Nothing has gone wrong a such - but obviously regular services on a turbo car are very important, along with simple wear and tear.
Compared to most high performance cars, the GT4 ST205 is relatively economical, but since it's a Toyota and a fairly rare car - parts can be very expensive. Despite this, various companies now offer genuine parts for this car a lot cheaper than from Toyota themselves.
Don't be fooled by thinking a car with main dealer service history is better than a car that an enthusiast has maintained himself. The majority of main dealers rarely see one of these cars, and to be honest, sometimes look lost when you present problems to them - stick to independent specialists, OR if you have the aptitude - do some work yourself.
85,000 miles - Oil change with Millers Fully Synthetic Ester based oil and genuine filter - has a non-return valve, unlike cheap copies - very important. DIY £55.
92,000 miles - (Passenger side) Fig 8 (camber control arm), lower suspension arm, banana bar (tie rod bar), + collar - these are common and wear out on all GT4s around 60k - I was lucky and they lasted 90k approx - a testament to how my car has been driven over the years. Now don't fall over now - just under £500 inc delivery for those parts - pain of a job without a good 3 leg puller and a press - another DIY job I've done, but then I had the tools. www.tcbparts.co.uk
94,000 miles - 4 new tyres - Falken £400 (215-50-16 VR).
95,000 miles - Oil change etc as above DIY £55, new genuine HT leads, dizzy cap, rotor arm, Iridium spark plugs, and Blitz panel air filter - DIY £200.
100,000 miles - Charge cooler drain and clean out, rear diff oil change with Millers fully synthetic along with the gearbox and transfer box (6 litres at £10 a litre), engine coolant drain and refill with Red Toyota Forlife Premix - around 6 litres + 2.5 litres for the charge cooler £30, and yet another oil & filter change - DIY total £150 approx - a garage will charge more, and use inferior oils and coolant most probably.
101,000 miles - Driver's side fig 8, lower arm, and banana bar plus sundries and delivery - DIY £500.
Well that's up to now (Aug 2007) - I purchased it in Dec 2005.
In 19k I will require a cam belt change and clutch. A garage will charge around £350-£500 for the cam belt, and a clutch is usually a half engine out job, depending on how good the mechanic is - costs for that can vary from £350 to £1000 - the higher being a quote from a garage who simply doesn't want to do it - it's around an 8 hour job - I'll being doing mine myself, so the costs in parts for a reasonable quality clutch, and whilst I'm there a lightened flywheel, will be around £300 without the dreaded labour.
My advice - join the owners sites (www.gt4oc.net & read www.gtfours.co.uk), and steer clear of Toyota dealerships - they haven't a clue and will charge the earth.
Well when compared to an EVO and the dreaded Impreza WRX (common as hell) - the GT4 fares better in the reliability and insurance costs - it's only group 17, which I think is wrong - but I won't complain when paying the insurance. Sky and Elephant do quite good prices, regardless of whether it's an import or UK car.
This car is seriously under rated and often unknown of amongst the likes of owners of Saxos, Clios, Focus's, Golf GTIs etc, and believe me they sit on your ass from time to time, and if you're like me, you just have to warn them off with the heavy right foot - I love it.
If you don't like having a car that everyone else has, and don't mind a good stare from onlookers - this is your car.
So what's the GT4 like to drive? Let's go for an analogy here: you know how it is when you try to punch out a big bloke! You land a sweet left hook and all he does is shake his head and then start to slowly roll up his sleeves to prepare a response. Well, that's what a GT-Four does. Whatever punishment you mete out, it is ready to respond, but that sleeve-rolling ritual is actually just a prelude to a helpful handshake.
If you were on the fence about four-wheel drive before you drove a GT-Four, you'd soon become an instant convert. It sticks to the road with vengeance, and you will bottle out long before the Celica does; in fact, you'd have to be doing something very silly to unstick it.
The GT4 has more than ample thrust once you get past the throttles initial softness, but that brief lag becomes a distant memory as the power kicks in. All that available traction gets it off the line very smartly indeed. The GT4 has a brilliant throttle-tuneable cornering ability, as the 50-50 torque split lets the rear wheels drift wide when provoked, feeding power up front if the rears begin to misbehave - squirting out of corners is second nature.
The GT4 stands out as the truly invigorating buy in Toyotas performance car line-up. Without the brashness of it's big brother, the Supra, or the toy-town indulgence of an MR2, the GT4 is a truly focused sports car with a real rally winning pedigree. It is also a proper grand tourer that will eat up the miles, and like all Toyota's, will be utterly reliable if looked after properly.
As for the comfort side of things - just like Jeremy Clarkson said back in 1994 when he compared the GT4 to the Escort Cosworth - if you're under 6ft - buy the GT4 - however if you're over 6ft, and even better if your name is Kev - buy the Cosworth :-)