1990 Toyota Tercel Consumer Review: Why Toyota won customer loyalt

1990 Toyota Tercel - Consumer Review

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Why Toyota won customer loyalty
By Doug on


1990 Toyota Tercel 2dr Coupe


Found this one-owner gem on the internet with 29k miles. My 12th Toyota, 3rd Tercel. Toyota's place in America was won with a simple strategy: make their entry-level cars cheap to buy and keep, and buyers will keep coming back for upscale models. The Tercel exemplified that strategy. Comfortable seats; simple, serviceable drivetrain; straightforward interior (you never need an owner's manual to figure out how everything works). Smooth runner (tho noise levels high when compared with 20 today's cars)-- and with 76 bhp, you won't be winning any races. 3-spd auto revs high and hurts mileage (28-30 avg), but does the job; it gets you there cheaply, and with just a little bit of fun thrown in too!

Best Features

Starts instantly (though it needs 10- sec warm up to run best); very good seat comfort; corners like a go-cart with 185/70-13 tires; tight turning radius; good visibility; previous exp. w/ Tercels bodes 300k miles with minimal TLC. HEY TOYOTA: why are the seats more comfortable in this than the Yaris?

Worst Features

Road- and engine-noise makes conversation tough above 55mph; oil filter in LOUSY place close to exhaust manifold; sheet metal THIN; OEM tires so small they belong on a stroller; poor headlights and VERY DISMAL brakes mean leaving lots of room to stop-- good luck if you need to slam on the brakes!!
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