The fifth generation of the Toyota Celica ran from 1990 to 1993. During this time, Toyota released six different models to the United States. Ranging from least to most expensive, is the ST coupe, then the GT coupe; following that is the GT Liftback, the GT Convertible, the GT-S Liftback, and the most expensive is the All Trac Turbo. The car I have chosen to review is the 1992 Toyota Celica GT-S Liftback because it has all of the top features Toyota offered, and it is not overly priced. Unlike the All Trac which sells for over 10,000 dollars, the GT-S Liftback ranges anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 dollars. Although this car has its flaws, it is a fun, good-looking sport compact with many superb qualities. There are several different aspects that will be examined, specifically, my impressions of the driving experience, and my views of the interior, the exterior, and the performance of the 1992 Celica GT-S Liftback.
My overall impression of the driving experience is great. The four major features are the handling, the noise levels, speed of acceleration, and the gas mileage of the vehicle. The handling of the car is exceptional, the suspension is stiff, and the steering is tight. This allows easy cornering even at high speeds. The car is less then 6 inches off the ground, yielding a low center of gravity and keeping the weight balance in check. This sport compact is equipped with front wheel drive for easy handling and has an Anti-Locking Braking System (ABS) for easy stopping. A downside of the handling is that when you go over even the smallest bump, the driver will know he or she hit it, and there are no two ways about it.
Although noise is usually looked at as a negative aspect, the Toyota Celica changes that. Even though, at high speeds the sound of the wind can be somewhat obnoxious, it does not overpower the deep toned sound of the exhaust. If you are one searching for a nice and quiet ride, this car is not for you. A Lincoln Towncar will fit your needs more adequately.
The acceleration of the car is not an astounding feature, hence its classification as a sport compact car, not a sports car. It can go from zero to sixty miles per hour (MPH) in approximately 10 seconds and can run a quarter mile from a stop in about 16.5 seconds. However, even though it does not have a great amount of power under the hood it makes up for it in gas mileage. It averages 22 miles per gallon (MPG) city and about 30 MPG highway.
The two outstanding interior features are the seating and accessories. The drivers seat is extremely comfortable, offering a six way positioning seats that gives the driver a nice low feel to the ground. The major problem lies in the rear seats, offering little room for passengers and difficult access getting in and out of the car. One great feature about the rear seats is that they can fold down, in turn, expanding the trunk space.
The accessories in this car will make any driver happy mainly because everything is within reach and caters to any drivers needs. The first great thing is the sound system. The radio is equipped with a compact disc and tape player that is accompanied by 10 speakers, which Toyota labeled the System 10. Also, if the driver needs the car to be a specific temperature they should highly consider this vehicle. This two door Liftback comes with an auto climate sensor that can automatically adjust to a temperature anywhere between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. For a car produced in the early 90s, these two features were ahead of their time. This car is fully loaded with power everything, including a power moon roof for those nice spring days.
The Celica has phenomenal accessories with the exception of two flaws. The first are the cup holders. If you are an avid coffee drinker, the cup holder will give you major problems. Its position interferes with the shifter and stereo controls as well as not being big enough to hold the larger cup sizes. The second flaw is that it only has a drivers side airbag. Although Toyota was ahead of its time, the airbag is not one of them. In 1994, most Toyota cars gained dual side airbags; unfortunately, this car was produced two years prior to that.
Looking at the exterior of the car, the first thing one will notice is the nice round body style that gives the car a sporty look. Another attractive feature of the exterior includes headlights that flip up. This was popular a decade or so ago but lost popularity in recent years; either way, I think that it adds to the look of the car. The car also comes with a three-piece spoiler that is strictly aesthetic and is not functional.
The final aspect evaluated is the performance of the vehicle. The 2.2-Liter inline 4 cylinder 5SFE engine is common in many Toyota vehicles from the years 1990 to 1999, including other generation Celicas, Camrys, and MR2s. The big difference is how it is tuned. Toyota gave the fifth generation Celica some pep with 135 horsepower at 5,400 revolutions per minute (rpm) as well as 145 feet per pounds of torque (ft.-lbs) at 4,400 rpm. Weighing in at 2,987 lbs., the car is not the quickest in the pack, but to assist with this Toyota added a button for an Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT). This button switches to a more aggressive shifting pattern generating extra power.
This car is a great buy for someone who wants a sports car on a budget. It will hug a curve if you are going 20 mph or 80 mph and also gets fantastic gas mileage. I would recommend this car for someone without a family because of the lack of room in the back. The back seats are certainly not fit for an adult; it is even a tight squeeze with a young child. Everything is at the tip of ones fingers and can easily be accessed without forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. As far as how it looks from the outside, I would not change a thing. The round body style makes it a pleasure to look at. One area that could be improved on is the quickness of acceleration. It takes approximately 10 seconds to go from zero to sixty, and about 16.5 seconds to run a quarter mile from a stop. This car does have its imperfections; however, on the whole it is a great car that is very reliable. My overall rating is 8.1 out of 10.
Amount Paid (US$):
1992Model and Options:
1992 Toyota Celica GTS AT