The Toyota Tercel epitomizes the old adage that good things come in small packages. This year, the Tercel comes in an all-new package that delivers many upgraded features.
This is no surprise when you consider that the Tercel springs from a family that has been considered the benchmark for craftsmanship, reliability and resale value. This popular subcompact was top gun in the 1994 J.D. Power and Associates Under $12,000 Initial Quality Price Class Leader category, and garnered sales of 83,000 units this past year.
Despite recent exchange-rate blues, Toyota offers a redesigned Tercel for 1995, with even more bang for the buck. Toyota put its yen into safety upgrades and a new engine that delivers increased performance and fuel efficiency. In addition, exterior and interior changes create a more sporty image and improve visibility, roominess and ergonomics. And all this was done by raising the base price to only $10,395.
Continuing to hold a leadership role in the area of fit-and-finish, the Tercel uses new, lighter materials that improve handling and are cheaper and easier to repair and recycle. The front-wheel-drive Tercel continues to be available in three body styles: the base 2-door coupe and the DX model with 2- and 4-door offerings. There are manual and automatic transmission choices for each model, with prices going up to $16,470.
Our test model, a 4-door DX, came with a wealth of goodies, such as power assists and automatic transmission, that bumped the price up to $14,450.