Earlier today as we often do, Jalopnik got an email alerting us to a particular Craigslist ad. This one was for, of all things, an imported 1991 Toyota Sera—a perennial Jalopnik favorite for how it applies incredible Bubble Era weirdness to very humble econocar underpinnings. What kept the tipster from buying? He’s scouring for his daughter’s first car and this doesn’t fit the bill.


Here is the ad in question. I wanted to take the time to explain to this gentleman that, yes, in fact, it absolutely does fit the bill and should be his daughter’s first car. Immediately. Post-haste.

Allow me to outline why:

It rules. They say the kids aren’t into cars? That’s an ugly lie. But even if they somehow aren’t, this is weird and different enough to get them into cars. His daughter will rule the school.


It’s practical. Ideally you’re going to want that first car to be something the kid takes to college or trade school or the Coast Guard or whatever’s next for them in life. This thing has four seats OR a big hatch area when the seats fold down. Think of all the schoolbooks and weed they could stash back there.

It’s not as weird as you think. Look, the Sera may look exotic as hell, but it’s a front-wheel drive economy car. It’s a Tercel. It’s a Paseo. It even has the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from those cars and a ton of other Toyotas from that era. That’s not gonna be hard to find parts for.


She’ll learn to drive right. I’m a big proponent of getting kids older cars with stick shifts for their first cars. They should learn to actually think when they drive. That will definitely happen with this Sera. Plus, this car doesn’t have any distracting and goofy infotainment systems to mess with. And if she can manage a right-hand drive car on American roads, she’ll be an ace in no time. (Drive-thrus will be difficult, though.)

Those doors. Those doors, man! Come on! Butterfly doors!

It’s cheap. This thing’s going for just $4,500. I’d buy it myself if I lived nearby and could find some rube to unload my slow E30 on. That’s a steal, way better and cooler than most newer cars. It’ll last, too—it’s a Toyota, after all.


Buy this car immediately.