Regarding the insurance costs, I've had a 140bhp Celica for over a year, live in the North East (SR6), I'm 50 years old and pay £365 through Direct Line.
If your car then it isn't the base model as you state. The base model has cloth interior and no air con. Premium pack adds leather and a/c, sport pack adds spoiler, 17inch wheels etc, Dynamic pack adds side skirts etc.
I'm almost 33 and have just bought one - awaiting delivery of 2003 model (140bhp). Paid extra £85 for insurance after upgrading from 1.4 16v Polo. Also had a quote for £406. Clean license and live just outside Glasgow.
I'm 19 and I am looking into buying this car, a 2001 model. Excelent review! Cheapest insurance I've found for me with 2 years noclaims, driving for two years, and my father included as a second named driver is £1495 from Direct Line. Anyone any suggestions on cheap insurance providers for students?
The original reviewer's insurance quote sounds rather high.
I am 33 and have full no claims and pay £418 a year (including protected no claims) for my Mazda MX-6 which is group 16 insurance.
I am 30, 6 years no claims. 18 inch wheels and full premium pack and pay £350 a year.
I am 23 and have a 140 Sportpack, which I pay £540 fully comp with the NFU. I live in the Lake District; great car, quick enough and very very good on fuel.
I've just put down a deposit on one of these, a 2000 model. The best insurance quote I got was for £206 (I'm 33 years old).
I have a 2001 190VVTLI and I'm 22 years old with no convictions or NCB and fully comp, just me, it costs £900 for the year, Direct Line were the best on prices for me.
And to reply to the person saying the 140bhp is the best version, I strongly disagree. It just depends on your circumstances, the 190 is the more fun drive and 'lift' is great, but obviously the 140 is better on fuel (about 5mpg better for the same sort of trips) and lower costs generally. I don't do many miles so for me it was a no brainer, plus the early 190's come out very cheap to insure for some reason.
They certainly are suprisingly cheap on insurance (and fuel), I recently replaced my boring Nissan Almera 1.5 SE with a Celica VVTi 140 with premium pack and spoiler etc. I am 36 with 5 years no claims and live in Bedfordshire. The insurance on the Nissan set me back £278 fully comp, while the Celica is £370 fully comp. Well worth the extra ;-).