Toyota Celica

7th Generation Toyota Celica

7th Generation Toyota Celica

Toyota Celica



Toyota started building the first Celica in 1970, but the cars that will appeal to the young prospective buyer are the 6th (1993-1999) and 7th (1999-2006) generations. These are the newest Celicas, and will have fewer miles on them while also being more common on the used car market.

Between these two, the 7th generation is much better looking, and obviously newer. The one you'll want is the GT-S, which has a wing! More importantly, it has Toyota's 2ZZ-GE engine. Yamaha contributed to the engine design, which means that this 1.8L inline 4 behaves much like a sportsbike engine- it revs to 8,000 rpm and pushes out 180hp in this application. This is the same engine that Lotus used in the Series 2 Elise, albeit with different software that manages to drag an extra 10 horses out of the engine.




You can expect to spend anywhere from $4,000-$13,000 on a Toyota Celica, depending on year, miles, and condition. Clearly the 7th generation GT-S is the best, but unfortunately "best" also means "more expensive." Even if you can't find a GT-S in your price range, a regular Celica will provide lots of fun in an economical and practical package.

The Verdict: In addition to the fantastic engine, the Celica has all the practicality of a hatchback. It is also front-wheel drive. Although this is less fun than a RWD sports car, your parents (if you're still in high school) and insurance agent will probably appreciate it! Another thing to keep in mind is the legendary reliability of Toyota cars. You can count on this lasting well past 100k miles without anything more than oil, brake pads, and tires. If something does go wrong, parts are cheap.