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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to buy a 02 Celica with 200k+ miles that looks to have a good exterior condition, is there anything I should look out for? Im planning to use it for high school + college and I am curious to know if it can last till then.
 

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As someone who just bought a 150k mile 2000 Celica...I would say that its a big gamble as to whether it will last the 3-5 years you're hoping for. If it has been reasonably taken care of, likely. I bought mine and I thought it was reasonably taken care of, but once I started getting into it, I found that it wasn't really. The fluids have to be actively changed/refreshed and my Celica just wasn't.

I bought mine for 4k a couple months ago and I'm at least 1k in, with an oil leak that will likely cost 1k-2k to fix (which I am ignoring since that's way too expensive for a few drops of oil a day), 1-2k in rust repairs, and I'm sure other things that will pop up. I still have a few more maintenance items to take care of as well before I'm 80% comfortable with the car. If you don't have the means to do a lot of the maintenance yourself, except it to be a lot more expensive.

I have a nostalgic attachment to the Celica so for me, it's kind of worth it (though I develop slight regrets over time, lol). My gut is that it won't be worth it for you and to look for something more modern at around the same price (when I was shopping for the Celica, I noticed Scions were often cheaper, lower mileage, and a bit more modern depending on the generation; Scion started just as the Celica line ended and the tC is considered a 'spiritual' successor).

How much is the Celica you're looking at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As someone who just bought a 150k mile 2000 Celica...I would say that its a big gamble as to whether it will last the 3-5 years you're hoping for. If it has been reasonably taken care of, likely. I bought mine and I thought it was reasonably taken care of, but once I started getting into it, I found that it wasn't really. The fluids have to be actively changed/refreshed and my Celica just wasn't.

I bought mine for 4k a couple months ago and I'm at least 1k in, with an oil leak that will likely cost 1k-2k to fix (which I am ignoring since that's way too expensive for a few drops of oil a day), 1-2k in rust repairs, and I'm sure other things that will pop up. I still have a few more maintenance items to take care of as well before I'm 80% comfortable with the car. If you don't have the means to do a lot of the maintenance yourself, except it to be a lot more expensive.

I have a nostalgic attachment to the Celica so for me, it's kind of worth it (though I develop slight regrets over time, lol). My gut is that it won't be worth it for you and to look for something more modern at around the same price (when I was shopping for the Celica, I noticed Scions were often cheaper, lower mileage, and a bit more modern depending on the generation; Scion started just as the Celica line ended and the tC is considered a 'spiritual' successor).

How much is the Celica you're looking at?
Around 2,800

The moment I saw the celica I instantly loved it

Ill look for scions too they seem more modern and reliable
 

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Is it a higher trim model? (leather seats, GTS, action package, etc)

If yes, 2800 is a fair price for a 200k car if they have a good history of maintenance.

If it's a barebones GT model, it's quite overpriced.

Definitely look at Scion tC's though - I think they're going to be the best bang for the buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it a higher trim model? (leather seats, GTS, action package, etc)

If yes, 2800 is a fair price for a 200k car if they have a good history of maintenance.

If it's a barebones GT model, it's quite overpriced.

Definitely look at Scion tC's though - I think they're going to be the best bang for the buck.
yeah is a barebones GT model

I found another 03 GT for 5k that has like 200k miles and its its really good condition
 

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yeah is a barebones GT model

I found another 03 GT for 5k that has like 200k miles and its its really good condition
That is nuts. Are you looking at manual or automatic?

I know the Celica looks awesome (why else would we be here? lol), but just know it's going to be a money sink if you're looking at anything over 100k miles. It a 17-22 year old car at this point - unless it lived in a garage and only driven on the weekends, it's going to need a lot, especially if it was neglected.

Timing wise, it's also a terrible time to buy a car - but who knows when it will start to get better, lol.

If you're not in a rush, you might find a gem with time.
 

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That is nuts. Are you looking at manual or automatic?

I know the Celica looks awesome (why else would we be here? lol), but just know it's going to be a money sink if you're looking at anything over 100k miles. It a 17-22 year old car at this point - unless it lived in a garage and only driven on the weekends, it's going to need a lot, especially if it was neglected.

Timing wise, it's also a terrible time to buy a car - but who knows when it will start to get better, lol.

If you're not in a rush, you might find a gem with time.
Im looking for an automatic

But yeah not in a rush atm, but ill looking into the scions later on.
 

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That is nuts. Are you looking at manual or automatic?

I know the Celica looks awesome (why else would we be here? lol), but just know it's going to be a money sink if you're looking at anything over 100k miles. It a 17-22 year old car at this point - unless it lived in a garage and only driven on the weekends, it's going to need a lot, especially if it was neglected.

Timing wise, it's also a terrible time to buy a car - but who knows when it will start to get better, lol.

If you're not in a rush, you might find a gem with time.
also nuts in a good way or bad way?
 

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Might depend also how much you will be driving during high school & college. I drove an '86 Celica ST in high school and part of college. I drove it up to 245k miles, then the radiator drain plug broke while my brother was driving, all coolant pouring out while he followed me (and me driving an All-Trac)...and I had neglected to fix a non-functioning water temp gauge. The gaskets were bubbling oil out by the time he parked it in my parents' driveway. It still ran fine, but that lead to its end (I did swap it...but shortly after the throwout bearing went bad because I was dumb and didn't replace while the engine was out...then rusted after sitting too long).

Moving on to something more relevant. I had my '00 GT-S from 89k miles in late 2007 to 216k miles in July 2021. I never did anything other than routine maintenance - oil changes, brakes, tires, and suspension (which wasn't actually bad at ~160k, I just decided to put on coilovers). It was super reliable, and got close to 40mpg on the highway. There were some small things I probably SHOULD have addressed - timing cover gasket did leak a little the last few years, but generally around 1/4-1/2 quart in a 3-3,500 mile synthetic oil change interval. And I think my thermostat needed replaced.

That said, these cars are now another 14-15 years older than they were when I first bought that GT-S. So that reliability probably should no longer be expected.

A Scion tC is not a bad option at all. Especially if you're looking automatic anyway (though consider a manual if possible). They are heavy though, but at least have the liftback and look decent. Mileage kinda sucks compared to a Celica, but I was considering buying one before I found another GT-S in December. However, the Celica is not my daily driver at this point.

Sorry for a bunch of rambling. Good luck with whatever you wind up in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Might depend also how much you will be driving during high school & college. I drove an '86 Celica ST in high school and part of college. I drove it up to 245k miles, then the radiator drain plug broke while my brother was driving, all coolant pouring out while he followed me (and me driving an All-Trac)...and I had neglected to fix a non-functioning water temp gauge. The gaskets were bubbling oil out by the time he parked it in my parents' driveway. It still ran fine, but that lead to its end (I did swap it...but shortly after the throwout bearing went bad because I was dumb and didn't replace while the engine was out...then rusted after sitting too long).

Moving on to something more relevant. I had my '00 GT-S from 89k miles in late 2007 to 216k miles in July 2021. I never did anything other than routine maintenance - oil changes, brakes, tires, and suspension (which wasn't actually bad at ~160k, I just decided to put on coilovers). It was super reliable, and got close to 40mpg on the highway. There were some small things I probably SHOULD have addressed - timing cover gasket did leak a little the last few years, but generally around 1/4-1/2 quart in a 3-3,500 mile synthetic oil change interval. And I think my thermostat needed replaced.

That said, these cars are now another 14-15 years older than they were when I first bought that GT-S. So that reliability probably should no longer be expected.

A Scion tC is not a bad option at all. Especially if you're looking automatic anyway (though consider a manual if possible). They are heavy though, but at least have the liftback and look decent. Mileage kinda sucks compared to a Celica, but I was considering buying one before I found another GT-S in December. However, the Celica is not my daily driver at this point.

Sorry for a bunch of rambling. Good luck with whatever you wind up in.
Thank you

To be honest Ill wait to find a low milage 00-05 celica gts thats is low mileage

But do you have any other budget cars in mind for someone like me?
 

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I can't fault you there. Not sure what part of the country you're in, but hopefully somewhere that they haven't mostly rusted apart yet. My first car was a Celica, and I've never really left. I've probably had 10-12 of them altogether over the years. I've also had an ae86 Corolla, an sw20 MR2, a CR-X, a Civic and an FR-S. But I'm basically a Celica fan at heart.

I have a hard time looking at anything made since 2005 and trying to find a decent "replacement" for the Celica. The FR-S/86 would have done it if it had actually been built by Toyota with a Toyota engine. Not that I disliked the Subaru engine in the FR-S like so many others do, I thought the output was fine, but I liked the feel of the 2zz-ge better. As a Toyota fanboy, I'd just have preferred them to keep the project in-house. Also I dreaded changing spark plugs. I would have kept it, but I found myself suddenly needing to purchase a house in a bad housing market, and Carvana offered me more than I had paid for it.

That's all off-subject, but the point I guess is...I bought another Celica even though it's 20 years old, because there's nothing quite like it in the market, even used. But, the Scion tC comes close in many ways. I'm not sure what else to point you to. There are decent Hondas and Mazdas out there I suppose, but I've never liked any of the Hondas I've driven as much as my Toyotas. Never driven a Mazda, so I can't say. I have a Scion xA as my work car. But the automatic is painfully slow. A manual xA I think could be fun with some suspension.
 
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I have a hard time looking at anything made since 2005 and trying to find a decent "replacement" for the Celica. The FR-S/86 would have done it if it had actually been built by Toyota with a Toyota engine.
Great news...the GR Corolla HB should scratch that itch a little, lol. It won't be as sleek as the Celica, but it should be a Toyota engine - and an amazing one at that (the same engine from the GR Yaris).

I bought my Celica to hold me off till the GR Corolla comes out.
 

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also nuts in a good way or bad way?
Bad way - the reality is that these 17-22 year old cars shouldn't really cost more than 2k, ESPECIALLY the GT. A car might look like it's in great condition, but most items in the car are wear items; they'll need replacing (and odds are, many do which is why it's being sold at all) at some point and after 17-22 years, that some point is probably right now or very soon. A couple hundred bucks for new window motors, a few hundred for a rotted muffler, a few hundred to take out an expiring alarm system that is going off when someone sneezes...etc etc.

As I mentioned before, the only people that are willing to pay these crazy prices are Celica fans; someone who had one, or always wanted one. If you buy a Celica, you're paying a lot for the nostalgia of the older generation (who generally has had more time to accrue more money, and so willing to pay a little bit more).

It's not worth it to chase these nostalgia cars when there are so many more modern options.

If you found a low mileage GTS (sub 100k), you're talking 8-12k - which would be a very reasonable price that people are very willing to pay...but...is it worth it to the average driver?

Heck no - car's have gone a long way. A brand new modern Corolla costs 20-25k with up to 169 HP. New safety features and will definitely be reliable. It's a no brainer to simply get a new car if you can afford it - and if you can't, then you really can't afford a low mileage Celica either (cause that will still need work, lol).

Edit: And oh, talk about unexpected car expenses - I was getting ready to do more flushing of my Celica's powersteering fluid when...my floor jack died. $200, bam, lol.
 

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Great news...the GR Corolla HB should scratch that itch a little, lol. It won't be as sleek as the Celica, but it should be a Toyota engine - and an amazing one at that (the same engine from the GR Yaris).

I bought my Celica to hold me off till the GR Corolla comes out.
Absolutely. The GR Corolla looks awesome. I won't be able to afford it (if it comes out around $30k, I think that's a reasonably good price...just not something I will likely be able to do right away). It will absolutely be on my used car list in the future though. Or if I get a nice pay raise while it's still available new...

For that matter even the regular FWD Corolla hatch looks reasonably good. I wouldn't mind one, and did consider buying a used one before coming back to Celica land. Or the Scion iM, if it was a little cheaper. Of course, all those are hard to find in a manual in my area. But...probably one of the better options Toyota has made in the last decade or so, and I wouldn't be surprised if I buy one in ~5 years or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can't fault you there. Not sure what part of the country you're in, but hopefully somewhere that they haven't mostly rusted apart yet. My first car was a Celica, and I've never really left. I've probably had 10-12 of them altogether over the years. I've also had an ae86 Corolla, an sw20 MR2, a CR-X, a Civic and an FR-S. But I'm basically a Celica fan at heart.

I have a hard time looking at anything made since 2005 and trying to find a decent "replacement" for the Celica. The FR-S/86 would have done it if it had actually been built by Toyota with a Toyota engine. Not that I disliked the Subaru engine in the FR-S like so many others do, I thought the output was fine, but I liked the feel of the 2zz-ge better. As a Toyota fanboy, I'd just have preferred them to keep the project in-house. Also I dreaded changing spark plugs. I would have kept it, but I found myself suddenly needing to purchase a house in a bad housing market, and Carvana offered me more than I had paid for it.

That's all off-subject, but the point I guess is...I bought another Celica even though it's 20 years old, because there's nothing quite like it in the market, even used. But, the Scion tC comes close in many ways. I'm not sure what else to point you to. There are decent Hondas and Mazdas out there I suppose, but I've never liked any of the Hondas I've driven as much as my Toyotas. Never driven a Mazda, so I can't say. I have a Scion xA as my work car. But the automatic is painfully slow. A manual xA I think could be fun with some suspension.
That is an interesting collection of cars

Im in california
 

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That is an interesting collection of cars

Im in california
Ah, that's good. At least out there you 1) have more selection 2) don't really have to worry about rust and the problems that come with it

If you're heart is set on a Celica and you can be somewhat patient, I'm sure a decent, lower mileage option will come along.

Out here in the Midwest, selection is getting pretty poor.
 

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That is an interesting collection of cars

Im in california
Ceddy

I have a 2002 GTS Auto with 330K miles with mostly high speed cruises, neglects and abuses over the years. It runs smooth and strong. Nothing is broken in it. It's a very reliable car, high-performance, nimble, cheap and lots of fun to drive. Guys who own BMW 3s prefer to drive my car at 100+ as it's more stable and controllable at high speed.

You should wait for a GTS auto in California or AZ, Texas without chassis or body rust. The drivetrain should last 500K+ miles. It may become a classic and a collectors' car.

You should check compression to make sure the engine is good and check under the car to make sure no rust on the frame,
 
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