1998 Toyota Tercel

  • 1998 Toyota Tercel CE Sedan

    CE Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
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1998 Toyota Tercel Review

Efficient like a hybrid.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1998 Toyota Tercel has a lot of things going for it; however, price is not one of them. This is a good vehicle that has reliability and unparalleled construction. It is very economical as far as the fuel economy and insurance cost. As with most Toyotas, it will go on running for a long time, as long as it's maintained. However, the automaker is pushing the price point a little far. It is now available only in a two-door CE model and has a respectable list of standard features.

The Range

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

What's New

The 1998 Toyota Tercel receives several changes, such as new multi-reflector headlights, clear lens turn signals, and a revised grille and front fascia. Also new is a color keyed grille, black body-side molding, dual remote black outside mirrors, and scratch resistant bumpers. On the interior, rear-seat headrests are new as well as an updated audio faceplate, and other added options for the stereo system. The sedan model was dropped, and now, the two-door coupe is the only body style available.


The 1998 Toyota Tercel gets standard features that include polycast wheels measuring 14 inches and a rear spoiler. The measurements of this compact are 64.8 inches wide, 53.2 inches tall, and 161.8 inches long. The wheelbase measures 93.7 inches, and it has a curb weight of 2090 pounds.


Inside, the 1998 Toyota Tercel has rear-seat headrests, a cloth interior, bucket seats, and intermittent windshield wipers as standard equipment. Optional features include a center console, power windows and doors, and an AM/FM audio system with a CD changer. It does not have the quietest ride with some wind noise and tire roar. However, the interior is nice enough, and the noise is minimal.

Performance & Handling

The 1998 Toyota Tercel is modest on space, particularly in the rear. The automatic transmission is slow to downshift which reduces the passing power. Optional equipment includes a three-speed automatic transmission. The ride is bumpy and bouncy on rough surfaces. Therefore, long rides are not very pleasurable. The narrow tires hamper handling ability and reduce grip when cornering. With all that said, it is an attractive and economical little vehicle. It would be great for a younger individual to drive back and forth to school or for a short work commute.


The 1998 Toyota Tercel has crumple zones, dual airbags, an optional anti-lock braking system, and impact-absorbing bumpers. Optional safety equipment includes a keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm system. The NHTSA gives a rating of three stars for front side-impact protection and four stars for rear side-impact protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Tercel: 31/39 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Toyota engineering and reliability
  • New styling
  • Fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Limited power
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Rough and noisy ride

Sum Up

Efficient like a hybrid.

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