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.
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