1989 Toyota Celica SR 2.0 DOHC 4 cylinder petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Good looks, performance and price tag - Can't go wrong!


The air conditioning has a slight smell when operating - getting toward needing a recharge. Because the old coolant uses CFC's I have to get it completely replaced so I'm postponing this one until summer.

Boot lid shocks need recharging.

One of the headlights sometimes doesn't go down - dependant on the angle the car is parked at (in the vertical plane) - intermittent, but not a huge worry.

Oh and strange wiring - the boot door (it's a lift-back) is wired to the same door switch as the drivers/passengers door - open the boot and the dash warning light for 'door open' comes on, as does the roof light. The boot light is on a manual switch. I had the same situation with my Corolla - it strikes me as weird?

The A/C fan doesn't appear to have a 'medium' setting. There's Low, Med, High on the switch, but Low and Med are exactly the same.

Basically, a couple of minor things, *no* serious problems at all.

General Comments:

I love this car!

I've been a Toyota fan (by-product of my fathers fan-dom) for years, now that I've owned a couple nothing has changed.

I replaced my Corolla after writing it off in an accident (!) and I came across this Celica by pure accident. It was the first car I looked at and the one I ultimately bought the next day!

I've never seen any of the SR models anywhere else, not on the Internet or IRL (if anyone has one and can tell me what the non-obvious differences are between it and the GT / ZR models please post a comment!)

It handles extremely well - 4 wheel steering makes a big difference. It's FWD which is where it lacks - 4WD would be nicer but it wasn't within my budget. It's a pleasure to drive, has plenty of 'go' for overtaking and open road driving, and I have no plans to get rid of this car any time soon. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th August, 2001

17th Mar 2010, 15:55

What do the 2 sport buttons do??

1989 Toyota Celica SX 2.0 Twin Cam 16v from Australia and New Zealand


One of the few genuine performance cars to wear a Celica badge


Nothing too major, new alternator at 120,000km.

New clutch at 140,000km.

New front CV joints at 120,000km.

General Comments:

It's amazing what Toyota could do in 1989 that it can't do now. This car was the last Celica (until the recent 1.8 VVTi model), that could rightfully claim to be a genuine sports car and not a hairdresser mobile.

While it might be a bit soft in the handling now, the 2.0 Twin Cam still hunts...I'm looking to buy a new car, and I'm having trouble finding something with similar performance for less than $AU30K!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2001

24th Jul 2001, 15:31

Since I own an 89' Celica I can tell you that the previous comments are all true if not an understatement. Before I owned it my car had been driven so hard that the timing belt broke. But to my surprise the valves were not damaged. In fact there was absolutely no damage except for the broken belt. And in all of its wonderful 140,000 miles, it has had only one major repair that required it to be taken to a mehcanic, and that was a new fuel pump.

Well that is just a little story about my Celica to prove to you that Toyota really knew what they where doing when they made the 89' Celica. If you are considering buying one of these I suggest you do no matter what condition it is in, because it is a car with too much soul to see put in a junk yard.

28th Jun 2003, 17:05

I purchased my 89 Toyota Celica st about 4 years ago. I was reluctant at first because it had 110,000 miles on the odometer. I had never owned a car with that many miles on it, but this car was so clean and obviously well taken care of I bought it. I travel a lot (job related) and needed a second car to keep from wearing out my other vehicles. This car has proven to be so reliable that I drive it as my main car. I currently have 276,000 miles on the odometer, and it shows no sign of giving up. I replaced the alternator, distributor cap,plug wires, and timing belt (preventive maintenance) and that is about it. This is truly the most dependable car I have owned, and I have owned many.

9th Apr 2004, 10:19

I have had my 98 Celica now for two years and wow. Being that I am still younger I do drive that car hard and for the 120,000km that I have added to the car it has been awesome. I have done the spark plug wires, distributor and front drive axles. Total of $500. That's pretty good for an older car I say. This has to be given best car of the 80/90's.

1989 Toyota Celica GT-Four 2.0 turbo petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Good, safe, WRC fun in an affordable bulletproof package


Nothing at all. A few rattles here and there. Nothing major.

General Comments:

This car is a Japan spec car which means it runs at 220hp as opposed to the ones that came out in Europe (200hp) and America (200hp).

It came from Japan lowered and with a large bore exhaust fitted from the second joint back.

This car is undeniably quick and would rate in the top ten percent of fast cars on New Zealand roads. This will blow away all but heavily modified boy racers in their VR-4s, Legacy RS and Mazda Familias. It is a match for all but the latest model HSV's so bye bye V8's.

Four-wheel drive is the large deciding factor in this car. Good, safe tail out action, safety in the wet and the ability to leave most two wheel drives floundering when it gets to the twisty stuff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2001

3rd Sep 2001, 00:35

How much did you pay for your car?

25th Sep 2003, 00:45

Also, just a minor correction... the US ST165s weren't rated at 200HP, but 190. A shame, unfortunately, because I'd just love to have great reliability from mine as well as that power... heh.

24th Oct 2008, 05:29

I think he's referring to the ST185 1989 model.

1989 Toyota Celica GT 2.0i petrol from UK and Ireland


Had the car for 10 months.

Only let me down twice, once with a dead battery (though the cells were dry). Other time was a strange engine flooding incident. Failed to start on the first turnover, and then gave symptoms of flooding. Other than that, almost no problems, great for a 10 year old car.

General Comments:

Good performance, excellent reliability.

A little thirsty for fuel, but that wouldn't be a problem if you could resist rising the rpm over 3-4k (not easy!).

And, it looks good too. 10 years old, no sign of any rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 1999