1988 Toyota Celica Zr (SR?) 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Easy to drive, Fast and Cheap


Radiator blocked.

Exhaust rusted through (was aftermarket though.)

Knocking noise coming from the rear of the car (unknown cause - possibly CV joints??)

Rust hole in boot lid beside window sprayer.

Leaking from the boot and window seals on occasion.

Grinding noise when down-shifting to second gear at higher Revs.

General Comments:

This car is awesome.

It has somewhat retro styling, giving it an aggressive look. Something that definitely gets attention, especially after a few mods.

Only a few minor problems have meant that this car has been relatively cheap to maintain - being my pride and joy, this isn't a problem to me.

The Celica goes easy on the petrol and I have managed to drive about 200 K's on a full tank (costing about $50NZ)

It is quick off the mark, even though it is only powered by a 3s-FE engine (the 'economy' engine) and I have managed to keep up with all sorts of V-Tec Integras and Preludes. After a decent Exhaust was fitted, and a PoD filter, the car is competition for non V-Tec Hondas.

This type of Celica is front-wheel-drive, but still handles beautifully - with very little under-steer at reasonable cornering speeds.

The power steering is very direct and feels quite 'thick.'

All in all, I would have to say that as a first car, it is hard to beat the reliability and performance of the Celica, and after getting a full license simply upgrade to the GT-Four model (turbocharged 4wheel drive!).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2004

4th Sep 2006, 02:03

You say that there is a knocking coming from the back? Well my friend had that same problem it turned out to be a wheel bearing and wasn't too expensive to repair...

1988 Toyota Celica ST 2.0L gasoline from North America


This Celica is a really nice car


Front-end pulls to right even after alignment.

Tailpipe/muffler assembly rusted out at 110K.

The radiator is not all metal. The top tank is made from nylon. It cracks easily.

Holes for speakers in rear window shelf are too small!!!

The starter's Bendix spring went out, so I replaced starter at around 108K.

Ignition switch can cause difficulty in starting (needs replacement).

(Not really a fault.) Replaced timing belt and oil seals at 125k.

Original wheels for car detract from handling. Newer rims helped this.

General Comments:

This is my second red Celica of this version. My previous Celica was an '89 ST. It met with an early demise, unfortunately. I wrapped it around the back of a Lincoln Towncar. I've kept searching for a replacement, and last year I found it!

This car loves to run! It's taken me almost 16 months to put 25,000 miles on the odometer.

This car's previous owner should get recognition for taking care of it. When I bought the car it had less than 106K, and at fifteen years of age, that's remarkable. The interior was very clean. The car was never smoked in, and for $1800 I couldn't pass it up.

After a tune-up and the timing belt replacement, I noticed how much horsepower this little 2-liter motor has hidden somewhere beneath the hood. In first gear I can get to thirty @ 5500rpm before I have to shift up.

Sometimes the paint seems to get more and more red!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2003

7th Dec 2005, 13:26

I love my 1988 Toyota Celica ST, it is a dream when it comes to gas mileage. I get 40 miles a gallon, and I bought it with a new transmission in it. The interior is in great condition. no broken stuff. all things work. This is the first car I have ever had and I love it. I will drive it till it completely dies out on me.

10th Aug 2006, 16:40

I love my 88 red celica. it is a beast in the snow. never let me down. I do not drive it hard. I got it from my mom in law with 55,000 original miles for free. it now has 131,000 miles and it feels great. my mom in law put premium gas from day one so it eats well, but very well worth it.