Think of it as a stylish A-to-B car, not as a sports coupe
Wiring in the ignition system. Cost a lot due to labour, pulling out the dash, etc.
Wheel bearing, right front. A$300 or so to replace.
Exhaust leak - new exhaust manifold gasket.
Clutch was dead when I got it. New one cost $700 or so.
The Celica is a good cruising car, or as a first car, but isn't much of a handler. It feels heavier than it's weight and steering isn't very communicative. If it's a first car, it'll have all the power you need, and its predictable enough to be stupid in. The torque curve of the engine also means it doesn't encourage aggressive driving - power more or less disappears after 5000rpm.
This model (1994-98) was a really good looking car, with flashes of Ferrari 456GT in it's profile and rear haunches. In my opinion, better looking than the models that preceded and succeeded it.
Other positives are general drivetrain reliability (mechanically, it's a shortened Toyota Camry), great sporty driving position, torquey 2.2 engine is great for highway driving and generally nice interior.
Just make sure you buy a good example, as they are getting old - even though they are Toyota, things will start to need replacing if it's had a hard life. They will develop squeaks in the body eventually. Look out for rust around the rear hatch lining.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th September, 2008