Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible

Style:
1997 Toyota Celica
List price range
1997 Toyota Celica

Pros

  • Toyota dependability, fun-to-drive, fuel efficient

Cons

  • Styling, high price
Toyota Celica years

Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible for Sale

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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. 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 fabric. Get black sport cloth, and you can select Fiesta Blue Metallic paint, which is new for 1997.

ST models are rather basic, and power is supplied by the same 1.8-liter twin-cam four cylinder found in the Corolla DX. This powerplant 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. GT is only available as a liftback or a convertible this year, because Toyota dropped the coupe version. 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 nearly $25,000, 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 Pontiac Sunfire GT, Mustang GT Convertible, and Acura Integra LS are available for the taking.

1997 Highlights

For the 1997 Toyota Celica, the GT Coupe is gone, and Fiesta Blue Metallic can be specified for cars equipped with black sport cloth interior.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Toyota Celica.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Wow!
Oh, joy!,02/18/2007
I bought this car just shy of two weeks ago and I cannot believe how pleased I am already. The GT is a performance machine that lives up to every expectation. It gets going in a hurry, feels like it will never let go of the road, and makes the driver truly a part of the drive. Sitting in this car felt like home to me right from the start of the test drive. It is also a Toyota, which gives me every confidence in its reliability. Finally, the fun-to-drive factor is way beyond a mere "10." The only negative I can find about it is the placement of the cupholders. But this is a non-issue placed alongside the overwhelming positives. It's a winner.
Toyota quality
convertman,05/18/2005
Very nice car (bought as previously owned, w/only 69K miles). It drives almost like new. Did change the timing belt (also the thermo/eng. belts/etc.) and I've put about 3K miles on. So far, very reliable. Not a head-turner like the Z3/Miata, however, way more functional (bigger trunk, space to sit in the back seat) and much better reliability. It is still very fun to drive. I can see why the resale on these is so very good. They almost never break down. Even with the miles my car has on it, I can see, drive and feel how reliable a car it's been. The leather interior looks/smells new, the gadgets all work. Great combo of looks, utility, performance and economy.
Sporty and Reliable
autophile,05/10/2002
I purchased my 1997 Toyota Celica Conv. in June 2001 and find it very sporty, comfortable, and reliable. It's larger than a Miata and MR2 yet handles well, and provides more room. It's fun to drive and I feel as though I have a classic car already. The Toyota Solara is too pricey and not as sporty. My 5 speed shifts well and allows for swift acceleration. If you can find one in good shape, buy it and get fun, reasonable practicality, and good resale value. It's a real buy.
Excellent convertible
thompson,01/04/2008
It's a well-designed car, and after 10 years it still attracts positive comments from other motorists. The car continues to perform well. We've driven it in Connecticut winters, and it handles well in snowy weather and with its well-lined top and good heater stays comfortable. Of course, it's always great in warm weather -- it now resides in California.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible 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 1997 Toyota Celica
Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible Overview

The Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible is offered in the following styles: GT 2dr Convertible, and GT Limited Edition 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Toyota Celica Convertible?

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Can't find a used 1997 Toyota Celica Celica Convertible you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Celica for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $23,927.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $22,776.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Celica for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $9,440.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,805.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Toyota Celica?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota Celica lease specials