Toyota dependability, fun-to-drive, fuel efficient
Styling, high price
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.
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback.
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!
4.88 out of 5 stars
Best car by far!!!!
ST Limited Edition 2dr Hatchback
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!!!!!!
4.63 out of 5 stars
Fun car-simple too
GT 2dr Hatchback
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
own for 8 years
ST Limited Edition 2dr Hatchback
I bought this car with 65,000 miles. Now I've had it for about 8 years and it has 193,000 miles and it never has given me any bad problems other then the starter and cv boots. Overall I enjoy this car.
The Used 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback is offered in the following styles: GT 2dr Hatchback, ST Limited Edition 2dr Hatchback, and ST 2dr Hatchback.
Pre-owned Toyota Celica Hatchback models are available with a 2.2 L-liter gas engine or a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 135 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1997 Toyota Celica Hatchback comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
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Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you
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