Toyota sold the Tercel in North America for nearly 20 years, from the first Corolla Tercels here in the 1980 model year (the Tercel had nothing to do with the Corolla, but Toyota wanted the benefit of the name recognition) to the Echo in 1999. The Tercel is affordable and has impressively solid build quality, but it’s always been a lackluster vehicle. Someone at Toyota thought a Tercel-based sports coupe would be a good idea, and so the Paseo was born. This is a rare second-generation Paseo that was recently found at a wreckage yard in Colorado.
In 1995, the Paseo got more power than its Tercel sibling, a DOHC 5E four-cylinder that made 100 horsepower (the ’95 Tercel version of that engine made 92 horses). Since the car weighs just over a ton, it’s going to be a bit of a thrill.
The car’s automatic sucks some of the liveliness out, though. The base transmission is a five-speed manual (cheapest Tercels still have four ground manuals at this point).
The Paseo has a funky spoiler to match its sleek roofline.
How many? The 1995 Paseo with an automatic transmission had an MSRP of $14,228, or about $28,183 in 2022 dollars. If you’d rather drive a manual transmission, the five-speed Paseo was $13,428 for ’95 (now $26,598).
Meanwhile, Mazda will sell you the new MX-3 for $14,440 ($28,602 today), while the cheapest Honda Del Sol is $14,780 ($29,276). Hyundai, however, undercut everyone in the cute little coupe segment that year with the new Scoupe, starting at just $9,995 ($19,798).
Just over 150,000 miles, which is disappointingly low for a Toyota of this era (especially considering the highest odometer readings I’ve seen in Toyota junkyards were on Tercels).
In Australia, new Paseo helps you pick up stray cats.
High speed noise?that is a selling point!
In its homeland, the car that caused passers-by to dance in the streets was known as the Cynos. Yes, a convertible version is available, but only briefly in the US.