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1999 Toyota Celica REVIEW logo 4/6/2017

Con: Cost, looks, power (or lack thereof).

Pro: The 1999 Toyota Celica offers rock-solid reliability.

What’s New: The Celica GT Sport Coupe has been discontinued along with the color Galaxy Blue Metallic.

Review: With the rapid disappearance of smaller, sporty cars, we have to wonder how long the Celica will hold out. This model has been through many iterations with the current one still a bit, well, eclectic to say the least. If not for the odd headlights it would be a pretty car. The front styling, which reminds our staffers of several species of brutal marine life, is just too radical to be considered handsome.

However, the interior of the Celica is pleasant, with a subdued driving environment that places the controls in all the right places. The effect is somewhat Teutonic in nature, and is nicely complimented by upgraded seats, which are snug, supportive, and covered in a quality fabric.

Under the hood of the GT is a 135-horsepower 2.2-liter four cylinder that moves the Celica briskly but without fanfare. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard: ABS is optional. The GT is available as a liftback or convertible this year. Compared to the surviving members of the sporty car class, the Celica is woefully underpowered. But, boy, it's as reliable as Grandma's pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.

A convertible version appeared for 1995, and is the most attractive Celica drop-top in a decade, despite the bulging headlights and gaping air dam. Powered by the same 2.2-liter engine as the liftback, but hauling around some extra weight, don't expect the Celica convertible to impress the kids in their hot-rod Hondas.

And, at a starting cost of nearly $25,000, we have three words for potential drop-top buyers: Mustang GT Convertible. The Celica is solid, reasonably sporty and has an outstanding reliability record. We can't recommend it, though, when less expensive and speedier cars like the Mustang GT, Camaro Z28, and Integra GS-R are ready and willing to give you more bang-for-the-buck.


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