1997 Toyota Tercel
1-5 of 5 reviews
Test drive review

For an economy car, a great value and RELIABLE

by from Los Angeles, CA on April 23, 2008

I "inherited" a '97 Tercel Blackhawk edition (2 doors, alloy wheels, rear spoiler) when I married my wife a few years ago. I wasn't looking forward to driving this car daily as I had a '96 BMW as my d...
I "inherited" a '97 Tercel Blackhawk edition (2 doors, alloy wheels, rear spoiler) when I married my wife a few years ago. I wasn't looking forward to driving this car daily as I had a '96 BMW as my daily driver, but that car had so many maintenance issues that I decided to commute to work daily in the Tercel. It had about 67K miles when we got married and it now has 98K miles -- for almost 4 years I drove it 80 miles roundtrip each weekday to and from work. I've averaged about $500/year in maintenance on this car. Compare to the $12,000 (yes, that's right) I spent on maintenance for the BMW (which we've since gotten rid of for a Lexus) and you see the value in owning a Toyota right away. As an economy car, you shouldn't expect the sound deadening, pickup/acceleration and other creature comforts of a higher priced vehicle. But if you want a reliable car with pretty good gas mileage, this is for you. My main gripe are the seats: they're OK for a 20-30 minute commute; on long road trips they can become uncomfortable. Power is adequate, though I wouldn't try to beat a Porche or other more powerful car across an intersection.
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

If I could buy a new one, I definitely would.

by from Foley, AL on June 7, 2011

This is my 2nd Toyota--my first was a Starlet. Both great cars. I bought my Tercel new and now have 133,000 miles on it. I've driven it from coast to coast, and then some. My son learned to drive on i...
This is my 2nd Toyota--my first was a Starlet. Both great cars. I bought my Tercel new and now have 133,000 miles on it. I've driven it from coast to coast, and then some. My son learned to drive on its manual transmission. I get 40 MPH highway when I keep speed under 60. In 14 years, I've installed 2 timing belts, 2 sets of tires, and I've had 1 major tuneup, but I've changed the oil at 3000 mile intervals. Original exhaust system, original brakes, original manual clutch! I LOVE THIS CAR. Am thinking of replacing it with a Corolla...but I hate the thought of parting with this Tercel. It still looks brand new! No dents, no scratches, paint is bright and perfect. It drives tight and there's NO engine noise. LOVE IT!!!!!
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Most Reliable Car

by from Puerto Rico on May 21, 2012

Outstanding. Great car. It keep going and had 300,000 miles on it. Greeaattt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Outstanding. Great car. It keep going and had 300,000 miles on it. Greeaattt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Watch out! $397 heater core part cost!!!

by from Miseryian on September 21, 2008

From dealer part only. $397 with tax!!! Couldn't believe that price. Another $260 for private mechanic to put it in because whole dash had to be taken out. Had to replace at 193,000 miles. I bought it...
From dealer part only. $397 with tax!!! Couldn't believe that price. Another $260 for private mechanic to put it in because whole dash had to be taken out. Had to replace at 193,000 miles. I bought it for $2000 at 163K with AC broke. Cost $129 for AC hose that I had to get at the dealer and another $220 for private mechanic to put it on My 97 5spd gets 40mpg after last tune-up. Caliper stuck out on it right before heater core blow out. Which is no bigee. I like my little car after driving it almost a year, but am wondering what's next. Sure saves on gas and car payments and insurance for a newer one.
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

5 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Don't let the Toyota label fool you on this one.

by from Canada on December 25, 2007

I am a Toyota fan. I've had three Corollas and liked the look of the Tercel, so I bought one. It is 11 years old now with 240k and the motor is shot. It has been leaking oil for quite some time now, a...
I am a Toyota fan. I've had three Corollas and liked the look of the Tercel, so I bought one. It is 11 years old now with 240k and the motor is shot. It has been leaking oil for quite some time now, about 1 litre a week. I've taken care of it, have had regular oil changes but it didn't help. It is great on gas but has no power. My mechanic says Tercels are known for bad motors. Wish I knew that when I bought it. I hope you are reading this before you buy one!
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

3 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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