What happened to Toyota Celica?
Posted Thursday, March 21 2013 at 02:00
There was a time when the Toyota Celica ‘ruled’ Ugandan roads. Just like Subaru and Mitsubishi have demonstrated their prowess in rallying, street versions of the same cars have over the years become popular. After success on the rally turf in the ‘90s, the Celica was one of those must-have sports cars for the fanatics of speed.
Few cars can claim to have made it through 35 consecutive years on the scene, but the Toyota Celica was such a survivor. Between its birth in 1970 and its disapperarance in 2006, Celica underwent several changes from powertrains to competitors and buyers but it never wavered from its mission as Toyota’s entry-level sport coupe.
The last Celica was rolled off the production line on April 21, 2006. In its last year, the Celica was only sold in Japan. Someone interested in a used sports car will almost certainly want to take a look at the Toyota Celica. But you should know that car virtues vary with the time period.The most recent models were sleek and offered good mileage. On the downside, styling was always a bit trial like, and many versions were not nearly as fast as they looked. In addition, high pricing, even on the used car market, makes the Celica a questionable value proposition alongside less expensive, oftentimes quicker and bigger competitors.
Repair bills come in two varieties: the one big hit or the steady stream of smaller ones. If you are looking at a single large expense, it often pays to get a second opinion from another mechanic. The Toyota Celica’s last lifetime was easily its best. Sold for the seventh and last generation, 2000-2005 model years when compared to older Celicas offered fresher engines, a lighter chassis, and a new suspension for improved handling.
Under the bonnet, the standard Celica that was the GT had a 140-horsepower 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that moved this 1.1 tonne car easily. A five-speed manual transmission was standard and a four-speed automatic was optional. Chances are that, you will probably get an automatic if you are in the market for one. Most of the praise though fell upon the GT-S.
Its 1.8-litre engine, equipped with variable valve timing and lift (VVTL-i) technology, gave a 180-hp kick in the pants. Other GT-S upgrades included disc brakes all around and a six-speed manual transmission, plus the power windows and locks, cruise control, alloy wheels and better stereo that were optional on the Celica GT. There were other flaws in the Celica’s interior, which was victim to an unwelcoming backseat, poor rear visibility and cheap looking plastics on the dash for the coin you would drop.
Toyota changed the Celica little over the years. An all-cosmetic “Action Package” joined the options list in 2002, and 2003 brought some styling changes inside and out, including the now very popular HID xenon headlights giving the Celica’s futuristic styling that causes head-turns by on-lookers.In any year, the GT-S is the Celica of choice for buyers seeking a true sport coupe experience. However, buyers merely seeking an affordable, sporty-looking coupe will find the standard Celica GT a decent performer.
The Celica has all the goods if you are looking for a fun and affordable sports coupe. It is not muscle-bound like BMW or Mercedes, and it is not suave and cool like an Audi TT or Beetle. Instead, the Celica provides a straightforward driving experience that is heavy on the fun and light on the wallet. Do not expect the 2000-2005 model years to be that cheap as they are very popular in Japan.