Digestible Collectible: 2000 Toyota Celica GTS

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 2000 toyota celica gts

For our readers under the age of 25, let me tell you a bedtime story. There once was a time when Toyota sold sports cars.

Seriously. The company now best known for beige once offered a fleet of interesting, sporty, high-performance cars. The Celica, Supra, Celica Supra, rear-drive Corollas, FX16 GTS, and MR2 all came from your friendly Toyota dealer. Nowadays, if you want a little pizazz with your “Famous Toyota Reliabilty,” you must wander to the dank corner of the showroom labeled Scion.

Jack, however, might argue that point.

I wonder if, rather than demoting the impressive-but-slow-selling FR-S to the lifestyle brand, Toyota could have revived a nameplate that had some actual credibility beyond drift fanatics. The Celica sold well for a couple decades and was a rear-drive coupe at the beginning, so the name wouldn’t be completely out of left field.

Today, I look at the final generation of Celica, this of the GTS variety. With around 190 horsepower out of a high-revving, small-displacement four, the GTS is — to me at least — an affordable alternative to the legendary Acura Integra Type-R. It’ll never bring the same kind of money good ‘Tegs do, but there are relatively plenty to go around. This one, for $5,800, looks like an absolute bargain. It’s not perfect, but with a detail it could get close.

I’ve heard about some issues with the 2ZZ-GE engine when used on track, but since the engine been used in Lotuses (Loti?) for fifteen years, I’m sure the aftermarket has picked up the slack. If I had the spare garage space — and spare cash, naturally — I’d seriously consider picking this beauty up.

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  • Jacob_coulter Jacob_coulter on Sep 29, 2015

    It is amazing that I almost never see these on the road anymore. It seemed like they used to be everywhere when they came out. And it's not that old of a model. I'm a fan of Toyota, but I thought these things just seemed really chintzy. I remember a friend got a brand new one right when it came out, it just felt like it had an interior from a car priced more like a Dodge Neon. I liked the previous generations of Celicas, but something about these just always seemed off.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Sep 29, 2015

    Didn't pull up the inflation adjuster, but for what a supra turbo cost I'm certain you can find a very sporty Toyota with the big L on it across town. Just a guess, but based on memory and a thumb rule the turbo awd monster should land between the IS F sport and a brutish RC.


    SCION TC stands for Scion Toyota Celica! Just like Acura RL means "Replace Legend".

  • Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak on Sep 29, 2015

    I have the identical car. Rarely ever drive it but the sound it makes at higher revs is like a banshee shriek. Very cool