Toyota Paseo also known as Toyota Cynos particularly in Japan and some other countries was a sportier compact vehicle based slackly on Toyota Tercel introduced in 1991. Initially, it was offered as coupe only but later convertible was also added in the lineup. In 1997, it was stopped selling in United States, while it remained in the markets of Europe, Canada and Japan till 1999. There was no direct replacement offered for the Paseo from the Toyota. The Paseo together with the Tercel shared the platform with the Toyota Starlet. There were several other parts used interchangeably between the three models.
The term ‘Paseo’ is taken from the Spanish word for ‘a walk’ or ‘a stroll’.
First Generation (1991- 1995)
The first generation Paseo appeared in 1991 and remained in production until 1995. The Paseo was powered by a 1.5-L E series 5E-I4 engine similar to the Tercel, producing an output of 100 hp (74 kW) at 6400 rpm and torque of 91 ft-lb (124 Nm) at 3200, mated to either 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission. With the 1993 California level emission standards, it was rated at 93 hp (69 kW) and 100 lb-ft (136 Nm) of torque in California along with some other states.
Second Generation (1996-1999)
In 1995, the second generation Paseo was launched. The most obvious change that second generation Paseo brought was its sheet metal body. Some modernized engine electronics were also introduced. The company exhibited the convertible model of Paseo at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1995. The convertible model was offered for sale in August 1996. In 1997, Toyota decided to stop selling Paseo in United States and by 1999, sales had been stopped completely. The engine specifications of the second generation Paseo was reduced to the one of those California CARB models so as to meet the emission standards, i.e. 5E-FE I4 engine with 93 hp (69 kW) and 100 lb-ft (136 Nm).
Three different models of Paseo were offered in United Kingdom including ST as base model, Si as advanced model and a limited edition Galliano model. Convertible version of Paseo was never offered in British market; however, it was imported on self basis.
Japan always referred Paseo as Cynos and for this reason it was offered as Toyota Cynos in Japanese market. Toyota Cynos in Japan was available in three version including Alpha, Beta and Juno. All the three variants came with color-coded wing mirrors and a rear windscreen wipes. Different engines were offered for different variants, i.e. the Alpha was available with a 1.5-L 5E-FE engine mated to 5-speed manual gearbox; the Beta was offered with a 5E-FHE engine similar to the Toyota Sera, equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox; and the Juno was offered with a 1.3-L 4E-FE engine equipped with a 5-speed automatic gearbox.