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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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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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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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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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