Standard and DX trim levels are shelved in favor of CE trim for all Tercels. All models have upgraded cloth trim, new rotary heater controls, a trip odometer and a storage console. New wheel covers adorn standard 14-inch wheels.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Top Consumer Reviews
Read what other owners think about the 1997 Toyota Tercel
My first car and a great car
I bought this car from my neighbor as my first car when I was 16 (3 years ago) for 1,200$. It had 179,000 miles on it or more when I bought it. It now has 210,000 miles on it. I would say I probably could have gotten more miles out of her, but she was my first car and I learned a lot of maintenance lessons with her (like always get your oil change and don't let you car run out of oil). I was rough on this poor thing and because I had to get a new car. However considering I put 30,000 miles on her and she lasted me as long as she did, I think this car is a great reliable car. I have never been stranded with her. Gas mileage was 34-38mpg until I drove her out of oil, the mpg just started dropping after that.
Some of the stuff I had to have done on her: I had to replace the radiator (which is a common repair needed for this particular car), valve lifters and brakes, and I had to replace the idle air control valve. As long as you keep oil in her, she will be your best friend!
UPDATE: She finally died on me as of this year with 211,000 on her odemeter. She probably could've of lasted a bit longer if I hadn't been so hard on her. Many lessons have been learned as a new car owner with this one.
Best Toyota Ever!!!
I am on my 5th Toyota mostly Corolla's and this was my first Tercel (1997).
I bought it 10 years ago for a mere $4,000, 60,000 miles, in great shape!
I have taken good care of it with regular maintenance and it runs circles around my new Camry!!! Runs like a top, drives like a Champion, purrs like a kitten & STILL gets a WHOPPING 36 CITY!!!
I never even drive the new Camry since I like this one better!!
AND, the A/C works much better than the new Camry!!!!
I hope my baby car NEVER dies!!!!
I got Manson, my tercel, from my grandparents. I learned how to drive in it and it's great for driving and has awesome fuel economy, but it kinda kills my hotness scale. It's a great car for learners who don't really car about their image. Had to replace the cardboard speakers. Make sure you don't get in any accidents, because the car will be creamed and the car you hit will only have minor damage. So overall, great car and wonderful gas mileage if you don't get in accidents and don't care about being called a grandma on the road.