The Paseo was Toyota's entry-level sports car from 1992 to 1997.
The Paseo competed with Mazda's MX-3, Hyundai Scoupe, and Nissan Sentra and 200SX. The Paseo was pleasant to drive, responsive, nimble, maneuverable, economical. It was based on the Tercel platform (with modifications) but with its own 100-hp engine. There was a single trim level with the option of a 4-speed automatic in place of the standard 5-speed manual transaxle.
Power steering with a quicker ratio than the Tercel was standard, as were a tachometer, front stabilizer bar (with the twist-beam rear axle acting like a rear stabilizer bar), AM/FM stereo with two speakers, intermittent wipers, and "sport-type" bucket seats.
Air conditioning, aluminum wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, an upgraded sound system with four speakers and a cassette deck, a pop-up moonroof and a rear spoiler were options.
One interesting dealer-installed option was the "One-G-for-One-G" kit offered by Toyota Racing Developments (TRD), a Toyota subsidiary that made high-quality racing and street performance equipment. As the name implies, the price was about $1000, and the expected performance on a skidpad was 1 lateral g, right in there with a Corvette ZR-1 or Dodge Viper.
More likely, the Paseo buyer would want the same thing that the Tercel buyer does, extreme overall economy, utility, and reliability, plus, in the case of the Paseo, some quotient of fun and sporty looks.
In October 1996, a convertible joined the lineup for only one model year.
|Model year(s)||List price||Destination charge||Effective date|
|1992.5||$10,758||$295||February 14, 1992|
|1993.5||$11,738||$325||February 5, 1993|
|1994||$12,468||$385||September 2, 1993|
|1994.5||$12,828||$385||January 3, 1994|
|1995||$13,428||$397||October 5, 1994|
|1995.5||$14,038||$397||April 7, 1995|
|1996||$13,038||$420||October 1, 1995|