In trying to attract vehicle buyers towards a specific vehicle model, is there anything that can beat luxuriousness? Of course, there is. Actually, there are a lot of things. For the small and humble Toyota Tercel, it was price. The Toyota Tercel may not be the most luxurious vehicle in its category; in fact it was the opposite. But what the Tercel lacked in luxuriousness, it filled up with its extremely low price. And while the car wasn't able to attract the attention of everybody, it was at least able to attract the attention of those who want value for the little money that they have.
The Toyota Tercel is a subcompact front-wheel drive car manufactured and sold by Toyota from the 1980 to the 1999 model year. When it was introduced for the 1980 model year, it was the smallest and the first car of its kind ever manufactured by Toyota. While it was not the most luxurious vehicle in its category, it was a constant bestseller because of its low price. An added value to this is the vehicle's low gas mileage, registering 33 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on highway with a 4-speed automatic transmission unit.
When the Tercel was introduced in 1980, its official name was the Toyota Corolla Tercel. It was equipped with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at 60 hp. The vehicle was then available only in two-door coupe and three-door hatchback body styles and transmission options include a 4-speed manual, 5-speed manual and 3-speed automatic units.
In succeeding years after its introduction, a lot of improvement was made to the Tercel. From 1983, the "Corolla" name was dropped and the model was sold only as the Toyota Tercel. By 1990, a lot of improvements have already been made to the car, yet it remained to be a low-priced entry level car in Toyota's vehicle line-up. But after nearly 20 years of production, Toyota decided to drop the Toyota Tercel from its vehicle line-up to give way to the all-new Toyota Echo.
Today, the Tercel is but an old car. But for those people who want an affordable yet reliable used car, the Toyota Tercel still tops the options. Of course you would need high quality and high performance Toyota Tercel parts to boost its performance.
Toyota Tercel Maintenance: Driving No-nos You Should Stop Doing
The Tercel is Toyota's first front-wheel-drive car that carries the company's rock-solid reputation in quality and comfort while staying affordable. Though it was originally dubbed as Corolla Tercel, it has very little similarity to the Corolla, which comes pricier and more sophisticated, not to mention its being rear-wheel drive. The Tercel had a good two-decade industry run (1978 to 1999) and was produced in five generations until it was discontinued to make way for the Echo. Since it is a Toyota—a brand synonymous to quality and reliability—it's no surprise that you still have a Tercel in your garage, and you can still count on it for your short-distance trips and late-night city driving.
If you want your Tercel to continue giving you a reliable service, you have to provide it with the kind of treatment it deserves. You may not know it, but there are driving habits that have long been hurting your subcompact, and you are giving it a huge a favor if you stop doing such driving no-nos.
With how expensive fuel has been these past decades, it's so easy for vehicle owners to pass up on refilling their tank. If you are among these drivers who take pride in squeezing even the last drop of gas out of the fuel tank, it's time to stop doing that, unless you want all the debris at the bottom of the tank to be sucked up by the engine and cause damage to it. The debris on the tank can also clog the injectors and the fuel filter. So, from then on, keep your Tercel's gas tank half full.
- Do not accelerate too fast or too slow.
Just because your driving instructor told you to avoid a pedal-to-the-metal start, that doesn't mean you should accelerate too slowly. Yes, jackrabbit starting hurts the vehicle's fuel economy, but easing off the gas too much as you slowly accelerate, won't improve your gas mileage, either. Also, if it takes you too long to reach your cruising speed, you are just putting more stress on your ride's gear-shifting components. To ensure efficient upshifting, find a good middle ground. In your Tercel, you can try to spend around 15 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 50mph.
This is one of the habits you could be most guilty of. Also called coasting, this is the practice of keeping your foot on the clutch when you are approaching a gear change. This is usually done when driving in a slow-moving traffic; and it doesn't do your clutch any good. You see, even the smallest amount of pressure on the clutch will cause slight contact between the flywheel and the pressure plate. Such contact produces heat and makes the transmission components wear out faster than expected.
- Stop revving the engine excessively.
In any case, revving your engine is never a good idea. Doing it after you've just started the car and while the engine is still cold can cause cracks on the engine blocks and pistons. This is because the oil hasn't yet properly circulated on all the engine components. Also, the excess gases that have found their way into the exhaust may ignite and cause the catalytic converter's ceramic emission filter to melt down. Worse, repeatedly revving the engine can cause it to breakdown, so avoid doing it at all cost.
Toyota Tercel: Toyota’s In-between Sedan
Derived from the Latin word “tercel”, the Toyota Tercel was a slightly smaller than the Corolla, and it was the very first front-wheel-drive sedan ever produced by Toyota in 1978. The Tercel’s architecture, layout, and frame were the basis for the next generation of Toyota models. Toyota’s goal was to introduce an entry-level vehicle, which offered an affordable and basic form of transportation. People loved the Tercel and it paved the way for the Toyota Echo in 2000.
1978 to 1982: First Generation
In 1978, the Toyota Tercel was introduced to the Japanese car market, and it was offered as a two-door, four-door coupe, or a three-door hatchback. The Toyota Tercel or Corolla Tercel entered the U.S market in the 1980’s, with hopes that buyers would patronize Toyota’s new model. With the Tercel’s new front-wheel-drive design, the engine was mounted vertically, and the sedan’s transmission was also located under the floor pan. The Tercel sold in the U.S was powered by a 1500 engine, offering 80PS at 5,600RPM.
1982 to 1986: Second Generation
The Corolla name was dropped and it was simply named as the Toyota Tercel in 1982. A four-door station wagon was added to the list of Tercel variants, which offered a four-wheel-drive system. Powered by a 1.5-liter 2A I4 AL20 engine, the Tercel was coupled with a 3-speed automatic transmission, or a 4-speed manual transmission system. The Tercel’s 4WD models can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. A lot of Toyota’s existing pieces were used to build the Tercel 4WD, and one example is its coil-sprung rear axle which was taken from the Corolla. For a subcompact sedan, the Tercel was one of the most spacious sedans in its class to date.
1987 to 1990: Third Generation
1987 ushered a new engine for the Toyota Tercel; a new1.5-liter 3E I4 engine with 78-horsepower. Toyota’s engineers revised the Tercel’s rack-and-pinion steering and fitted a new fully-independent suspension system. The Tercel’s 4WD system was discontinued in favor of the front-wheel-drive system. The EFI engine was also adopted for the Tercel in the late 1980’s.
1991 to 1994: Fourth Generation
Two Toyota Tercel variants were offered in 1991; a four-door and a two-door sedan. North American buyers were treated with the Base Coupe, DX Coupe, DX Sedan, and LE Sedan models. A 1.5-liter 3E-E and a 1.5-liter 5E-FE 16-valve DOHC engines were introduced for the Toyota Tercel. Standard Tercel features introduced were the full wheel covers, folded rear seats, driver’s side airbas, anti-lock brakes, and color-keyed bumpers. Toyota also decided to use Haloalkane, a non-CFC refrigerant, for the Toyota Tercel’s air conditioning system.
1995 to 2000: Fifth Generation
With an all-new engine and redesigned exterior, the Toyota Tercel had better handling and a stronger body. The all-new 1.5-liter DOHC 5E-FE I4 engine increased the Tercel’s fuel efficiency by as much as 15-percent. A 1.5-liter 1N-T turbo-diesel I4 engine was also offered as a variant for the Tercel. Multi-reflector headlights, composite taillights, front and rear clear lens turn signals, and updated bumper moldings were some of the exterior changes made on the Tercel. Driver and passenger’s side airbags, side-impact protection, three-point seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes helped improve the Tercel’s overall safety features. In 1999, Toyota finally retired the Tercel and introduced the Echo to the mass market.