1996 Toyota Celica SX 2.2 liter




175,000km - faulty bearing in water pump $150 as it wasn't replaced along with the timing belt. CV joints $330 inc labour, intake piping was slightly torn, engine mounts.

180,000km - cracked pipe from throttle body to head $40, automatic antenna. The teeth in the motor seemed to snap as I could hear the motor working, but nothing happened unless it was pushed from outside.

192,000km - the water temperature sensor snapped during a service as it was so old and brittle $80. Main oil seal (as I changed from mineral to synthetic oil), although probably would have come along sometime in the future $20 (but the gearbox needs to come out).

Interior was worn was the gearboot, centre console had sun damage and the door panels had a bit of sun damage.

Exterior is good apart from where people in car parks have hit the car.

General Comments:

Sounds like a lot of problems, but the car has never "broken" down and left me stranded, and many of the problems have been minor. I think of CV joints and water pump as not even problems as they happen on all cars eventually. All cars have problems at this age, but some people are more unlucky than others, and some people bring problems upon themselves.

It's a great looking car, especially lowered and with new wheels. It isn't a fast car, but it has enough power and low down torque to pull up most hills in 5th gear, does 0-100 in just under 9 seconds and handles great. But the shocks have finally given out (still handles good with bad shocks), and with a full set of good pads, it stops very well and has next to no brake fade.

Very good on fuel; at first it wasn't great, but with new spark plugs, leads, distributor cap and rotor, it does about 7-8 litres per 100km freeway driving and 9-10.5 litres per 100km city driving, depending on how its driven. It seems to like 98 octane as it gets at least 50km more to a tank.

Interior is very "cozy" feeling, and is my favorite part of the car. It looks very advanced for a car of its age. The back seats have no room as you'd expect, and boot is huge.

Overall I love this car to bits. It handles great and is so nice to drive. The steering has a lot of feel and a great gearbox, and it's easy to drive in traffic.

It has had a few problems, but all cars of a lot of ages do. Only problem is the awful 5sfe when Toyota has plenty of other engines with more power to put in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2008

1996 Toyota Celica SSI 2.0 litre gasoline


The Celica is the perfect sports car


The battery of the car went flat after a prolonged period out of use. Also, the Toyota CD player rejected discs when they were put in to play. Also, engine smoke is an occasional problem, but generally the Celica is a problem-free car.

General Comments:

The Celica is a value-for-money, lovely looking, economical coupe. Although it only offers 106KW of power at 1998 CC, it's acceleration is quite smooth and you don't have to push hard on the accelerator to get it to 80-100km/h. It's fuel economy is notable, 9.1 litres per 100km or 60-70mpg. Just a lovely coupe with few problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2005

28th Sep 2007, 12:16

How did you manage to calculate 60-70mpg?

You said 9.1 Litres per 100km. That equates to roughly 2.4 gallons per 62 miles.

62 miles divided by 2.4 gallons is 25.8mpg.

60-70mpg would work out at 9.1 litres per 231.7 - 270.3km.

A bit off don't you think?

2nd Oct 2008, 14:48

I owned a 1996 ss111 and can say that I never had more than 35mpg, still quite economical, but I think your figures are way out.

7th Oct 2008, 03:02

I agree that 9.1L/100km equals approx 30 miles/gal.

I can see that the writer tried to give some indication by converting 100km to 62.5 mile factor, so it's not per gallon, it's 62.5 miles per litre. Hope this helps.

I own 96 Celica 2.0 - white with full bodykit. It's a very nice design and runs with reliability. Recommended to people whom want a bit of style and grunt, but not too fancy or luxurious.

20th Feb 2009, 02:50

I've owned ex-Japan Celica in 2001 for $14000. The value of the car to resell has been dropped. However, it serves its purpose very well.

Stylish look with white full body-kit; excellent handling with 17 inch OZ wheels; and all the electronic parts are absolutely durable.

The only problem was the front strut that became cracked after bumping on the curbs from parking frequently.

Nice sports car.

13th Feb 2010, 16:07

I own Celica 96 white 2.0L - NHK Drag King muffler, full factory bodykit (installed rear cap myself), White OZ wheel and extra white headlights. Owned it for two years and now gone over 193,000kms in New Zealand but it is still running like a dream. Washing it with Amway carwash (really good stuff) once a month, waxing it once every three month. Probably next dream car got to be either Porsche Boxster (White) or Aston Martin Vantage V8 4.3L (again white) to be able to be not compromised with all this Celica offers to me today.

Probably making approx 10L/100km not 9.1L/100km (with 91) even with fresh engine oil and filter. Would anyone be able to give me some idea if the modified muffler would affected the fuel efficiency?