1996 Toyota Tercel

  • 1996 Toyota Tercel Base Sedan

    Base Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
  • 1996 Toyota Tercel DX Sedan

    DX Sedan

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

1996 Toyota Tercel Review

Well built, reliable coupe, but the Toyota reliability comes at a price.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Toyota Tercel is one of the best built coupes available on the market. It isn’t as flashy or well-appointed as many of its competitors, but it will run for a long time with little fuss or cost. The initial price is a bit higher than its competitors, but, in the long run, it is money well spent. Over time, it is likely to save money due to the excellent fuel economy and dependable design. The 1996 Toyota Tercel is a good option for drivers who want a reliable vehicle they rarely have to worry about. Some drivers might find it a little boring compared to some other options on the market, but it gets the job done. The higher price tag might cause some drivers to shy away, but drivers are getting what they pay for, and it does justify the higher than average price.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Tercel, Toyota Tercel DX

What's New

The 1996 Toyota Tercel offers fabric seats as an option as well as a sports package that adds tape striping, sporty floor mats, and a rear spoiler.


The 1996 Toyota Tercel is a relatively attractive car with angular bodywork. Measuring at 161.8 inches long, it is a compact coupe. The wheelbase is 93.7 inches long. It has crisp angles, but the overall appearance is more rounded than blocky. While it is well-built, there is still a tin-like feel if the doors are closed to hard. Special factory paint is the only optional feature on the base model. The DX has a rear spoiler available as an option.


Interior features are a weak point on the 1996 Toyota Tercel. The base model offers air-conditioning and a center console as optional features. The DX offers keyless entry, power windows, power locks, air-conditioning, center console, clock, AM/FM radio, cassette player, CD player, and a CD changer as optional equipment. The seats are comfortable enough, but there isn't much room. Two full-grown men in the front seats will find themselves a bit claustrophobic.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Toyota Tercel offers good overall performance. While not amazing, the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine provides acceptable acceleration and speed. Handling is decent, which is not surprising in a vehicle this small. Nothing is particularly amazing, but it is a smooth and easy to drive.


Dual-front airbags are a standard feature on the 1996 Toyota Tercel.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Tercel: 27/32 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Reliable
  • Extremely good fuel economy
  • Good value

You Won't Like

  • The high quality comes with a higher price tag
  • All major interior features are available only as options

Sum Up

Well built, reliable coupe, but the Toyota reliability comes at a price.

If You Like This Vehicle

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