1998 Toyota Tercel Review
Pros & Cons
- Toyota engineering, new styling, fuel efficient.
- Has a little engine that can't.
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.