Way back when I was looking for a commuter car I wanted something good on gas, but also fun to drive to make my long commute to and from work a little more pleasurable. In the end I bought a base ST with 76,000 or so miles and I continued to drive it until just recently when the harsh Maine winters and road salt finally made me realize that after umpteen numbers of years and over 100,000 miles (180K on the odometer) it was time to get something new. I can't complain though -- for the money I ended up with a fun, peppy car that even today looks good even 18 years old.
Fun to drive and wicked good gas mileage (I was averaging 35 mpg).
Towards the end my poor Celica became an official "Maine beater car" with rust showing, a non-working radio, scratches, bad head gasket, bad brakes, etc. My only suggestion would have been to make this car more of a "guy" car since my good buddy said he noticed girls mostly driving this car.
I have put over 100k miles on my Celica, it now has 220/k miles. This is the most durable car I've ever owned, an absolute value. The engine is showing little signs of being tired. I'm still getting 32 mpg highway if not more. I was an American car nut until I did some research on cheap used cars. This Celica had very little wear and was a good price. I can't believe I bought a car for $3k, that I've driven for over 100k miles. If you can buy a 1990-98 Celica w/ around 100k miles, that's in good shape for $3k, do it. You can probably get 150k miles out of the car.
The 2.2L auto Celica is pretty powerful for a 4cyl. I don't have too much trouble passing cars, unless the person steps on the gas. Going up hills isn't too bad. The car does okay in the snow if you have studded tires. It does well around curves. It's a very good highway car.
The car had trouble with the MAP sensor. If you have a sensor problem with this car, take it to a Toyota dealership. Do not take it to a gas station mechanic. The A/C in my Celica has never worked.
I just purchased this car 2 days ago, and I adore it! I have wanted this car since they first came out in 1990, but stuck with SUV types instead. The one I bought is loaded with miles, but you would never know it to look at it, or drive. I drove 600 miles from where I purchased it, and it handled beautifully. Great mileage, super handling, and still gets looks on the road :) This is going to be a great second car, even though I just bought a new Hummer H3. Don't know which vehicle I'm more excited with! lol
Exterior is such that, even though it is 15 years old, it looks like it could be a car that might be an '03 - '05. Very, very trendy style, that doesn't seem to want to go out of style. Interior is well designed for a 90's style.
Cupholder. Bad placement. Other than that, and my only having had it for 2 days, that's it!!
Bought this car with 100,000 miles on
it. This summer I drove it from here,
Oakland CA., to Glacier NP, then on to
the great Lakes back through Colorado,
New Mexico and home again, with
camping gear ect. A month on the road,
one oil change later, thats it. No
problems. Large trunk, Good handeling,
fun to drive, ultra reliable, and nice
looking. Who could ask...