholeheartedly recommend it. As it stands, it offers about as much value as that mountain property you bought in Florida last year.

1998 Highlights

For 1998, the Tercel is available exclusively as a two-door CE model with additional standard features like color-keyed grille and bumpers, rear seat headrests, AM/FM stereo with cassette, air conditioning, digital clock and power steering.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Toyota Tercel.

Average user rating: 4.6 stars
9 total reviews
5 star reviews: 56%
4 star reviews: 44%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • engine
  • interior
  • value
  • lights
  • seats
  • cup holders
  • oil
  • maintenance & parts
  • towing
  • fuel efficiency
  • warranty

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Wave of the future
CE 2dr Coupe
This car is awesome. It get around 40mpg, rarely has a problem, and handles great. The design resembles that of BMW or Honda, but without the possiblity of confusing it with another car due to it's unique look. With gas prices hitting $2 a gallon, this car is great for both everyday commuting and long road trips. It's light weight makes up for any lack in horsepower, giving it the great mileage and quick acceleration.
4/5 stars, More reliable than any friend
CE 2dr Coupe
I have this beauty for 5 years now and bought it with 140KM as a second car/ winter car, I drive it daily to construction job and my only car for all winter. I had 3 different BMWs during this period and I love this beauty just as much as my 2012 M3, I drove it in winter from Toronto to Grande Prairie in 2.5 days 4000Km and all I did so far after 5 years and 220KM was front brake, timing belt, and 4 new winter tires, I drove the last set of winter tires 4 years for summer and winter and they were still good for one more year.
4.875/5 stars, Bring back the Tercel
CE 2dr Coupe
I love this car! 50 can mpg. 400,000 kms in 8 years. Changed oil every 5000kms and tune up and tires every 100,000. Thats it! Haven't even replaced a light bulb yet! Why would they stop making a car like this? Hell I even pull a tent trailer in the summer! It's bullet proof!
4.25/5 stars, Used 1998 Tercel
CE 2dr Coupe
My girlfriend and I were shopping for a car and almost leased a new Mazda 3 sport GS. We opted instead for a 1998 Tercel CE metallic black on gray w/ AC. The car came with Blizzak snow tires on 13" rims (1998s came with 14"). The car is in amazing condition, especially inside. The cloth seats show no wear at all after 7 years! I replaced the snow tires with 13" Goodyear Allegras and the ride, handling and road noise all improved. The A/C blows cold (just a bit weak during the 36-37c heat wave). I have owned $55k BMW 3 series among other things and I am VERY impressed with this car. There are no squeaks and rattles!

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
27 City / 35 Hwy / 30 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.9 gal. capacity
0 seats
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 93 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque: 100 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Basic Warranty
Length: 161.8 in. / Height: 53.2 in. / Width: 64.8 in.
Curb Weight: 2090 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 9.3 cu.ft.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver3 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
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 TestNot Tested
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test


Is the Toyota Tercel a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 1998 Tercel both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Toyota Tercel fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Tercel gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Tercel has 9.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Toyota Tercel. Learn more

Is the Toyota Tercel reliable?

To determine whether the Toyota Tercel is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Tercel. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Tercel's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 1998 Toyota Tercel a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 1998 Toyota Tercel is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 1998 Tercel is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 1998 Toyota Tercel?

The least-expensive 1998 Toyota Tercel is the 1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe. Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $0.

Other versions include:

    Learn more

    What are the different models of Toyota Tercel?

    If you're interested in the Toyota Tercel, the next question is, which Tercel model is right for you? Tercel variants include CE 2dr Coupe. For a full list of Tercel models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 1998 Toyota Tercel

    Used 1998 Toyota Tercel Overview

    The Used 1998 Toyota Tercel is offered in the following submodels: Tercel Coupe. Available styles include CE 2dr Coupe. The Used 1998 Toyota Tercel comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

    What do people think of the 1998 Toyota Tercel?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the Used 1998 Toyota Tercel and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the Used 1998 Tercel 4.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the Used 1998 Tercel.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1998 Toyota Tercel and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1998 Tercel featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New Used 1998 Toyota Tercel?

    Used 1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe

    The Used 1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $13,110. The average price paid for a new Used 1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe is trending $11,850 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $11,850 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $1,260.

    The average savings for the Used 1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe is 90.4% below the MSRP.

    Which used 1998 Toyota Tercels 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) 1998 Toyota Tercel 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 1998 Toyota Tercel.

    Can't find a new 1998 Toyota Tercels you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $24,443.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 1998 Toyota Tercel?

    1998 Toyota Tercel CE 2dr Coupe, 5-speed manual, regular unleaded
    30 compined MPG,
    27 city MPG/35 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG30
    Transmission5-speed manual
    Drive Trainfront wheel drive
    Displacement1.5 L
    Passenger VolumeN/A
    Wheelbase93.7 in.
    Length161.8 in.
    Width64.8 in.
    Height53.2 in.
    Curb Weight2090 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 1998 Toyota Tercel?

    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 Tercel lease specials