Used 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback

1997 Toyota Celica
List price range
1997 Toyota Celica

Pros

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

Cons

  • Styling, high price

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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

Amazing little cars.
97st6gc5spdhbk,05/19/2012
I'm amazed at the quality & overall craftsmanship Toyota put into this car. It ALWAYS starts. 5 speed combined w/ the 1.8 4cyl makes gas mileage INSANELY good! Full tank gets 400+ miles. Car is also super light & brakes easily/quickly. I've seen alot of people complaining about a 'lack of power' ...really? If you wanted power why would you buy a 4cyl "Sports" car? I've never had a problem passing someone when needed. All-in-all I feel this car makes for aa good investment. 193k without a problem here!
Best car by far!!!!
neecey,04/13/2011
I bought this car 10 years ago, and she runs like the day I got her...Just hit 150,000 miles and have never had any mechanical problems at all. That amazes me! Shocks are starting to show signs of needing replacing, power antennae motor went and that's all I've have to deal with in the last 10 years..I get an avg of 35 MPG. I can't say anything bad about the reliability or drivability of this car.. I LOVE IT!!!!!!
Fun car-simple too
slyfox,02/04/2003
I've had this car for 4 months now and it truely is a blast. Great handling (FWD), good acceleration (could use a little more at times). Toyota Quality. And the best of all, you are more likely to see 100 preludes, cavaliers, or sunfires before you see just one of these beauties on the road. Toyota should have kept this style, it's much better than the new celica body design. Overall, try it and you will love it.
Celica
maite daguerre,03/03/2002
Great car
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Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 32 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
105 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
25 city / 32 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
105 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback 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 Hatchback Overview

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

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

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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback for sale near you.

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

Find a used Toyota Celica for sale - 6 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $12,145.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $15,246.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Celica for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,183.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $20,253.

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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