Used Toyota Celica Coupe 1999 - 2006 review

Category: Coupé

Good looking and great to drive, the Celica is everything a coupe should be

Toyota Celica Coupe (99 - 06)
  • Toyota Celica Coupe (99 - 06)
  • Toyota Celica Coupe (99 - 06)
Used Toyota Celica Coupe 1999 - 2006 review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota Celica coupe like?

If you're after a coupe, the likelihood is that you want something with great looks and a drive to match. The Celica scores highly on both counts.

It was designed as a coupe from the outset, so there's no chance it will be confused with a similar-looking hatchback, such as the Vauxhall Astra and Citroen Xsara.


Good looking and great to drive, the Celica is everything a coupe should be

  • A bespoke coupe, the Celica is stylish
  • fun to drive and well built
  • The cramped rear means practicality is a real issue

It's every bit as good to drive as it is to look at, too. You sit in a suitably sporting low driving position and, in traffic, its typically light Toyota controls make it easy to get around. Then, on the open road, you can really enjoy the crisp steering, slick gearchange and sharp handling. In many ways, it's the best of both worlds.

The trouble is, it's really a car for a couple only. Although there's plenty of space up front, the two seats in the back are incredibly cramped. The Astra coupe, for example, is far more accommodating.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Celica coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Celica coupe?

Compared to its contemporary rivals, the Celica looks pretty expensive. A Honda Prelude, Hyundai Coupe or Alfa GTV will cost you less to buy.

However, all except the Hyundai suffer problems more frequently, according to Warranty Direct, which adds to the costs of running one.

Sadly, when things do go wrong on the Celica, they tend to cost a lot to fix. True, average Celica repair costs are no worse to the GTV's or Prelude's, but they're high, too.

Otherwise, the Celica shouldn't be dear to run. The 140bhp engine returns 36.7mpg on the combined cycle, and even the 190bhp gets 33.6mpg. That's much better than the Alfa GTV or Ford Cougar.

Most Celicas fall into group 13 insurance, the only exception being the 190bhp, which is group 15. By class standards, that's pretty good - well ahead of the GTV, and on a par with the Ford Cougar and Vauxhall Astra coupe.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Celica coupe should I buy?

Leaving aside the many special editions which appeared towards the end of the Celica's life, your choice is little more than what colour you want.

At launch, the Celica was a one-model range, and the only significant addition came in December 2000, when a more powerful 190bhp engine joined the range. Although it had extra equipment - leather upholstery and climate control, for example - it really isn't worth the extra.

It has little more pulling power than the 140bhp version, and you need to rev the socks off it all the time to access the extra horsepower, which is too much like hard work.

The less-powerful car is every bit as quick in the real world and looks just as smart, so it's the model to choose. Even the equipment is good, with air-con, ABS, alloy wheels and electric front windows. If you want more than that, find a model with the optional Premium Pack, which includes leather upholstery and climate control.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Celica coupe?