Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $3,000*


1992 Toyota Paseo 2-door coupe


1993 Toyota Paseo 2-door coupe


1995 Toyota Paseo 2-door coupe


1992 Toyota Paseo interior


1992 Toyota Paseo interior

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
Cons:
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room

Paseos aren’t the best or the cheapest small sport coupes. Because convertibles were available for such a short time, they’re sure to be rarities on the used-car market.

Overview

Smaller and less costly than a Celica, the front-drive Paseo sport coupe replaced the 2-door Corolla GT-S and SR5 in 1992. Paseo shared its wheelbase with the subcompact Tercel, but styling differed considerably. The 4-cylinder engine also came from the Tercel, but was boosted to 100 horsepower with the addition of dual camshafts. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 4-speed automatic optional. Paseos got a firmer suspension than Tercel, including a rear stabilizer bar and 14-inch tires (versus the Tercel’s 13-inch rubber).

Yearly Updates

1993 Paseo
A driver-side airbag was installed in 1993 models, as antilock braking became optional.
1994 Paseo
Like other Toyotas, Paseo switched to CFC-free refrigerant for its optional air conditioning. Also, passenger seatbelts added automatic-locking retractors.
1995 Paseo
Cars sold in states with California-level emissions requirements used a 93-horsepower engine, while the rating in other states remained at 100 horsepower.
1996 Paseo
Reshaping for ’96 was accompanied by installation of dual airbags. Styling changes included a smoother nose, larger rear quarter windows, and a more shapely tail. Despite this year’s sleeker look, dimensions were unchanged. Interior dimensions also remained as before, but the newly designed, dashboard incorporated a passenger-side airbag. Both the driver and front passenger now had manual 3-point seatbelts. All Paseo engines now were rated at 93 horsepower.
1997 Paseo
A convertible joined for 1997, but both body styles failed to last past the end of the model year. The convertible got a manual folding top, with a heated glass rear window.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A 100-horsepower, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine powered 1992-95 models. Starting in 1995, however, output dropped to 93 horsepower but torque went up. Either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic might be installed in a Paseo.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.5/90
Engine HP 100
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 91
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
28/34
26/32
34.3
25.9
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.5/90
Engine HP 93
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 100
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
30/35
28/34
28.2

Road Test

Acceleration is more than adequate with manual shift, though the engine vibrates somewhat when worked hard. Takeoffs are less than brisk, but the engine revs eagerly to higher speeds. As expected, an automatic transmission saps some of the engine’s pep, approaching the sluggish level. Exhaust resonance is noticeable and the engine gets loud, even during moderate acceleration. Gas mileage is a major bonus: With manual shift, we’ve averaged 34.3 mpg.

Ride quality is pleasantly supple and well-controlled with optional wider tires, despite light weight and short wheelbase. Most bumps register with a thump or a jolt, but the coupe feels reasonably solid. Modest size aids in handling, but the suspension and tires don’t come close to furnishing true sports-car moves. A Paseo feels agile and competent in most maneuvers, though the body leans in tight turns, and front tires plow through corners. Road/tire noise gets annoying on coarse pavement.

Paseo is actually a 2+2 rather than a real 4-seater, so rear-seat space is for toddlers or groceries. Tall people might need more leg room in front, and there’s no great abundance of head space. Well-bolstered bucket seats are comfortable. Controls are nicely laid out, though the steering wheel might be high for some drivers. The Paseo’s over-the-shoulder view is impaired by thick rear pillars. Trunk space is better than average.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Toyota Paseo coupe 5-speed

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 7
70%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 40

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.7 163.6 65.4 51.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
6.6 11.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.7 163.6 65.4 51.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
7.5 11.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 32.0 41.1 30.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Paseo 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 140
Injury 158
Theft 69

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air-conditioner compressor may randomly stop, and the air-conditioning light may flash due to a bad wiring harness. (1992-94)
Climate control
Description: Poor heater output can usually be corrected by replacing the thermostat. (1995-96)
Wheels
Description: Proper wheel alignment may be impossible without installing new camber-adjusting bolts. (1992-96)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.