1990 Toyota Sera Classics for Sale in the United States

toyota sera for sale

Toyota is well known for its peerless cars, and the Toyota Sera is one of the most significant examples of what this Japanese automaker is capable of.

“The Butterfly Doors Of Sera Became The Inspiration For Upcoming Luxurious Sports Cars”

Toyota Sera

The Toyota Sera is a luxury model designed, manufactured, and sold by Toyota from 1990 to 1996. The “Butter-Fly Doors” were the biggest highlight of this model.

Built only for the Japanese Domestic Market, Sera was still able to attract the attention of car enthusiasts across the globe. The model may have been out of production, but it sure is not forgotten.

Today we will discuss the history, make, features, and other specs of the Toyota Sera. Also, we will talk about the general questions that are associated with the model.

What Exactly History Is Toyota Sera?

1990 Toyota Sera is a milestone in the Japanese automobile industry and a base for the style and class for its forthcoming sports cars. It became an inspiration for the historic sports car McLaren F1 which implemented its butterfly door design.

So, let us begin to know more about the astonishing Sera by exploring everything we know about this model.

History 1990 Sera

Sera was developed when the Japanese automobile industry was booming, and it was the perfect example of their innovation.

1990 Toyota Sera was a supermini size hatchback coupe made exclusively for the Japanese home market. The model holds the production from 1990 to 1995.

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The model takes its inspiration from the Toyota AXV-II concept car. Toyota sera butterfly doors, glass canopy, and a cute compact size depicted it as a “car of the future”. The vehicle holds an upper hand over its competitors in every manner.

Sera Toyota was introduced to the world in 1988 and went under production after two years in 1990.

Toyota Sera Through 1990-1995

Sera is a 3-door hatchback coupe that comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can charge up to 108 horsepower. The fascinating thing about this eye-catching beast was that it is a lightweight ride which makes handling it far easier.

1990 Toyota Sera

Toyota Sera may look like one, but it is not a sports car. It was made to provide a simple ride for the Japanese people for their daily commute. 

Only 16,000 units were built during its period of production, and all were sold in Japan. 

Key Pointers
  • Released with one engine configuration
  • It comes in only one body style 
  • Optional configurations were allowed for brakes, transmissions, climate, & sound system
  • Three distinct trim versions were marketed by Toyota over its production period with the name “Phases”.
    • Phase I (March 1990 – May 1991)
    • Phase II (May 1991 – June 1992)
    • and Phase III (June 1992 – December 1995)

1990 Toyota Sera Specifications

  • ENGINE: 1.5 litre four-cylinder 
  • TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic
  • POWER: 108hp
  • FUEL ECONOMY: 41.2mpg (manual), 33.9mpg (automatic) 
  • STEERING: Rack and pinion 
  • SUSPENSION (front): MacPherson struts with coil springs, anti-roll bar 
  • SUSPENSION (rear): Torsion beam with coil springs, anti-roll bar 
  • BRAKES (front): Ventilated discs 
  • BRAKES (rear): Drums (leading/trailing design) or discs (with optional ABS)

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Before you go looking for Toyota sera for sale, you need to learn what this car is built of and what features it holds. Below we have explained the basic features or specifications of the Toyota Sera to help you get an idea of what this automobile offers.


Classic Sera comes with a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that was commonly used by Toyota at that time. Toyota sera engine can boost up to 104 horsepower and 97 lb-ft torque.

The engine came paired up with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox. 

Whether you talk about a Toyota sera used form or a brand new one, it can attain a top seed of 121 miles per hour. It might not be amazing for today’s vehicles but at that time, having a commute car ride this fast was a big deal.

Body Style

Toyota Sera Classics for Sale is what Americans are looking for right now. This 90s model has a different effect on car lovers.

The Toyota Sera is a three-door hatchback coupe with a solid steel frame. The biggest highlight of the vehicle is its butterfly doors that are hinged at the top center of the vehicle’s windscreen.

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The door opens forward then upward. One of the best parts about butterfly doors is that you can open them fully, even in the confined spaces. Car windows curve upward into the roof section of the window plus the rear area is entire glass giving it the sexy sporty look.

On the bright side, two removable interior roof panels are standard on the vehicle.


Toyota Sera Classics for Sale

Interior does not matter if it cannot provide you the comfort you seek. It is commonly seen that commute vehicles disappoint in such basics but not this one.

The interior of the Toyota sera is equipped with bucket seats with a 3-point safety belt, which can be tilted and moved for easy access to the rear of the passenger compartment.

However, the rear of the car features a bench seat with a center armrest. 

The car does have small cargo space in the rear seats, however, the trunk space is big & spacious. But the good part is that the rear seats are foldable and can even be removed to get more cargo area.

With exceptional space for a car in its class, Sera can hold a spare tire and changing kit without taking much of the area. Buyers also got a Toyota sera body kit to keep it well maintained.


Sera comes with all the basic tech features a car of 1990 could have, but the most noteworthy features that this model carried through its entire lineup were SLSS and Air filtration systems.

· Super Live Surround Sound (SLSS)

SLSS was an advanced car audio system that Toyota presented to its customers with the Sera of the 90s. The system is comprised of 10 speakers paired with three model Digital Sound Processors (DSP).

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DSP helped in producing different sound qualities and enhance your listening experience. It was factory fit and is hard to replace.

· Air Filtration Systems

Another enhancement that the buyers of Toyota Sera could ask for was the addition of any style of electronic air filtration system out of the provided two.

The filter systems came as either a standalone roof-mounted filter or an integrated device that could be attached to the center console.

Morning Green (Orange), White Herb (Green), Deodorizer (White), Peppermint (Blue), and Sazan Floral (Yellow) were some fragrances you could choose from.

Other Features

· Projector Headlights

Another feature that you must know about this Japanese car is that it was one of the first automobiles to feature projector headlights.

At that time, projector headlights weren’t the conventional ones, so it also became one of the highlights in the sales of this car.

· Reliable

The Sera is highly reliable. You get to experience the smooth drive, solid speed, and perfect joy.

Being a masterpiece of Japanese Autoworks, this vehicle sure does provide safety and is worth every penny.

Toyota Sera For Sale in USA

Are you looking for Toyota sera for sale in California or any other province of America but still have got no luck so far?

If yes, then maybe we can help. Sera was a car exclusively made for the citizens of Japan. The model left the country, so it is hard to find it like any other vehicle out there.

But do not let this dishearten you. Just because it isn’t available right now doesn’t mean you cannot get it. The only way you can have a Toyota Sera is by importing.

You heard it. The fundamental way to have it is to import one from Japan and have Toyota sera modified as per the regulations of the car safety of your state. However, with the internet taking over our lives, you can now buy one via different online platforms.

Things To Remember

  • Importing needs to be done legally, and it will take some time.
  • Getting a vehicle shipped from abroad will add to its cost doesn’t matter if it is a used one.
  • You need to make changes in the car to meet the safety criteria of your region.
  • The mechanical parts of Sera are easy to source.
  • Once you own it, you can modify this car as per your desires.

Top Websites Where You Can Buy The 90s Sera:

Frequently Asked Questions About Sera Toyota

How much is a Toyota Sera worth?

A brand new Toyota Sera costs around the US $14,572 – $17,131. However, one cannot assure how much you will get charged for a used one as the prices vary from dealer to dealer.

What is Toyota Sera?

Toyota Sera is one of the best automobile masterpieces that showcase the brilliance of Japanese Car Brands. Being one of its kind, it is the first car that introduced the butterfly car doors to the world.

How many Toyota Sera are left?

The Sera was in production for only 5 years, and during this term, only 16,000 units were made and sold solely in Japan.

One cannot pinpoint an exact number of cars left today, but they sure are among the rare wheels.

Is the Toyota Sera legal in the US?

Any vehicle that is over 25 years old can be legally imported to the United States. However, a car that does not match the vehicle safety standard mentioned by the government of America is considered illegal.

Most old Japanese domestic cars are illegal in the US because they do not meet the carbon emission requirements.

So, Sera might be an illegal ride, but if you make the required changes, you are good to go. 

Is Toyota Sera JDM?

YES. Toyota Sera was only made and sold in the Japanese Domestic Market, but it became a worldwide sensation for its butterfly doors.

Are Toyota Sera rare?

YES, and the reason being that only 16,000 units were made & sold only in Japan.

Why are Japanese cars illegal in the US?

Not all Japanese cars but the ones that are exclusively made for the country’s domestic market are illegal in the USA. 

The reason is simple. They do not meet the marks of US vehicle standards (FMVSS)

Only a vehicle older than 25 years allows you to overlook the US vehicle standards (FMVSS) after importing.


Toyota Sera is one of the best automobiles that the Japanese car industry has given to the world. This vehicle was a milestone in its time and indeed became the inspiration for many more to come.

We hope you now understand the history, features, and current scenarios related to this hatchback coupe.

Dylan Miller

I am a Chicago native and regular contributor to "Locar Deals". I have a master's degree in English, am an automobile content creation specialist, and have written professionally for a variety of automotive companies over the past few years. I write on a variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to ten-year-old gas guzzlers and everything in between. And I love sharing valuable car buying tips with consumers from all walks of life.

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