My fiancee and I purchased a new 2000 Celica GT-S in February of 2000. The car served as a compromise for us as I wanted a BMW Z3 with a 5 speed, and she wanted a VW Bug turbo automatic. We bought the car with the moonroof, leather, autostick, rear spoiler, foglights and ABS options. The car came standard w/8 spkr. stereo CD/Cassette, air, tilt, cruise, etc.
We now have about 5500 miles on the car, and driving the car is an overall pleasure. I drive it in manual mode, while she drives it in automatic mode. In manual mode, the car downshifts as fast as you can push the buttons on the steering wheel. The upshift however is a little delayed. On takeoff, the car is seriously lacking low-end torque. Although is has 180HP, it feels like it must have about 3lbs. of torque until you rev it up. Luckily, the car revs happily to it's 8000RPM redline. One you rev it above 6000, the torque kicks in. Listening to it reminds me of riding on a Kawasaki.
While the exterior gets constant stares from onlookers (at least compared to our '97 Volvo 4dr.), the interior is somewhat cheap and not the quality of other Toyota's I've owned. Although the seats are leather covered (as are the steering wheel and E-brake), the dash and door panels appear and feel like very cheap plastic. The drilled aluminum pedals are a nice touch. By the way, this is a two passenger car. The only people you should put in the back seat are the people you really don't like, or your in-laws.
We've only has one problem with the car. The dealer can't seem to get to the source of our cruise control problem. While driving down the highway with it set, it will disengaged without warning, slowing the car down 3-5 miles per hour, the kicking back in. This seems to happen about every 20 minutes or so. Otherwise, it has been exactly what I would expect in a Toyota for reliability.
The car is a OK value for the money. Out of five stars, I would have to give it 3.5.