Used 1996 Toyota Celica

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1996 Toyota Celica
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The Celica has long been ahead of its time as far as styling is concerned. Seems like you just get used to the funky looks of the latest Celica and Toyota unveils a new one to challenge your retinas. This version of the Celica, while toned down somewhat from its predecessor, is still difficult to swallow at first glance. If not for the odd headlights and oversized rear spoiler, it would be a very pretty car. But it's not.

Reminding our staffers of several species of brutal underwater fish, the front styling is just too radical, despite some slight revision for 1996. However, the interior of the Celica is quite nice, with a subdued driving environment that places all the controls in all the right places. The effect is somewhat Teutonic in nature, and is nicely complimented by snug, supportive seats, covered in a new-for-1996 fabric. New wheelcovers for the ST and two new colors are also new this year.

ST models are rather basic, and power is supplied by a 1.8-liter twin-cam four cylinder that makes a whopping 105 horsepower. Front disc/rear drum brakes are the only ones available on the ST, and ABS is optional.

Under the hood of the GT is a 135-horsepower 2.2-liter four cylinder that moves the Celica briskly but without fanfare. Four-wheel discs are standard; ABS is optional. Compared to most of the competition in the sport coupe class, the Celica is woefully underpowered. But boy, it's as reliable as Grandma's pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.

A new convertible version appeared for 1995, and is the most attractive Celica drop-top in a decade, despite the bulging headlights and gaping air dam. Powered by the same 2.2-liter engine as the GT but hauling around some extra weight, don't expect the Celica convertible to force you back in your seat while doing the on-ramp shuffle. And at a starting cost of $24,000, we have three words for potential drop-top buyers: Mustang GT Convertible.

The Celica is solid, reasonably sporty, and has an outstanding reliability record. We can't recommend it, though, when less-expensive and speedier cars like the Probe GT, Neon Sport Coupe and Acura Integra are available for the taking.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Toyota Celica.

Fantastic quality automobile... Classic
Keith, 1/24/2009
This car was owned by my brother first for 4 years. It went through many drivers when he owned it and was always extremely reliable and economical to own. I bought it a few months ago after a minor accident. I fixed the imperfections and am now driving it everyday. It's getting about 23 mpg with the top down most of the time. It shifts very smooth and takes corners effortlessly. Acceleration is about 10 seconds to 60 mph (automatic) and has about 93k on it. The styling is classic and even though a '96, not out of style in the least. Mine is black on black and always gets great comments on it's looks.
The Best of the Celicas
mikeyL, 7/22/2002
A great touring car with enough pep to get up the most challenging hills. A stick is recommended because it gives the car more get up and go, The handling is great and the trunk is spacious for a car of its size.
Exellent
gelpija, 9/8/2002
The car is in excelent condition. Service has been provided regularly by dealer. The car is economic in fuel use and has not required any type of major repair
Good solid fun convertible
, 3/20/2002
Fun and reliable . . . says it all.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1996 Toyota Celica features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 Toyota Celica
Used 1996 Toyota Celica Overview

The Used 1996 Toyota Celica is offered in the following submodels: , , . Available styles include ST 2dr Hatchback, ST 2dr Coupe, ST 25th Anniversary 2dr Hatchback, GT 2dr Hatchback, GT 25th Anniversary 2dr Convertible, GT 2dr Convertible, and GT 2dr Coupe.

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