2001 Toyota Celica GTS 6 Speed 1.8 from North America


A mid-high performance car for reasonable money


Front rotors needed to be replaced at 35K under warranty.

All brake pads replaced during the rotor fix.

Front driver floor mat is worn out.

General Comments:

Stock tires should not be used in winter.

Car is very quick once broken in at around 13K.

Car slides with stock tires on wet roads.

Sell stock tires, buy 4 snows for winter and mount on stock rims. Buy new rims and larger rubber for summer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2004

2001 Toyota Celica GTS 1.8 vvtli from North America


A total bargain



General Comments:

Buy this car.

I love the auto shifting steering wheel.

People say that the engine is loud at 6,800 rpm - nope, I put 17 inch tires, a killer stereo, took the GTS emblems off, it is white, the paint chips easy, but I drive the car hard.

This car gets respect with 180 hp, Yamaha helped engine at 2500 pounds.

The car tracks like a dream.

Spend the extra few dollars and buy the GTS... not the GT, you will love it...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2003

2001 Toyota Celica 190 1.8 190bhp petrol from UK and Ireland


Fast, pretty, but woefully unreliable


1300 miles - CD player stops working. Replaced under warranty.

2500 miles - Rattle from underneath car combined with excessive (although not unpleasant) exhaust noise. Dealer diagnoses catalytic converter (over the phone, worryingly) and replaces it under warranty. Problem solved.

7000 miles - Repeat of catalyst problem. Dealer service manager lets on that it's happened to a few 190's they look after and thinks it's to do with the aggressive valve timing and lift over 6,000 RPM allowing unburnt fuel into the exhaust on the overrun. Great! Again, warranty pays up.

8000 miles - Notice the front tyres are worn unevenly. Dealer checks suspension geometry and finds several settings are massively out of kilter. Adjusts to spec. Promises to take up the case of a replacing a knackered set of P Zeros with Toyota.

9000 miles - First service and I ask for what sounds like a gearbox whine to be looked at, combined with some play in the gearchange. Change quality sorted by dealer, but noise is still there. Toyota won't budge on the tyres due to "excessive pre-damage wear".

14000 miles - Total gearbox failure on the M4. Leave the motorway slip and it refuses to shift out of 6th. Car is towed in. Gearbox dismantled and a retaining clip inside the gearbox is found to be missing. Toyota want to repair the 'box. I demand a replacement. After much arguing, a new style, stronger "T Sport" box is fitted under warranty.

16000 miles - Third catalyst goes pop. New firmware downloaded to ECU which should fix the problem. Car feels livelier "off cam" and pulls harder up top.

17000 miles - Vibration from steering at motorway speeds. Notice a front wheel rim is bent. Car has never been kerbed - no other damage to wheel. Smaller dink noticed on opposite side rear wheel. Dealer says the wheels are too soft and have been modified on new models. All four wheels replaced with new type under warranty (but not the tyres!)

23000 miles - Brake pedal goes to floor at a junction and then recovers. Dealer discovers a bulging hose and an iffy master cylinder. Replaced under warranty.

29000 miles - Engine management light comes on. Car runs normally, but starts drinking fuel. Dealer's diagnostic rig does not show a fault. I take a courtesy car until it is fixed. 6 weeks later, another "firmware upgrade" fixes the fault.

33000 miles - New gearbox has started whining just like the last one, and the engine is starting to sound rough, especially on cold. Lots of tappet noise and a hesitation when throttle is initially applied. Both are currently under investigation.

General Comments:

Very fast, gorgeous looking coupe with one of the best chassis around. But if mine is anything to go by, Toyota have regressed to reliability levels that Alfa Romeo would be crying over.

I love Celicas. My previous GT-Four was an absolute diamond and never let me down in 75,000 miles, but this one is a nightmare. The dealer has been the one good thing about owning this car, and they have literally bent over backwards to help, but the fact remains that my particular car is a liability. I can't believe it came from a manufacturer with such a reputation for quality.

In my heart of hearts, I know this is probably a one off, a "Friday" car, but that doesn't excuse it when you pay £24,000 for something which is this shoddily engineered. I would be lying if I said it hasn't made me think twice about buying Toyota again. Disappointing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th April, 2003

9th Sep 2003, 08:30

Sounds like you were very unlucky with your car. The Toyota Celica consistently tops the Coupe category in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys. (JD Power twice, What Car?) It's poor consolation, but a different Celica should be much more reliable. I've had mine since Feb 2001 and have only had two minor problems (unusual exhaust noise & under-performing a/c) both fixed very quickly under warranty. It's a great car!