Toyota Tercel

The name "Tercel" comes from the Latin word for "one third", which is appropriate since the Corolla Tercel was slightly smaller than the Corolla. All of the Tercels were manufactured at the Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Japan. The Tercel was Toyota's entry-level model in North America during the 1980s and the 1990s. It was slotted between the Corolla and the Starlet, and was intended to offer basic affordable transportation while bringing young buyers to the Toyota brand. The Toyota Tercel was updated several times over its impressive twenty year run. It was offered as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, a four-door wagon, and a hatchback with three- and five- door versions. However, by 1991, only the coupe and sedan were still being offered. Lastly, 1999 was the final year that the Tercel was produced. The rising price versus the mechanical offerings drastically reduced the Toyota Tercel sales in the United States. It was replaced by the Echo in the year 2000. The Tercel was built upon the same platform as the Toyota Paseo and the Toyota Starlet, and thus many parts including the engines are interchangeable between the vehicles. The Tercel was at first intended to be smaller than the Corolla, which it always was throughout its production. However, both the Tercel and the Corolla grew in size over the years, thus becoming much larger than their original sizes. In fact, by the end of its production, the Tercel became almost identical in size to the North American-market 1975 Corolla, which was supposed to be the larger model. It appears that consumers perception of size has inflated over the years. It is no wonder then that SUVs have become so popular; so popular that even with the impending gas price increases, people are still buying these gas-guzzling models.