Need a tiny reliable city car

My opinion of the Echo and Tercel has nothing to do with their longevity, it has to do with they and the Yaris not keeping up with the ompetition in ride and handling. They are “dreadful” cars in that respect. Otherwise, like the Corolla and Camry, either name plate would still grace the Toyota line up. Yaris is just an extension of that line up. I wouldn’t be surprise if the name Yaris was dropped as well and another crappy offerering were made by Toyota. Buy the Corolla. There are a gazillion used ones out there and they perform much better and get the same mileage for the same price if you want a Toyota.

Most corollas were boring cars. But calling the tercel dreadful is uncalled for. The last generation of tercel was quite good. The shifter was accurate. It’s handling was nimble, almost go cart like aside from the Celica. The manual steering had good feel. This car drove like a piece of machine without a thick layer of insulation that is typical of Toyotas.

It isn’t like I haven’t tried. I had three Corollas and each time I bought one, I tried out a Tercel or Echo and more recently a Yaris. Every time they made even the slightest change, I would try to find a reason to like their small offering. The base Corolla with auto is just a little more then the base Yaris/Echo/ Tercel manual. And, the Corola with it’s excellent 1.8 does better highway. All Toyotas are boring, but the Echo, and Tercel were crappola and the Yaris is too. The fixes are simple. Throw in the 1.8, tune the suspension, and actually make the seating more comfy. But then, you would have a Scion xd. Can’t do that, so continue selling thus DREADFUL line of cars just to make the Scions more appealing and for less money. I still have the ringing in my ears from test driving a Tercel many years ago while looking for a car for my daughter. They wanted so much for that crappy/dreadful thing, we bought her a used Accord instead…,best car avoidance choice I ever made. “dreadful " is an understatement !!!
My son in law brought a Tercel into his marriage to my daughter. She threatened not to marry him( jokingly) if he didn’t dump that death trap. He did and they have been living happily ever after. It is still a joke car in reference as they remember " back when” they were not as thoughtful buying a car. That they last so long is actually a form of pergatory !

I agree that the echo and yaris are crap. But not the tercel. Of course it is underpowered. But you don’t need a lot of power so long as you are tossing the thing around corners. And it is one of the few Toyotas that can be flung around like a go cart. Can’t say that about any corollas that I have driven.

Where do you get the notion that the Tercel and Echo are dreadful cars? Sure they don't have a sporty ride, they can't haul lots of people and their belongings, but for the purpose for which they are intended they are tough to beat.

I had an '82 Tercel. My dad bought it when I was in 2nd grade, and then gave it to me when I was old enough to drive. It was a great little car. Nothing fancy. Hell, I had to install a radio, but the thing ran forever with nothing but routine maintenance. It was still going strong 20 years later when a guy in an Explorer ran a stop sign and killed it.

All in all the Honda Fit is the ideal car for city use and ease of handling and parking. A number of my wife’s friends have and run all their errands in them and carry large objects with seats down. They all rave about its qualities.


that death trap

That “death trap” got hit at 50mph just in front of the driver side door by a speeding Ford Explorer and I walked away from the wreck with minor soft tissue injuries. I’d say it did alright in the safety department.

I agree with the people that suggested the Fit, although OP seemed to want something from the 90’s, when the Fit wasn’t made.

But you are going from a large truck to a compact

I don’t think the T100 was all that big, maybe the size of a Ranger

It’s a bit bigger, the T100 was Toyota’s first ‘full sized’ pickup, minus a half size or so.

SIGNIFICANTLY bigger than a Ranger

About the size of a Dakota, I’d say

I feel an overwhelming urge to keep up the tradition of this board and recommend the Ford Crown Victoria. You need to modify it by painting it hail-me yellow and putting some lights on the roof. You might even put a narrow checkerboard band along the side. Your parking problems are solved. You can park in taxicab stands and even double park.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, I think the Scion Xb (the model that looks like a miniature milk truck) may be just the ticket. It can carry a lot of freight or people in a very small package.

Regarding the size of the T-100, it’s significantly larger than my other-half’s old Dakota was… At least three feet longer. When they retired the T-100, they replaced it with the Tundra.

Learn to ski, boat, bike and hike, then you will need to get a big car-that’s the experience of son in seattle.

If you get a Scion xB, you gotta get this plate:


It’s already taken in Maryland, but maybe not in your state.

I am with @Triedaq,

I feel an overwhelming urge to keep up the tradition of this board and recommend the Ford Crown Victoria

Son’s Camry, has taken a beating (while parked) in Seattle, but it can handle it. A Scion or lesser may no hold up.

If it is not the extended cab, I would keep the truck, and practice parking skills. Sure you may have to walk a little more to find a bigger space but you have a dependable vehicle, so you say, stick with it. I am sure as you drive the streets of Seattle you will see T-100’s parked on the street. 1000 miles a year you can do it!

Toyota produced the Echo in the years between the Tercel and the Yaris. It wasn’t a hatchback, but the trunk lid was very short.

@Dagosa … I’ll give a thumbs up to the Corolla too, but from the OP’s statement, the OP is looking for something smaller than the Corolla. Can you recommend any cars smaller than the Corolla, say as small or smaller than the Yaris/Echo, that are available on the used car market for about the same price as the Yaris/Echo in the same model year?

Everybody knows the Echo and Yaris don’t have a great ride. But small cars in general don’t have a great ride. That comes w/the territory of the small wheel base in an economical package.

It also has to do with the fact that these tiny cars use rather unsophisticated suspensions, particularly in the rear.

Not to mention small tires

Seattle is very bike friendly. The Fremont district has the Solstice Faire that has the bicycle as a fundemental part of the events.

You may want to try an adult trike. Keep the T100.