I know Toyota stands for reliable, but I didnt know it's going to be this good. Bought my celica in 1998 when I was still in college. Besides changing the brake pads, I never have any problems with it. Not a single time it died on me. Everything works just the same as the day I bought this car. Fun to drive and has great mileage. And surprisingly quite fast. Now I've been working for 3 years and thinking of buying a new car. I dont know if I will have the kind of luxury my celica has been giving me. Luxury of just spending not more than $100 a year for its maintenance.
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.
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.
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