1997 Toyota Paseo

  • 1997 Toyota Paseo Base Convertible

    Base Convertible

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
  • 1997 Toyota Paseo Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
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1997 Toyota Paseo Review

A reliable and efficient compact.

Reviewed by Automotive on


First introduced to the market in 1991 as a sporty compact car, Toyota reworked the Paseo as a better form of the Toyota Tercel.

Toyota terminated the Paseo in 1997 (which was briefly available as a convertible, as well as a limited edition luxury model called the Galliano) because of included poor acceleration, visibility, its rear drum braking system, and its inadequate stereo system.

The Range

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

What's New

The 1997 Paseo offers several vanity items including new door trim, rotary heater controls, and dual-visor vanity mirrors. Its safety features include dual airbags, a remote hatch, fuel door openers, and a rear defroster. Its excellent suspension system highlights the primary attraction that provides handling similar to the best luxury sports cars.


The exterior of the 1997 Toyota Paseo features alloy wheels and anti-lock brakes. Windows look smaller on this year’s model compared to past years’ models. Door panels have been adjusted for increased hip room. Four-layer insulation gets included for the convertible top (manually folded). Its overall length measures 163.6 inches, height comes in at 51 inches, and it has a width of 64 inches.


The interior offers 37.8 inches of headroom, 41.1 inches of legroom, 30 inches of rear legroom, and 32 inches of rear headroom. All in all, this makes for a cramped ride with its bucket seats. This car’s interior features air-conditioning, power steering, cruise control, and a cassette player.

Performance & Handling

Its cornering and handling abilities are top-notch. The 1997 Toyota Paseo lives up to Toyota reliability with very few repairs noted from nearly all responses. Handling is a pleasure, not a job with its 3.94:1 axle ratio and two ventilated discs. Featuring a strut front suspension and independent coil-spring stabilizer bar, the Paseo has no issues whatsoever with braking or turning. Also of note, the Paseo’s rear-beam suspension with a stabilizer bar adds to overall performance.

Both the coupe and convertible models utilize a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which pairs with either an automatic or manual transmission and front drive to produce 93 hp.


The 1997 Toyota Paseo offers driver and passenger airbags and anti-lock brakes as its only safety features. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration rates this car with four out of five stars for its passenger and driver impact tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Paseo: 26/34 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • High-quality sporty look

You Won't Like

  • Cramped ride
  • Sticker price
  • Few features

Sum Up

A reliable and efficient compact.

If You Like This Vehicle

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  • Nissan Sentra

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