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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    they mean that the celica GT engine is the same engine used in the corolla, although with a different intake and exhaust for a 10 hp power gain. The platform is the same - everything else is different. In particular, the suspension set-up is completely different, resulting in razor sharp turn-in and other handling characteristics. Also the manual transmission is worlds apart from the 5-speed in the corolla.

    Back then the best celica comparison to the corolla GTS was the celica GT, and there were a number of similarities in the drive between the two, because the handling and power of the celica were not as good as they could have been...if they made a corolla GTS today, the handling would still be way different from the celica's. Corolla GTS buyers back then bought them for the extra power in the comfy-riding corolla 2-door chassis.

    Later on they substituted the celica ST for the corolla GTS and did away with it altogether, and if they still made a celica ST today, I am sure that would be the "corolla GTS" of the celica line.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    The Corolla GT-S really did not have a replacement until the new Celica GT-S. The Paseo replaced the 2-door Corolla line in 1992 and it lasted until 1997. We all know that the paseo was not much of a replacement.

    The Celica ST came out in 71, GT in 74, GT-S in 82 or 83, with the All-trac in 88. Since the GT-S model, all of those models up till 1993 were serious handlers. My mom has a 1990 GT-S and I have proved the theory. All-tracs also handled well, however, they were heavier like the Supra and extremely rare. The 94-99 GT's were also known to handle. I know the new Celicas take handling to a higher level, but handling has been a strength in the past Celica. The new ones just have more power and less weight.

    In 1990, the ST used a Corolla engine up till 1997, but it was still built off a Camry chassis. These ST'S had little power because the GT and GT-S from these years had average power like the one I currently own.

    The Corolla GT-S from 85-91 shared most of its mechanicals with the 85-89 MR2. This basically meant high reving, short close shifter, loud motor, keep the neighbors up machine. Just this sound familiar with the new Celica GT-S. Finding parts for the car sometimes was annoying because they were unique. The new Celica doesn't share parts with the Corolla but it does share some with the Matrix. Same is true today.

    Performance for my 89 Corolla GT-S was in the late 7's, early 8's range 0-60, and I did 135 in it once. There hasn't been a car since the Corolla GT-S that has been equivalent, maybe except for an Integra GS-R, but not from Toyota.

    The new Celica (generation) is really close.

    If you have looked at Celica History. They have low torque and redline low also. I know my 79 Celica that I had redlined at 5500 rpm and cruised at 2100 rpm. Up til 85, the Celicas shared the same engines they put in the little trucks. The 86-89 GT-S engine was somewhat close (It had a redline of 7000 with 135hp and somewhat less torque), but the engines haven't been since 90, till the new generation GT-S models in 00.

    My 89 Corolla GT-S redlined at 7700 rpm, and crusied at 3400 rpm.

    Doesn't the new Celica GT-S redline at 8000?

    There is also no question that the Corolla and Matrix are made to be more stodgy. However, all of the engines in all three cars come from the same 1.8 makeup. One is built for 4WD 123hp, one for sedan quiteness 130hp, one to be slighlty higher 140hp, and to have fun 180hp.

    I know the Corolla GT-S is one of the most underappreciated cars from the Toyota lineup, but the new Celica brings back not only the Corolla GT-S, but the old MR2 as well. Imagine if they put the 180hp in the new MR2.

    The new Celica blends the handling prowness of previous Celicas (certain ones mentioned above)and the rev-happy performance of previous MR2's and Corolla GT-S's. The current generation also is smaller, weighs less, uses a 1.8 liter engine (weight), and costs less (adjusted for CPI) than several generation Celicas.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that corolla GTS was so underappreciated - it was a great little car, and you still see plenty of slammed GTS's around, even now 15 years later. Compare that to the new celica - there are still very few with any aftermarket mods at all, despite Toyota's design intention to get "the kids" and aftermarket enthusiasts interested in this model again after a decade.

    Problem was, corolla GTS competed too closely with celica, so Toyota had an infight on its hands. The corolla lost when they discontinued it. You can see why too, from the really lousy sales of the Paseo for those years. Paseo was really just a two-door Tercel in a slightly sportier, more stylish package.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    IMHO the best celicas Toyota ever produced were the model years 1986-1989. These cars were roomy,zippy,great looking ,and available with options only found on more expensive cars[heated mirrors,tilt-telescopic steering wheel,auto shutoff lights-if you left them on they shut off as soon as the door was opened,digital dash,adjustable wiper delay,power ant,power seat].When my 86 GT was rear ended and totaled I upgraded to a 92 GTS which was great looking,but a total dog performance wise and only got 20-23 mpg-I averaged 30 with my 86 GT.I sold that after 1 year and got an 86 GTS ,which was a great car until I retired it-a victim of rust and old age,leaky seals etc.My current car is a 2003 Matrix XR[no room for 6'3"me in the new celicas,too narrow leg space]and it is a good car,but if I could get a new 86-89 GTS I would have it rustproofed and drive it til it dies!
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    Ok, I see; so you're saying that the current celica GT-S is the descendent of the Corolla GTS in spirit.

    It'd be interesting if Toyota decided to make a performance version of the new Corolla (not that silly S-type package).

    Interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing the info, all.

    Btw, I think the actual engine cutoff for the current GT-S engine is 8200 (except for the 2002 Celica GT-S, which had an earlier engine cutoff).
  • dq1dq1 Posts: 44
    Thought I'd share that I'm meeting with my Southeast Toyota Rep. tomorrow because my local Service Director won't work with me anymore because I might file under Florida's Lemon Law.

    I put together a summary of all repairs done on my 2001 Celica GT in the past 2 years to get a feel for my cars overall quality. Here are my surprising results. My car has been in the shop for 29 warranty repairs! Of those, 18 are unique, the remainder are items which required more than one visit.

    Repair items range from window regulator to belt and tensioner to a metallic rattling noise coming from a cold engine (still a mystery to the dealer) to horrible wind noise and water leaks.

    I thought this one would last me for a long time, but I think its time for an RSX. I hope all of you have better luck than I did.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you should mention those water leaks - I remember when I first got mine the window had been installed went up and down just fine, but when I went to the car wash, BOY did I get a cold wet surprise! It came sloshing in as if the window were down!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    My cousin has an automatic 2000 GTS. He was driving down the road in the fog (not sure if road or interstate) and hit something on the road and now his air conditioning isn't working. Does anyone know what might have happened? The object he hit is unknown.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Whoa! Physical damage--get it looked at. Who knows? Could have cut the belt and done damage elsewhere.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    More than likely either the drier or the condenser for the AC system was damaged. The drier is a metal cylindrical canister normally located in the front of the car around the grill area. The condenser looks just like the radiator and is also located at the very front of the car in the grille. The object he hit probably punctured one of these items and let all the freon out. Good luck.
  • dq1dq1 Posts: 44
    Definitely get it looked at. The new celicas have a plastic "shield" under the engine compartment. My guess is to decrease drag and keep sand/dirt out of the engine compartment. I've seen the dealer remove it everytime the oil is changed. Whatever he hit had to go through that plastic shield before damaging something in the engine compartment. If it were mine, I'd definitely have it seen by a pro.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Everyone - It would be nice to see some vehicle updates in here. Anyone interested in sharing some details about their Toyota Celica? If you'd like, you can list your:

    1. Model Year & Total miles to date.

    2. MPG & Driving habits. Any differences in mpg since you first purchase?

    3. Any additional accessories & mods?

    4. Maintenance issues to date.

    5. Any interesting trips or cargo experiences?

    6. Overall impressions pro/cons of your vehicle since you first purchased....

    Share as much (or as little) information as you'd like. I'm sure other Celica owners/shoppers passing through here, would find the information quite interesting, if not helpful. Also, you can report back every 3-5k to update again. Who's game?

    Thanks for your participation! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • wscc1wscc1 Posts: 21
    I have a 2000 GTS with approximately 50K miles. If Toyota is listening here is how I would suggest updating it so that it is competitive with the other cars in its class (Acura, WRX, etc.).
    First: Do something about the transmission so you can make clean down shifts. An autocrosser this car isn't.
    Second: I would much prefer a 2.0 liter engine that made 160 HP with a 7000 RPM red line but that made a reasonably flat 160 ft/lbs between 4000 and 7000 RPM.
    What was Toyota thinking when they put such a peaky engine with a transmission that can't be shifted???? If either the Subaru or Acura were available (or Honda made the Civic Si look half decent) when I was in the market, I would have never bought the Celica. I've almost decided to take the depreciation hit and go looking again.
  • 01r101r1 Posts: 280

    I have an 01 GT-S with about 30K miles. I haven't had any problems shifting, especially down-shifting. I could maybe complain a little that 1st and 2nd gear ratios are a little to far apart to easily keep the engine in the sweet spot. But other than that, I think the tranny is great and wouldn't change a thing. What exactly is happening during your down-shifts that you don't like?

    Just my opinion here, but I would hope they don't change the engine. If you want a flat broad power band, maybe they could boost the GT. I love the Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde personality of the GT-S. Under normal city driving I never need that higher output from 6000+ rpms, I need the good gas mileage you get with the lower output. But, if Toyota were to invest in engine upgrades, I'd keep the 1.8L displacement and put in some lighter parts (Ti) so the redline could be 9000 rpms, like the S2000. Then they'd have a perfect engine (for me at least).

    Not that I don't have any complaints that I'd love them to revamp for the next generation. The seats should wrap around more for better lateral support. It would be great if there was and inch or two more head room without raising the outside roof line (I'd love to sit more upright without opening the sunroof for my head!). Redesign the outside body from the middle back, the front half of the car looks great but I can't stand the second half (almost like they had two design teams, front team and back team). Finally, how about giving the GT the 16" wheels and the GT-S 17" as standard equipment.

    Just my $.02....
  • wscc1wscc1 Posts: 21
    I agree with your view of the styling, if you mean the rear quarters. The actual back is fine. The rear quarters would look much better and give more "open-ness" to the interior if the window line was straight from the front to rear windows instead of sloping up. (Also, it would be great if manufacturers standardized front headlights as was the case when you could buy a headlight anywhere for a few bucks instead of only from the manufacturer at $300 a pop. I had conversion Halogen
    headlights in a number of my earlier cars that were only about $50 a pair and worked great.)I also would like to see a strip on the sides to protect against parking lot dings.

    As for the transmission, I heard that it was improved slightly after '00 but still is a "bear". I have no real problem with it in normal "street" driving, However, autocrossing is another story. That requires fast, no thinking 1 to 2 and 2 to 1 shifts and that can not be done.

    The engine you talk about is not reasonable either from a cost or normal driving point of view. Adding Titanium parts would greatly up the costs and ask S2000 drivers if they would like more torque. As per my proposal, there would be almost no additional cost for manufacturing (ie. re-profiled cams, re-maped electronics) and, if anything, would improve gas mileage - especially if you are not visiting the upper rev range of the engine very often.
  • 01r101r1 Posts: 280
    Yes, the rear quarter panels are what I was referring to, needs some re-work.

    At least the bulbs they are using in the headlights are standardized. But lookout if you have replace the lens assembly, that's expensive. BTW, have you had to replace a fog light bulb, those were a pain to replace.

    On the transmission, 1 to 2 works great on mine although I have to slip it a little going into 2nd sometimes to keep the rpm's at or above 6K. I probably haven't done many brisk 2 to 1 shifts so I can't say how it does there. But, I get many 6 to 3 and 5 to 2 shifts when driving a twisty 2-lane and need to pass and it's almost flawless. If I had to nit-pick I would make it harder to hit the R gate area by requiring the lever to be pushed down/in (like S2000) before dropping over to R.

    I know, it's not practical to use Ti parts in a car at this price and sure, more torque is always nice. It would be nice if the top end of the VVTLi was a little broader. If they can't maintain reliability and increase the redline, then I'd be happy with them lowering shift-over point down from 6K to 5250-5500 rpm range (which wouldn't cost them anything to produce).

    I'm still very happy with handling, this thing can pull some serious lateral G's. Though it becomes unsettled easily on pavement irregularities and such.

    The gas mileage has been great, much better than my Prelude before the Celica. I get 29-31mpg around town, lots of stop and go, and 36-38mpg on the highway.

    I probably won't replace it with another Celica when this one dies, it's just not that comfortable to me for anything more than a couple of hours of driving.

  • dq1dq1 Posts: 44
    I purchased my '01 Celica GT thinking this was going to be the car that would last me 150k miles with no trouble as long as I was very diligent about the maintenance. Boy was I wrong.

    I have a three ring binder with all of my maintenance and warranty repair work in it. All my maintenance was done on time and I'm not that hard on the car, rarely taking it over 80 on the highway or past 5k rpm's.

    The Southeast Toyota rep. worked with my local dealer to explain why seemingly overnight, my engine has started to make noticeable clicking sounds timed with the rpm's, especially when the engine is cold. The diagnosis, pre-ignition spark knock - translation ' "We don't know".

    I put a summary sheet of my warranty repairs together to show the dealer and rep. My celica has been in the shop for 29 warranty repairs, 18 of them unique and all within 35k miles. I think Toyota has embraced the heinous philosophy of "Value Engineering". For example, the quality of the interior materials is no where near what it was in past generations. I've had more rattles than my cheap old Saturn (piece of junk). I'm driving my car until the engine warranty is up at 50k and dumping the car, probably for a Honda or Subaru.

    I can't remember the publication I read this in, but I do remember the ratios which are quite interesting. To paraphrase: For every car Toyota sells, it has four administrative people (accountants, engineers, VP's, etc...). For Honda, that number is two! That means that in order for Toyota to remain competitive, they have to cut costs somewhere and it's showing in their cars! This is why you can get a comparably equipped RSX for less than a Toyota with much better build quality and materials. Sorry Toyota, you had your chance, but I will certainly never buy one again and I let all my freinds and family no about my close friendships with the service department at the dealership!
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. However, I think it's fair to say that yours was an anomaly. Statistically, most consumer sources list the celica as highly reliable. Sounds like you A) were just really unlucky and B) possibly got stuck with a really sucky or incompetent dealership. Did you look into your state's lemon laws?

    I am quite happy with my 2000 GT-S (almost 36,000 miles). Its looks and handling are fabulous, and I generally get excellent fuel mileage. Of course it's not perfect:

    1) Biggest problem is visibility, especially the side-rear views. I have my side mirrors adjusted for the blind spots, but I still turn and check everytime I switch lanes. Granted, this is a problem with many cars with swept back styling (350z, focus zx3). It just takes some getting used to.

    2) I don't know if they have since fixed this or not, but the stock cd-plyer (JVL?) really sucks. The sound quality is good enough, but the cd player tends to skip at the slightest provocation. Actually it's quite inconsistent. Sometimes I can bounce over brick roads and the cd player will be fine. Other times I'll go over a pebble and the cd will hiccup. Of course most hardcore audiophiles will probably replace the stock system right away anyway.

    3) There has been a problem with cold/wet starts that results in an annoying whirring/squealing noise at low rpms. This problem has been identified by Toyota, and there is a TSB out on it. It's caused by a faulty belt tensioner and it affects some 2000 and 2001 celicas. Toyota will fix it for you, and that's all fine and dandy....BUT, the problem comes back. At least for me and a couple of other celica owners I know. I currently have an appointment to get mine serviced again. It's not a serious problem, but it is annoying that it can't be taken care of once and for all.

    4) Here's what would be really cool: a factory turbo version of the celica. Maybe throw in AWD too. A lot of third-party vendors have been struggling with turbo kits for the current celica, but I bet TRD could pull off an effective and reliable one.
  • marylaxmarylax Posts: 12
    I am just about to hit 30,000 miles on my 2000 Celica and was thinking about getting the 30,000 mile maintenance on it at the Toyota Dealership. Is this a good idea and worth the $?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    If you plug your vehicle into Edmunds Maintenance Guide, you'll find manufacturer-recommended service schedules and costs. Others here may have more to add. Good luck.

    Host/Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Hi Mary,

    I don't know the cost and that may sway my opinion. (I have 20k on my 2000GTS.) I DO prefer to have my car serviced at Toyota if possible, as I think they tend to know the cars better than local mechanics. Sometimes these services are outrageously priced. And I just might pick and choose the services I want. I go elsewhere for oil changes, filters, tire balance, rotations, etc. If they do tappet adjustments at 30k, I think that may be important, and good for the dealer to do. The fluid checks/topoffs are typically moneymakers. Check your own fluids at $0 cost. Unless one checks periodically, one won't know if there is a brake/steering/other leak, right?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if you need to have something covered later under warranty, they will not be able to challenge your claim if a Toyota dealer has done all the regular maintenance.

    Toyota will charge you $400-500 for this service, depending on the area you live in. It is a lot - an independent will do all the same stuff for 1/3 less $$.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I got my first car, a bright red 2000 Toyota Celica GT, about almost a year ago and I absolutely love it. I have had absolutely no problems with it other than the not-so-roomy backseat that passengers seem to hate and a few minor problems caused by myself. The backseat thing doesn't matter to me of course being as I never have to squeeze into it and I have managed to carry 7 passengers even though my car had to look like one of the clown cars at the circus. Mileage is good, it is definitely a car that turns heads... It's been called flashy, hot, and even sexy, I must say I'm jealous of my car. Haha but seriously if any of you are considering getting this car I would definitely recommend it. It's sound system is spectacular even without bumps or anything and the general quality is above and beyond standards.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for your notes. We look forward to hearing more about your Toyota Celica experience. Happy motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    I recently added a Sirius Satellite Radio to my 2000 GTS. Best upgrade one could ever have. Admittedly, I was a sales rep. for Sirius, and did get the hardware for free. But I absolutely love it, and probably won't live without it again. The only problem is I'm leasing the car, and won't keep it. Angh, it will probably just take 10 minutes to remove the Satellite stuff.

    So far, I rest the tuner control in front of or behind the stick shift. I would like it on the dash so I can readily see the channel information, but I have yet to decide if I really want to mount it. That's a BIG problem because I constantly hear great songs I've never heard before and need to read the tuner. My favorites are the classic rock, 60's, 70's, and 80's stations.
  • marylaxmarylax Posts: 12
    Well I ended up getting the 30K mile service on my car. I figured it was a good idea because if anything went wrong in the future with the car I want to make sure that they cover it. The most important thing that I got done was the transmission fluid flush (I have an automatic trans). They even replaced my wipers for me! Though the whole thing cost me about $330, I think that it will be worth it in the long run.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    because it was not within our Town Hall guidelines. To those concerned: Please check your email for an explanation. Thanks!

    And now, back to the subject of Toyota Celica. Thanks for your participation! ;-)

    Host/Hatchback & Wagons
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I'm interested in a 1998 Celica GT hatch with almost 80K miles. It has leather and a sunroof. Can anyone please give me some insight as to how well these things are built and what problems a model with this age might have? I currently own a loaded 1996 Corolla DX and am a strong believer in Toyota and Honda products. I was originally looking for a similar Celica when I bought the Corolla in January 2002. The trade up would cost several thousand and I'm not sure whether the insurance jump will be significant as I am teen. This Celica may not have much power, but I'm sure the insurance will be higher than an econocar with the same power. Thanks! Overall, a worthy trade?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that is the engine that had the sludge TSB, so you may want to have it specially checked out, maybe at a Toyota dealer. It is covered under warranty though.

    Apart from that, I am sure the insurance jump WILL be significant, but this car is fun to drive, from my own experience. Worth the extra money over a corolla.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • i_luv_toyotai_luv_toyota Posts: 350
    He lives in Kentucky, I'm sure the insurance increase won't be as sharp like it would be in New York (esp NYC) or California (esp LA/SF/SD/etc.).

    Geography plays an important part with insurance rates.
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