2001 Toyota Celica Vvti 140bhp 1.8 vvti from UK and Ireland


A hoot to drive


False alarms from car alarm. Cured by a trip to dealer who advised me against keeping coins near the sensors, and also reduced sensitivity of interior sensor.

General Comments:

In the 140 bhp guise the car is still a complete hoot to drive. The gearchange has a lovely chunky feel to it, and a short gearstick with a small throw. The steering is beautifully weighted and gives excellent feedback of what’s going on with the front wheels. The car drives very tightly through bends with no bodyroll, and just begs to be driven enthusiastically.

On a more practical note, the insurance is not bad at group 13 – as a 29 year old with full no claims this sets me back £620 (fully comp, Oxfordshire). Driven sedately the car is economical on fuel as well – when running it in I managed about 37 - 38 mpg keeping below 70 mph on runs. Now I generally get around 31-32 mpg which includes an element of daily city driving.

Sorry to be dull, but the boot is also a really useful size (much larger than the ‘family car’ Ford Focus!).

On the downside, the seat recline adjustment is annoying to use and has no memory when accessing the back seats. The bulk of the dashboard also looks like cheap plastic, although to be fair, it is very solid. When a car looks so great and is such fun to drive, who cares though?

With my exuberant driving style I got through the original Yokohama tyres on the front in 10,800 miles. The tyre dealer suggested using more expensive Goodyear Eagle F1s as replacements which have lasted longer. At 21,000 they have around 2.5mm of tread left. The pair of Goodyears cost me £226.79 – Yokohamas would have been around 30 quid cheaper.

Even the entry-level model (which I have) comes pretty well kitted out, with good-looking 16in alloys, air con, ABS, EBD, front fogs, 4 airbags, single slot CD player etc etc.

The car also feels very well built – the doors are very heavy and solid and almost any other car will feel flimsy in comparison. As a three door car visibility is good too, with the B pillar far enough back to never block your view. Visibility out of the back isn’t bad, but you will have to learn where the front of the car is when parking, as the bonnet slopes out of view.

In summary, the car is fantastic to drive and is an incredibly viable everyday car for singletons and couples. For Mondeo money you can have something that is great fun to drive, not too expensive to run, and hopefully should keep its value better. It certainly looks an awful lot better too!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2003

12th Jun 2003, 02:57

What a great review! How about an update now that you've had the car for a while longer?

My wife and I are buying a Japanese coupe and settled on this - the don't like the shape of the Honda Prelude, the Generation 6 Celica has a dreary interior and the Hyundai Coupe is a bit of a mishmash.

I was suprised at your insurance quote - please could you tell em who insured you? Thank you and happy driving!

2001 Toyota Celica VVTI 1.8 (140) from UK and Ireland


Why have a rep-mobile when you can drive something far better looking for the same kind of money



General Comments:

As the main family car this has proved to be surprisingly practical and versatile taking into account it's sporty profile.

It performs reasonably when the six speed manual box is worked, but has recently left me embarrassed trailing in the wake of such machinery as the BMW 330d and Volvo V70 XC. You should be wary of this before entering into a duel with such mundane looking hardware.

On the plus side, the Volvo XC could not live with the Celica round the twisty bits as the ride, handling and grip are fantastic.

Negatives are the poor quality of the paint which suffers far too easily from stone chips. The wear rate of the standard Yokohama rubber is alarming and one or two interior rattles are annoying.

Overall, a good value, practical coupe with modest performance and striking looks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2002

18th Sep 2002, 05:52

I guess if you don't want to be left in the wake of a 330d you have to get the 190. 140 seems a bit low for a sports coupe seeing as most family 1.8/2.0L cars are near this figure anyway. The extra 50 hp of the 190 will make a big difference. Its not a bad thing to be left behind by a 330d anyway, I drive a 320d and that has a lot of low end torque.