LOOKS . Shuttle Craft
COMFORT . Supportive
QUALITY . Very Fine
GADGET FACTOR . Future Perfect
STEREO . Excellent
HANDLING . Fast Tracker
FUN TO DRIVE . Streaker
EMOTION . I Love It !
CACHET . Looker


Sticker. $22,849.
Power . 130 horsepower
0 to 60. 8 to 9 sec.
Test Mileage . 21.9 mpg
Seating . 2 + 2
Trunk . 6.2 cubic feet
Parking . Dart like

Star Trekker

"They finally made a Celica that looks right." That says it all, really. Edgy, curvy, aggressive, the latest Celica catches your gaze, holds it and pulls you in. You want it. I understand. One feels hip and right behind the wheel. Once the emotional response sinks in, you'll have an easy time with the tough questions. Strong, built to last and legendary for long term relationships, the Celica is one of the most respected models in any customer satisfaction poll. They run forever, don't cause trouble and hold their value. Which is a good thing cause they ain't cheap these days. Price shopping won't lead you to this cool coupe.

Road time is a more convincing aspect. The brakes are tight and the Celica is a delight on winding lines to coast or mount. Confident and capable of true sports car twirling, if a tad short in the horsepower race. There are faster cars in class, but so what; few match the balance. A grand tourer, not a sprinter.

Black leather, proper buckets, elegant materials and a punchy stereo help the miles pass without discomfort. Back seat was tight, but folded down to augment the generous packing space. The Liftback body style offers great utility. Long trips, many bags or bulky backpacks all OK.

Styled to thrill, driven with gusto and not a ride to leave in the garage, I enjoyed the Celica immensely.