2001 Celica New Car Test Drive
Think of the 2001 Toyota Celica as a motorcycle on wheels. It's light on its feet, compact, racy looking, and loves to rev its energetic engine. Heck, you can even equip a Celica with a SIX-speed transmission. We found the Celica almost as entertaining to drive as some of those hyper-horsepower-screaming bikes.
The Celica has all the goods if you're looking for a fun and affordable sports coupe. It's not muscle-bound like a V8-powered Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang, and it's not suave and cool like an Audi TT or Acura CL. Instead, the Celica provides a straightforward driving experience that's heavy on the fun and light on the wallet.
Since the Celica was redesigned for 2000, there are no changes for 2001.
The Celica GT-S leads the lineup with distinctive styling, nice handling and an impressive 180-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine developed with assistance from Yamaha. The GT-S retails for $21,455.
Most buyers will opt for the more affordable 140-horsepower GT, which retails for $16,985.
Naturally, the two models vary in standard features: The GT gets a six-speaker stereo with both cassette and CD, power windows, power mirrors and air conditioning. The GT-S adds two more speakers and amplifier power, fog lamps, drilled aluminum sport pedals, power locks, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, cruise control and alloy wheels with wider tires. The GT-S evaluated here had nearly all the options, including a sunroof, leather seats, a rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels with lower profile speed-rated tires. In place of the GT's five-speed gearbox, the GT-S comes standard with a six-speed gearbox. Either model can be ordered with a four-speed electronically controlled automatic that adds $800 to the GT, $700 to the GT-S.