1996 Toyota Paseo

  • 1996 Toyota Paseo Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
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  • Review

1996 Toyota Paseo Review

Well-made and highly efficient.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Toyota Paseo is a step above the Tercel in terms of performance, but with only slightly more interior features. While it is a clear step up, especially with optional equipment, the value over the Tercel is a little questionable. It is a reliable vehicle with solid performance, but the price tag almost makes the impractical Toyota Supra seem like a good idea. The Paseo occupies an odd niche due to the price. While relatively inexpensive, it isn’t a great value compared to some other options. It is good for drivers who like the Tercel but want better performance and a more attractive design. However, it also requires drivers be willing to pay the slightly steep price difference between the two models. The Paseo isn’t that bad a value compared to some of the competition. It is mainly weakened by the fact it is an upgrade over a model that offers an excellent value for the price.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 1.5-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Paseo

What's New

The 1996 Toyota Paseo has been extensively upgraded including a split-fold rear seat, although the appearance and features are largely the same as the previous year’s model.


Measuring at 163.6 inches long, the 1996 Toyota Paseo is a compact coupe. The wheelbase is 93.7 inches long. It has a graceful, rounded appearance that is more appealing than the Tercel. Optional features include Polycast wheels, alloy wheels, and rear spoiler.


The interior features offered in the 1996 Toyota Paseo are fairly minimalistic, although it does offer more than the Tercel. An AM/FM radio is the only standard feature. Buyers can opt for optional equipment, which can include cruise control, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, moonroof, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cassette player, CD player, and CD changer.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Toyota Paseo offers respectable handling and performance. The 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine provides adequate acceleration. It is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and provides 93 hp at 5400 rpm. While it's not exactly a powerhouse, the compact size does lean towards good handling and cornering abilities.


The 1996 Toyota Paseo now meets the passenger car safety standards that have to be met by 1997. That being said, there aren't too many safety features that come standard on the Paseo other than dual-front airbags. However, it did receive four stars on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Paseo: 24/31 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Attractive design
  • Good performance and handling
  • Excellent fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Somewhat overpriced

Sum Up

Well-made and highly efficient.

If You Like This Vehicle

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