The Toyota Celica was a big seller in the sporty coupe market for many years but slowly fell out of fashion and quietly slipped from the new-car market in early 2006.

It’s still popular on the used-car scene, especially since the release of new-generation, affordable roadsters the Toyota 86 and its near-identical twin, the Subaru BRZ.

1991_Toyota Celica_GT-Four



What to look for

If buying a used Celica:

  • Check for rust in the lower edges of the doors and the hatch/bootlid, under mudguards, in the door sills, on the floor of the boot and around the fuel filler cover.

  • Check that the engine starts promptly, idles smoothly, accelerates without hesitation and doesn’t smoke from the exhaust tailpipe when worked hard.

  • If the gear-change in a manual car is sloppy or too tight there could be problems. Do fast downchanges from third to second and feel for baulking and listen for crunching.

  • Automatics that are slow to go into drive or reverse from neutral or park may be worn out.

  • Make sure the brakes operate without too much effort and pull the car up cleanly without one wheel locking before the others.

  • Feel for a car that wanders to one side during your test drive. It may have been incorrectly repaired after a crash or it could have front-wheel alignment problems.


By Ewan Kennedy