Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)

mznmzn Member Posts: 727
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  • desertlilydesertlily Member Posts: 15
    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?
  • bcloughbclough Member Posts: 97
    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 Member 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.
  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Member Posts: 41
    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 Member 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.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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 Member 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,
  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Member Posts: 41
    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 Member 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.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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 Member 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.
  • blwblueblwblue Member Posts: 5
    is the gts available with an in-dash 6-disc changer instead of a truck-mounted?
  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Member Posts: 41
    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?


  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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 Member 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.
  • mt_kilimanjaromt_kilimanjaro Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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.
  • marktestmarktest Member Posts: 43
    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.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    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.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    I just ordered a fitted car cover from I got the Tyvek plus cover for $77. Very cheap for fitted car covers.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    Thanks coupe for the info. Did you get the universal or custom fit? Pros or cons?

    Do you remove the antenna?
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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.
  • bcloughbclough Member Posts: 97
    How does a power antenna work?

  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    The antenna is connected to your stereo. If your stereo is on, then the antenna goes up. vice versa.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    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.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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.
  • bcloughbclough Member Posts: 97
    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.

  • stevman13stevman13 Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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?
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    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.
  • jk111jk111 Member Posts: 125
    blah, another one of those muscle car heads from the camaro thread. This is like saying why we should get a civic instead of a neon.. same argument. If the camaro is such a hot seller, why are they discontinuing it a year from now?
  • hbarkhbark Member Posts: 26
    Am I the only (soon-to-be, it's on order...) Celica owner, who doesn't give a crap about racing, and how fast the car goes?

    One reason I got the Celica GT 5-spd was because of it's gas mileage 28/34 EPA. I'm not a racer, but neither am I slow driver, and I think the car has plenty of quickness. Not too mention how great it looks, and the Toyota reputation (I'll be passing my '93 Camry with 121K+ miles on it to my daughter).

    So who cares if the Celica can beat the Eclipse, or the Camaro, or what. If you like the Celica, buy it, drive it, enjoy it. Otherwise, get something else.

    Just one man's humble opinion....
  • bcloughbclough Member Posts: 97
    I rarely exceed the speed limit, and I'm quite happy with my Celica. The traffic in my area, it's not really possible to be a speed demon anyway.

  • hbarkhbark Member Posts: 26
    Just got the word today, that my Celica GT which I special ordered on 8/30, is officially built in Japan!

    I asked the dealer if she thought I might get it as a Christmas present... she thought more like New Years! Oh well....

    I'm sure she'll call me when there's some major blizzard or something too!
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    I'm glad you've got the word! It's hard to wait and I know it will be worth it!!

  • jk111jk111 Member Posts: 125
    they are making you wait for 4 months? why the long wait?
  • hbarkhbark Member Posts: 26
    Long story. Short version -- I ordered the car built they way I wanted it. Celica's are still made in Japan. Contacted several dealers, all but one didn't even want to bother with it.

    That's just how long it takes, that's all. The dealers say something about they get together before the model year, and decide how they want the cars configured to be delivered to them in their region (mid-atlantic, in my case).

    For the GTs, they all came with spoilers, we didn't want that. None came with ABS, we wanted that. Also didn't want the security system, most came with that. So we got the all-weather pkg, sunroof, alloy wheels, power package, ABS, mats.

    I've been trying not to think about it too much these last few months....
  • sergeissergeis Member Posts: 134
    Anyone has automatic? I am somewhat frustrated by the so called engine braking which they mention in the manual as a plus. Most of the time it really sux, on a road where I don't have to push accelerator at all with my mercury, the Celica slows down if you release accelerator pedal. Recently I noticed that if I simply switch to neutral it rolls for a mile without slowing down (there is slight slope). Why should I burn gas to go down??? Yes, I know that for a couple of days when it is icy that helps, but I have done without that and never noticed. Anyone knows if constant switching to neutral is bad for transmission?
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    If it's still sitting in Japan then ya got about another month to go.
    Surprised though, cause you ordered yours a week after mine, and my salesman just called me this morning to say that it was now on his allocation sheet, which means it's now in the U.S. (1 more week to go)

    Maybe your car got slowed down due to the sunroof.
    (I need the extra headroom so I left out the hole in the roof)

    Anyways I know how you feel. After so much time goes by without hearing anything you start wondering if the order even went through. Then when your dealer calls you feel like you won a battle or something.

    I got my TRD exhaust Friday, and got that feeling all over again. Only waited 3 months for it.

    BTW, what color did you get hbark?
  • lesterinindylesterinindy Member Posts: 6
    I just got the front end mask for my 2000 Celica, this really improves the appearance of the front end, a bear to put on but worth the effort. I don't want to jinx the car, but 8800 miles and no mechanical problems so far. The recent cold weather in town has brought on an interesting development. It take a while to get used to the fact that the autotrans does not go into overdrive until the motor has warmed up. Anyone else out there experienced the same thing or do I have something wrong? Still love to drive the car. I hit the speed limit going up and as I slow down. Best thing I bought was a Cobra (around $120.00) radar detector. It has saved my but a couple of times.
  • anonymiseanonymise Member Posts: 10
    Isn't Toyota's VVTL-i system almost identical to Honda's VTEC? I saw earlier in the forum there was a discussion about premium fuel, and Honda says that their VTEC engines "can run on regular unleaded with decreased performance". Maybe VTEC has a lower compression ratio?

    Also, i believe that constantly switching an automatic to neutral is not bad, but shifting back into drive while moving can cause problems.

    Also, anyone have any idea how much it costs to lease a GT-S manual?
  • hbarkhbark Member Posts: 26
    The Celica I ordered is Spectra Blue Mica. Or Spectra Mica Blue, whatever... I don't see hardly any of them around here in that color.

    I like it... then again, I'm color blind, so who the heck knows????!!!
  • jk111jk111 Member Posts: 125
    more or less, vvti is the same variable value timing technology used by Honda. But the new celica is a little bit more advanced that is all. So in an essence, a second set of valves will open up when the car reach a certain rpm (for hondas) the 2nd set of cam will introduce more air into the combustion chamber, with extra gas and air.. you get more hps. But it does burn a lot more gas tho.
    cool. You can tell your friends that they custom built your Celica at Japan..hehe.
    About automatic shifting. I don't think it is bad at all unless you rev the engine all the way up and than dump it into D. Shifting in low rpms shouldn't be a problem for an auto.
  • transamgirltransamgirl Member Posts: 1
    I own a 00 GTS 6spd w/ 3000 miles. I love my car. I purchased it b/c I wanted something with decent power and good gas mileage. Price was also a factor. I've owned at least 10 Trans Ams and Camaros. I love them but the gas mileage is not good for a daily driver. I don't see how anyone can compare the Celica to either of these cars. They're not even in the same class. I will always own a Trans Am but I would never compare it to my Celica. As far as reliablity someone posted that a Camaro would always be in the shop. That is not true. Camaros and TAs are very reliable and I've never had any major problems with any of the ones I've owned. Very easy to work on yourself. Just recently got rid of a 96 TA to buy a truck for now. Am looking for another one but not that new. The 96 was to big and very uncomfortable.

    When I decided to buy my first new car I looked at the Celica, Grand Prix, and Prelude. I really wanted a Prelude but for the price turned it down. I thought for 28,000 I'd buy a new TA instead. My husband really wanted me to get a Grand Prix Supercharged b/c it was bigger. But I did not want another big car! And the gas mileage around town was only 18, which we argued over continously until my mother purchased a Bonneville SSEI w/ same motor and she's only getting 18. So I settled with the Celica got it for 22,558 Loaded with everything but side airbags and ABS.

    Purchasing my Celica was not a very pleasant experience. Dealers around here did not want to give me the time of day nor did they seem to know their product very well. So far my celica has pleased me except for some minor things which I don't know if they are worth a trip to the dealer. The CD player skips (common complaint), the loose antenna (another common complaint), I have a rattle in my dash somewhere. The only thing that concerns me is the other day when I started it (very cold day) the idling went crazy and started loping then quit. I owned a 87 Prelude that would do that every once in awhile and was not expecting a new car to do that. Anyone else have the same thing happen to them? All in all I would recommend the Celica for what you get it's worth the price.
  • gorkojogorkojo Member Posts: 10
    Anyone have any comments on the GTS vs the VW GTI VR6?? I'm trying to decide. The VW puts out 174hp and has 181lbs torque avail at only 3200rpms. They claim 0-60 in 6.8 with "Benz like quality". Price is around 21K loaded. Thanks for your advice.
  • jk111jk111 Member Posts: 125
    The VR6 engine has really nice low end torque. While the Celica GTS has good high end, nice turning and brakes. Overall, I think GTI is a good car if you want to get from point A to point B. But Celica is a fun car. So it is really up to what you need. If you want a commute car, a accord V6 coupe might be a better choice.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    happy that you feel that your GM products have been reliable. I think it's kinda weird how alot of GM owner simply live with defects in their car while these same defects would enrage a Japanese Automobile owner. Your own comments about the CD player skipping, a dash rattle and loose antenna show that you accept these kinda faults with vehicles EVEN WHEN IT'S STILL UNDER WARRANTY. That just doesn't cut it with me. I am wondering if you even bother to wash your Celica.

    Do a search in Town hall for Camaro & Trans AM and you will see that everything, but the kitchen sink is going wrong with these cars. BTW, my buddy in Hampton, VA has a 1998 Grand Prix GTP. He just replaced the entire engine and supercharger at 48K miles. price $8400. Ummm, He was enraged!
  • silverrocketsilverrocket Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where the older topic on the celica gts is located. i haven't been to this site in a while, so if you know please let me know what happened to it.
    I have over 5500 miles on my gts and i'm still loving the car tremendously, it's even got me in a little trouble with my wife b/c she thinks I take care of the car more than the house. She's right, the car is like my life blood. This was my first new car and spent hard earned money on her, and I want it to look good for a long time.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    yeah, just click on new car on the home page, then select toyota,then celica. You will find the link in the review.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    where's all the posts? they dissapeared!
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