It’s hard to believe it’s been with us for 33 years, and so far there’s no mention of a replacement, but for 2005, the Toyota Celica marks its final year and so is virtually unchanged from 2004.
The Celica comes in two versions, both with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower in the GT and 180 hp in the GT-S.
The GT includes a five-speed manual transmission, CD player with six speakers, air conditioning, cloth seats, power locks, power windows, tonneau cover, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, power mirrors and automatic headlamps.
The GT-S adds a six-speed, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, CD/cassette system with eight speakers, leather interior, leather-wrapped wheel, aluminum sport pedals, cruise control, keyless entry, side airbags and fog lamps. Both models can be optioned with a four-speed automatic that has manual mode with wheel-mounted shift buttons when ordered on the GT-S.
The 140 hp Celica is a sweet ride, with direct steering, a sportscar-firm ride that just avoids being too harsh, surprisingly decent fuel economy on regular gas, and styling that can still turn heads over three decades later. Unless you really need a car you can push to its limits, the GT is as good as the GT-S in everyday driving, delivering equally spirited performance at a much lower price – both in the buy-in and at the gas pumps.
It’s been a heck of a ride, and the Celica will be missed; in this body style and price range, the Hyundai Tiburon will pretty much now have the road all to itself.
The Celica is built in Higashi-fuji, Japan.