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1997 Toyota Tercel

Overview
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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Vehicle Highlights

Information shown for entry-level Coupe.

Fuel Economy:
City 28/Hwy 35/Comb 31 MPG
Max Seating: 4
Engine: 4-Cyl, 1.5 Liter Transmission: Manual, 5-Spd
Country of Origin: Japan Country of Assembly: Japan

1997 Toyota Tercel Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 134 Ratings for the 1995 - 1998 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

32+ MPG and Toyota Dependability--BUY ONE !!

By on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "32+ MPG, low maintenance cost, Very dependable"

Cons: "Some parts hard to find due to last year made 1999"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had 5 different 2- and 4 door Toyota Tercels since 1991. All were automatics. I currently own a 1997 CE Coupe that I've had for over 5 years. It has been so dependable that I bought my daughter an almost identical 1996 coupe that was even the same color silver !!. The little 1.5L engine is ONLY rated at 93 HP, but you would never know it, because it is QUITE PEPPY and fun to drive, and still even gets 32mpg+ with over 125K miles on it now ! I never spend more than $25-30 weekly on gas commuting from the suburbs into the city to work, and I even use premium fuel ! Oil changes every 2500 mi, with routine maintenance and Timing belt change and these cars will run forever! Although the FWD is good in snow about up to 6 inches,I only use it 9 months a year as my commuter car,and I drive my newer 4WD Ford Ranger in the winter snow. I cannot say enough about how smooth, reliable and economical these Tercels are. Too bad Toyota stopped making these cars because I would keep buying them new !!.The good news is Toyota now sells the "Yaris" as a comparable next generation economy car,which i'm told is quite a good car as well. If you want an inexpensive great little car that gets almost as much MPG as the Prius for only a fraction of the cost, buy a Tercel!!!"

Overall a fun and safe commuter car

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 285,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Cheap, great MPG, reliable, fun"

Cons: "hard to find parts"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought car with 270k miles and have put 15k miles on it in a couple months. Great reliable car you can buy with many miles on it safely. Auto trans shifts well, still has great acceleration from a stop, but 50mph and up it awakens and very responsive to gas pedal as it will surprise you. The 5EFE 1.5L engine is the best for power and mpg. 95-99 Tercel and Paseo cars share the same parts in the drivetrain. So parts are very limited at the stores and online is very tough to locate. PicknPull has a few here and there but if your looking for a new part, its difficult sometimes. Tercel is a bit smaller than a Corolla, which gives better mpg, but I would recommend a Toyota Corolla or Camry for ease of parts. I can fit 2 car seats in the back and a small behind person in the center 3rd seatbelt."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My Faithful Friend

By on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 270,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great on gas and low maintanence."

Cons: "No speed, no power windows, no power locks."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This was my very first car; I was 18. I bought it with 134k miles and I still have it. It just went out on me a week ago. But for me to get 10 years of use out of this car is amazing! My stepdad used to be a mechanic for Toyota so he took care of all the maintenance for me and I never had any major issues. It was in such good shape that I had people leave notes on my window, asking me to sell to them. The interior isn't luxurious but it's not supposed to be; it's an economy car. We had a good run and I would definitely recommend this for anyone's first car."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

A true treasure!

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "A real peach of a car."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car new on 3/17/1995 and have never had any type of problem with it. It has been well maintained for 20 Years and still has many miles left in her. A great little car!!!!"

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great price, easy to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have taken excellent care of this car done all required maintence even had the car painted two years ago for cosmetic value. This is a one owner vehicle."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent workhorse!

By on Sunday, February 16, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: wanted safety upgrade

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Cheap to run, cheap to fix, cheap to fuel!"

Cons: "No creature comforts, no side airbags, etc"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"What can I say about the Tercel? I owned it for three years, buying it at around 169k and holding onto it until 203k. During that time, it only didn't start *once*, which was when the starter started going out at 199k (it was probably original, too). A good samaritan helped give it a knock while we turned the engine, and we were back on the road. Besides that, the car has been great. Yes, it did leak oil, most likely from the oil pan and oil pump seal, and yes, I did have rough running problems until I got the valve stem seals fixed, and yes, the gas tank did rust out a few years ago after driving over a snow bank and needed replacement, but believe it or not, over around 33,000 miles, I spent only around 1.2k on shop maintenance (i.e., things I couldn't fix myself). That's a ratio of 1k per every 29k miles or so in repairs, and I'm not sure that's possible with too many other cars these days. Oh, and it only cost me $1200 when I bought it and even with the various things that started going wrong with it, I still sold it for $800. The mileage was incredible; I had a few 50+ mpg highway trips with it, and at least one tank with a 44 mpg whole tank average. My average mileage over the 30,000+ miles was around 37. Mileage was why I bought the car, and it never disappointed. Used the brakes the car came with for the entire time I owned it. The only reason we sold it was for safety. With a baby on the way, I wanted something larger, heavier (it weighs 2000 lbs while the average new car weighs ~3200), and with side airbags. After such quality performance, sticking with Toyota was a natural choice, and I replaced it with an Avalon. Looking forward to piling on the miles without the maintenance in that car now. In short, if you're on a very short budget and are looking for a car to give you hybrid-like mileage while being cheap to fix, it's hard to do better than a Tercel. If not for a change in life priorities, I'd still be driving it. Keep in mind, however, that it's also not a car with the comforts lots of folks look for. Mine had no AC and manual windows and doors, and I won't miss the lack of AC."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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