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A Grand Monday: Toyota Celica

Published 26 June 2017

For many enthusiasts the seventh generation Toyota Celica was something of a return to form – a lightweight car that looked great, went well, and boasted razor-sharp handling. Built from 1999 to 2006, The T230 was part of Project Genesis – the Japanese manufacturer’s plan to attract younger buyers.

But while the project wasn’t a huge success, the sharply-styled Celica won plenty of admirers when it was launched at the Frankfurt motor show in 1999. As well as good looks and handling, the car also came with a decent level of standard kit.

Drivers got twin front and side airbags, ABS, leather-covered steering wheel, electric windows and door mirrors, a decent stereo, alloy wheels, and central locking. Two versions were available, the more powerful 190hp and this 140bhp.

Power came from a 1.8-litre VVTi petrol engine, which used clever variable valve timing technology to offer power across the rev range. And while it wasn’t quick, it handled well enough. In fact, many car magazines labelled it the best-handling front-wheel drive coupe at the time.

Toyota Celica (3)

This 2001 Toyota Celica is for sale at £995. And, as you’d expect, comes with a folder full of history – receipts, old servicing bills, MoTs… as well as the owner’s pack and manual.

Recent work includes a new rear silencer box, new tailgate struts, and a repair to the front plastic bumper. We’d like to know a bit more about this because, apart from the colour difference, a shunt could have done more damage.

There’s a few marks as you’d expect from a vehicle of this age, and the seller says the air conditioning isn’t working. It looks fairly standard, which is always a good sign – although you’ll want to check for wear on the front tyres (usually a giveaway that it’s been driven enthusiastically).

Granted, these might not be the first cars that come to mind when people think of future classics - but its that sleeper status which makes this a potential bargain.


   on 8 April 2018

I'm on my second. I don't think you can get a better car for the money. I have t sport with 190 bhp. If only it had isofix. But the engine is a gem and I prefer it to the type R's.
Plus it so much better looking. I have a private plate and no one can believe that it's over 10 years old.

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