Celica or ...? - Focus {P}

We're looking to get something sporty, not just to drive, but also to look the part. We have a 9 year old child, so some semblance of rear seats would be useful, although we do have a Yaris. Reliability is fairly important.

There are Celica 190s for under £10k on Auto Trader, and it gets a very good write up on the Car-by-Car Breakdown. However, I know the engine needs revs, and other sources suggest the noise can be tiresome.

Others we have considered in the sub-£10k price range are the previous model Leon Cupra (possibly not as reliable as the Celica?), the Impreza WRX (wrong image for SWMBO), and not much else. The new car would replace a previous model Accord 2.0 (which has been very good).

Any comments/suggestions would be very welcome.

Celica or ...? - Falkirk Bairn
The 140BHP Celica is to all intents the one to go for as you have to exceed 6,000 revs to get the 190BHP to show any benefit.
Room in the back is limited but a 9 yr old will be about 13 before it gets too small.
Celica or ...? - Focus {P}
The 140BHP Celica is to all intents the one to go
for as you have to exceed 6,000 revs to get the
190BHP to show any benefit.
Room in the back is limited but a 9 yr old
will be about 13 before it gets too small.

Thanks- I take your point about the revs, although it would be nice to have that extra 50bhp when you do feel in the mood ;-)

Celica or ...? - mike hannon
Honda Prelude 1997-on 2.2 VTI, 185bhp (or more), pootles quietly round town or rural back roads, picks up like a scalded cat if you boot it, goes round corners like nothing else, amazing in multi-storey car parks thanks to the four-wheel steering, 33mpg, winds up the boy racers, room for two kids or one adult in the back, reasonable boot, etc, etc.
The auto with sequential sport shift is brilliant - i guess, for some, the manual will appeal even more. The one with the factory body kit (like mine) looks nicer. I never thought I would hear myself saying that.
I didn't read this in What Car, I own one and it's almost the best fun I ever had (on four wheels - that was a Lancia Beta HPE).
And you can buy one for what seems like peanuts to me - I meant to get something sensible but I have huge fun for pocket money...
Celica or ...? - Focus {P}
Honda Prelude 1997-on 2.2 VTI, 185bhp (or more) ...

Thanks Mike- it does sound good, but I guess we're looking for something younger. Our Accord is a V reg, and we don't really want to change it for something older. No, I can't back that up with a reasoned argument.

Celica or ...? - y2k+4
Ok, we owned a Celica 140 for about 5 years. It was completely standard spec, so be weary of some of these points:

1. Refinement is not it's strong point. Despite having the 16" alloys (smallest) the road noise was shocking on the motorway. You can expect with the increased size of the 190 wheels that the ride will become harder (not really a problem, it was a very good ride as standard IMHO, given Sports car design) but road noise will likely also increase - the relatively light-weight Celica design exists partially because they don't fit much sound-deadening on the underside of the car. Wind noise will also be a problem, due to the frameless windows.
2. Interior developed rattles over the years.
3. Mum tried the 190 and it really is difficult to tell that it's faster. The extra grunt from the "lift" (VVTL-i) is only noticeable above 6000rpm, and the engine spins so cleanly it's not long before you have to change gear giving you a fairly limited power band for this. Beware that you'll also note a distinct lack of torque for a 190bhp engine. It's also quite a boomy engine at around 100mph.
4. I don't understand why it uses so much more fuel, given this factor...

That said, she loved it. It was infinately reliable (at least until 150,000 miles) and handled like a dream - it could keep up with much more powerful cars on twisty roads thanks to this. The only thing she didn't like about the interior was that the seats don't return to their original setting when you move them to allow rear-access, and the stereo didn't have wheel controls. The refinement issues she happily ignored, and so I wouldn't let them put you off.
Celica or ...? - y2k+4
Oh and on a family-day out, I used to be able to sit in the back (5'10") for a couple of hours as long as the front passenger seat was slid fairly far forward. I really never understood why car magazines made such a point of slamming the Celica's rear seats so much - they were never roomy, but they did prove adequate enough given the size and purpose of the car...boot is large too.
Celica or ...? - DP
A good friend of mine bought one of the early Celica 190's (51 plate) and it was a nightmare.

Used to blow the internals out of catalytic converters with alarming regularity until about the fourth firmware upgrade which fixed it.

Suffered a complete gearbox failure at 30,000 miles (dealer told him it wasn't the first he'd seen).

Suspension geometry used to go out of kilter between services.

Build quality not great - various buzzes and creaks inside from about 20,000 miles on.

Toyota dealers are amazing and bend over backwards.

Very pretty, and very fast car (if mercilessly thrashed) and sounded amazing when the wild cam profiles kicked in, but horribly unreliable. Maybe it was just that traditional thing of buying a car in the first year of production (i.e. don't!) but if you're looking at an early car, some of this might be relevant.

Celica or ...? - Surrey_Scientist
I recently bought a grey import Celca GT Convertible.

It is a 1995 model , so Mk6 - it is the first one with the 4 headlights.

It is an amazing car.......

It has the 175bhp engine, and autogearbox, which seem to work very well together.

Engine is very torquey - does not have to be revved at all, and still absolutely flies.

I would certainly recommend the Mk6 fixedhead , as even my drop-top has good legroom fro the rear-seats, and the fixed head should have more.

No squeaks or ratlles, and always fires firsttime, and rust-free.

The fixed heads are not too pricey 2ndhand, and have also a very good hatchback so practical also.

I can certainly recommend a grey-import as the condition of the vehicles is amazing.... Insurance is not difficult either, try Firebond, they do special policies for Greys - £400 for limited to 12,000mile fully comp , and thats with zero no claims !!!

Have been given a current shape Celica as a courtesy-car, and it is not as good as the previous shape - far lighter build quality.

The dealer I bought mine from said as much too - he specialises in greys and says he has not been importing the newer shape much as they are not as well-made and it shows....
Celica or ...? - Focus {P}
Thanks SS, y2k+4 and DP. It's a tough one...

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