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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)

mznmzn Posts: 727
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  • Forget about internet carbuying services. They're useless, and only exist to make themselves a fortune. I'm back on my own good prices from dealers either....looks like nobody cares whether or not you spend your 20,000 on their car, and they treat you really badly on top of all that. Do you think Toyota knows this?
  • Thanks, OOgts!

    Desertlily, do you live in a major metro area? or are you limited only to a few Toyota dealerships?

    I found that internet car shopping services were mainly useful in supplying -negative- information. They were great at telling me that what I wanted was unavailable! But negative information is useful (I knew that I wasn't going to just roll up to a dealer and find four suitable cars on the lot).

    In the end I had to resort to a dealer, who did the search of the inventory in the region for me.

  • hbarkhbark Posts: 26
    I have to disagree, about using the 'net for car shopping. When I used autobytel adn autodadvantage and carpoint, they referred me to a local dealer. One of them actually gave me a price, I forget which.

    Anyway, when I called the dealer to see if it was for real, they said it was.

    Although this time I didn't use them, I did back in Nov 98. The dealer honored the exact price given to me by one of those services, which was $100 over invoice.

    It's definitely worth a try. It becomes a problem when, like me and Brenda above, we want some option combination that is not normally on the dealers' lots.
  • I have a few questions for you guys, and hope that you can help me with some honest answers.

    I've been a Toyota owner pretty much all my life but recently departed off the lineage and have been driving a 3000GT for the past few years. While performance is wonderful, the car is a mechanical piece of crap (expensive to fix and problems all the time).

    I'm thinking of letting the Mitsubishi go and picking up a Toyota. I've never purchased new, so I hope I don't get raped.

    I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to a Celica or a Solara. I know the cars are very different, but having turned 30, perhaps the boy racer image is abit tired.

    Prices for the Celica GT and the Solara 4 SE are pretty comparable. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. I think insurance costs would be similar as well.

    I know the most common comparisons are Celica vs. Eclipse vs. Prelude etc .... but how would you guys compare the Celica with the Solara?

    Considering both are Toyotas, and reputations for quality are excellent, I think the main difference is the driving experience and the image portrayed.

    The only problem is that the dealerships I've gone to in NY tell me that the Solara's aren't really available in MT. Is this true?

    Has anyone traded in their old vehicles before? I've used the Edmunds wholesale price as a gauge, but dealerships always come up with some stupid excuse to rake me for the trade in ... one offered $3000 for a fully loaded '92 3000GT VR4. Do you recommend just selling it on the street?

    Last question, for the $20,000 you guys spent on the Celica, would you have considered a used Lexus sports coupe?

  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    If you prefer apples to bananas - buy apples, otherwise go for bananas. I have Grand Marquis (my wife simply does not stand the idea of a minivan)and Celica GT, had no problems at all with Mercury (it's 95), as to the Celica 2000 I had it once damaged on parking lot (hit and run, $2K fixing), and now and then I get some dudes throwing eggs at it. When I want to drive somewhere far with family - I take Merqury as it is certainly more comfortable-roomy-and-safe, but for the city Celica is real fun.
    BTW, I bought my Celica GT auto for $18.7K, that was with everything except spoiler and remote.
    If you want to be practical forget about Celica. I would even through Solara out for something similar like Focus and save 3-4K.
  • you are right, the solara and celica are very different vehicles. I suggest you drive the vehicles to make your decision.
    I nearly laughed myself to death when I saw someone actually test driving a Pontiac Aztek (triangle on wheels), but I got to thinking that every vehicle is designed to target certain individuals. Of course, I also think that the Aztek buyer is a sucker.
    I am also 30/M, but I think the styling of the Celica appeals to alot of different age groups. I drove the Celica several times and several hours before I committed to buying it. It just kept calling me back to the dealership. Personally, I can't find a weakness with the Celica. It's got power, economy,plenty of options, loads of room with the hatchback, turn on a dime handling, and a jet engine like air conditioner!

    I never drove the Solara, but I did look at their town hall message board. I read alot of comments about people growing tired of the vehicle in the first year. The performance is non-existent with the 4 banger, and even the handling package in the expensive v6 model is sluggish.
  • aim9aim9 Posts: 9
    Both nice cars. I'd beware of the Focus due to reliability issues. Drove Solara and Celica several times before getting the GTS 6spd. I agree that they are completely different cars. This is my 4th Celica,and for practicality own a 98 4-Runner SR5, an absolutely wonderful, trouble free vehicle. The Celica has 10K now and not a single problem. Tremendous highway car in ride, reponsiveness, and comfort (the front seats are great.)Got 36 mpg over 500 mile trip last weekend averaging 75 mph.

    Happy driving,
  • Thanx for the comments guys. I guess either way I go, I probably won't lose. It all depends on what I want and what I'm willing to give up.

    I test drove both cars, but they didn't have the Solara 4 SE in MT. The 6 cylinder SE drove nicely and had a nice punch to it. The Celica drove smoothly, but honestly, both cars lacked the raw power of the 3000GT I'm driving now (and want to get rid of).

    I think I understand what you guys mean about losing interest in the Solara soon after purchase. It's not an exciting car and doesn't really turn any heads. It has more practicality than performance.

    The Celica is beautiful, but really only fits 2 people. So there are pros and cons with both vehicles. It just depends on what I'm willing to give up to obtain the other.

    But I'm in no rush, I still have to sell my current car first. 3000GT VR-4 is a mighty machine. I enjoy it but the repair costs are WAY too high. For the price of repairs, I could be driving a new Celica or a Solara. aim9 hit it on the nose when he mentioned gas mileage. I'm sick and tired of running 15 mpg on $2/gallon premium fuel. It's a nightmare.

    Do you think it wise to look into some of the incentive deals for the left over 2000 models?

    Thanx again...

  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    Gas mileage was the main reason why I got Celica (GT auto) instead of Cougar. But I cannot get more than 35 mpg on interstate and 22-25 for city only driving. I think the specified 27 mpg can be only reached if one ignores stop signs and traffic lights. But it is still better than Marquis with its 26/18 mpg.
  • Well, I've never seen celica incentives, but you should always go with the best deal. IMHO, the 2K1 model is the way to go.
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    wow, going from vr4 to a 4 banger.. that is tough..haha. I don't think anything will match the performance of a 4wd 320hp beast.. Unless you go supra or corvette..heh.
    Some of the internet sites have the celica GTS manual around 800 over invoice right now. I am thinking about buying it next summer. So who knows, but price is usually low around december. And pretty high during the summer. I think I will try and haggle with the dealer first, it that didn't work.. I am going to buy it over the net.
  • is the gts available with an in-dash 6-disc changer instead of a truck-mounted?
  • I just caught up with you on the Celica vs. Eclipse board.

    I've pretty much decided to let go of the VR4. It's too costly. At one point I was spending $260 month in gas .... 2 $30 fillups every week. Is that insane or what? I only drive it on the highway for recreation now ... so basically, it's a useless car. The power is alot of fun, but it comes at a cost.

    One of the considerations for me to look into the Celica is because it offers many of the same benefits of a super sportscar along with those of a more moderate vehicle. Gas mileage, performance, and driving enjoyment are all considerations for my next vehicle.

    I also want a car where I can do much of my own repairs. There's absolutely NO reason why I have to pay $150 to change the spark plugs. The VR-4 is a nightmare when it comes to that.

    The Celica GT-S sounds incredible, but all indications are that it's not worth the extra $4500... and premium fuel again. Argh!!!

    So, with the savings in gas and repair costs, I can be driving a brand new Celica GT. The Silver color one looks really hot. White isn't bad either.

    My only problem now is figuring out how to minimize comprehensive insurance in NYC. I can be looking at $3000 a year if I register the car here. I'm paying a grand a year for liability now. Imagine your car payment equaling your insurance payment? This is nuts.

    JK111, which sites are offering the vehicle for $800 above cost?


  • Sorry, their isn't an in-dasher CD-changer option on a celica. I would advise an aftermarket one though over getting the one in the rear cause it is located in a bad spot that would seem to take alot of abuse from cargo. I know Alpine makes'em
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    yep, if you just a ride around town I think a GT would be great. I can't imagine how much it would cost to own a vr4, those premium sports cars (300z, supra, rx7 and vr4) are super expensive on maintenance (twin turbo on a v6 engine..) and parts are not cheap either.
    You can find deals at and You can also try autobytel and some other sites that will deal thru a dealer.
    Btw, saw a Benz Smart yesterday.. I guess they have it over here as a prototype. Look very small in person.
  • I'm a proud owner of a 2000 Celica 2000 GTS, hot RED with all the extras. I bought it with my Nasdaq profits, and I find driving the car is exciting as my day trading. While most people compare 0-60 speeds, I enjoy the acceleration from 40 to 80 on expressways. Also, the 8-speaker sound system rocks, and the base can be heard by all the surrounding cars. I get many compliments and requests for joy rides especially by the attractive female type. After 4 months of owning the GTS, I still get excited when I start the engine.

    I do NOT enjoy the small backseat. I hardly use it, but when I picked up my sister and her two children from the airport, it was tough (but possible) fitting two car seats in the back. The kids complained about having no room to swing their feet, and their window view was small. But then, rear-seat comfort isn't why I bought a car like this.

    Can anyone recommend a radar detector from their experience? I've been looking at this Cobra for X-mas

    Has anyone installed mud flaps on their Celica?
  • 00gts00gts Posts: 42
    I think if you ask anyone that knows a lot about radar detectors, they'll recommend Valentine One. It's expensive, but it's also the best on the market today. Check out their website:

    I have the mudflaps on my car. I got them from They definitely cut down on the amount of dust and dirt kicked up on the sides and rear. They're pretty easy to install, too.
  • I have and recommend the Valentine One. I've had it for about 10 years without a single problem. Laser detection is useless (for any brand) because if or once you get the signal, you'll have to be pulling over. Of course, you'll also get stopped if the police are properly using pulse radar (stalkers are amazing radars).

    I think the units are approaching $400 these days.
  • I live in MN and store my Celica in the garage for the winter.
    Does anyone know where I could find a good quality
    cover for the car? Toyota dealer couldn't help.
  • I just ordered a fitted car cover from I got the Tyvek plus cover for $77. Very cheap for fitted car covers.
  • Thanks coupe for the info. Did you get the universal or custom fit? Pros or cons?

    Do you remove the antenna?
  • I got the custom fit cover. The universal ones I looked at were just as expense or more. The universal ones will beat the hell out of your car if exposed to wind and they just don't look as nice.

    The covers don't come with a cutout for the antennae. That is up to the consumer, but coverking does send a patch kit to make the cover conform to the antennae. Another option, would be to take your Celica to a Auto accessories shop and get a power antennae installed. Alot of Celica owners are putting Honda's S2000 rubber antennae on. They run about 20 bucks, install easily, and they are short and sporty looking.

    I'm still waiting for my Celica and cover so I don't know what I'm gonna do about the antennae.
  • How does a power antenna work?

  • The antenna is connected to your stereo. If your stereo is on, then the antenna goes up. vice versa.
  • I ordered a custom "stormshield" cover from today for $170. A little more than I wanted to pay, but the material is what they recommend for our climate up here in the "frozen tundra". Thanks for your tip.

    Good luck with your Celica. It's a great little car. I have 7000 mi on my 2000 GTS. If I figure out the antenna issue, I'll let you know. I think the mast just unscrews with a crescent wrench.
  • cool! yeah, the stormshield is heavy duty. I didn't mention that material because you said you had a garage. I wanted something lightweight so I could toss it into the cargo net.

    Yeah, the antenna unscrews easily with a wrench.
  • Oooh, a power antennae does sound cool.

    And! The story of my search for a Celica is in the latest issue of BUSINESS WEEK magazine! It's the Nov. 27th issue, on page 190. The article is about how custom-ordering cars on the Internet has not panned out the way manufacturers might have liked.

  • I am sorry but who would get the Celica. It is overstyled and underpowered. You say wait it has 180 hp. I say wait its at 8000 rpms. I would like to see you bring your engine up to that speed without backing out. I would also like to see you do that repeatedly while racing a camaro and breaking you engine due to the high rev torture due to lack of torque.
  • 00gts00gts Posts: 42
    Who would get the Celica? From the amount I see on the road every day, I'd say a hell of a lot of people!

    Max hp comes at redline, 7600 RPM. The GT-S's engine was created by Toyota AND Yamaha. Yamaha took the Celica GT's engine and enhanced it with their expertise in high revving engines. They added a second cam profile which switches over at 6000 RPMs, increasing piston travel, resulting in more air coming into the engine. This engine was made for high RPMs.

    If I was racing a V6 Camaro, I'd be able to smoke him every time. If it was a V8, he'd smoke me every time. I wouldn't have to race repeatedly because I'd know the outcome already. Two races would be enough (just to be fair).

    As for underpowered, can you name another mass production, FWD, NA 4 cylinder car for under $25k that can outperform the GT-S?
  • I am sorry but who would get the V6 camaro. GM thinks so much of that they are stopping production of it. NOBODY is buying it! It is a freaking dinosoar...reminds me of the Dodge Daytona that hung around forever.

    Obviosly, you haven't driven a Celica, or you would be in line with the rest of us to get one.

    Actually the Celica and the Camaro are not the same class of vehicle.

    The camaro is a gas sucking american musclecar that spends a good part of it's life in the GM service center.

    The Celica is quick, reliable, compact sports car designed by some of the finest automotive engineers in the world.
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