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Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 buying guide (1994-1999)

Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 buying guide (1994-1999) Classic and Performance Car
Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205
In the land of the Japanese performance car, it can be difficult to stand out, but the Toyota Celica GT-Four of 1994 certainly managed it. As the third and final incarnation of the World Rally Championship competing all-wheel drive Celica, the ST205-generation car is by far the best-developed and most impressive road-going Celica of all time. 
 
Honed in the wind tunnel, the GT-Four is surprisingly aerodynamic, but perhaps the impressive fact is the functionality of the (optional) huge rear wing. Toyota claimed that this appendage created a whopping 50kg of downforce at 60mph.
 
A four-wheel drive system with neutral 50/50 torque split, potent 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and coupe styling combine to produce an enticing package. The ST205 was engineered to win rallies, making it an extremely effective road car. It was expensive in the UK, which limited sales, while tough competition from the Ford Escort RS Cosworth and the much more practical Subaru Impreza means that the vast majority of cars were sold in Japan.
 
In the early days the car was a huge success on the rally circuit. Despite being penalized for cheating in the WRC (a clever device was fitted to allow more air into the engine than the permitted restrictor would allow) the car went on to be a moderate success in the hands of privateers too. Despite this, values of the ST205 remain affordable. 
 
On the road today the Celica still impresses with some serious cross-country performance. Firm suspension, precise steering and strong brakes all work well, while the boosty power is exhilarating – even if the soundtrack isn’t particularly great. The five-speed ‘box offers well-spaced gearing for devastating acceleration and surprisingly good motorway cruising, while the four-wheel drive system means traction and grip are never an issue. 
 

Which Celica to buy?

 
The big dilemma will be whether to go for original UK car or Japanese import. If you’re looking for an extremely original example, then seeking out a well cared for UK car might be easiest, although choosing an import opens up many more possibilities, including later models. 
 
There are various spec differences between UK and JDM-spec Celicas, so it’s worth understanding these before making a purchase. Japanese cars produce a slightly more potent 255bhp (due to being set up to run on higher-octane fuel) compared to the 239bhp of the UK cars.
 
If you really like the idea of owning a Group A homologation special, then it’s worth seeking out one of the 2500 WRC edition cars. While the spec only varies slightly, the kudos of explaining the fact your car has a de-activated anti-lag and water injection system installed is priceless. Power output is officially the same, although some reckon that the WRC cars were slightly ‘healthier’ from the factory.
 

Performance and specs

 
Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST205 UK spec)
Engine 1998cc, four-cylinder turbo
Power 239bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 223lb ft @ 4000rpm
Top speed 152mph
0-60mph 6.3sec
Fuel consumption 28.8mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 

Common problems

 
• Perhaps the most common concern with the ST205 Celica is the car’s complex multi-link front suspension. This provides fantastic handling characteristics when in good shape, but if worn out expect a wayward front end. 
 
• Unless there is proof that the ‘Fig-8’ links have been replaced, they will likely need to be. Genuine Toyota parts are the only option, and with the lower arms that will probably need to be changed as well, it’s almost £600 in parts alone, so can significantly dent a modest budget.
 
• If you hear a loud clonking on full lock or over bumps, don’t panic straight away though. This could also be the crush tubes that often deform if you hit a nasty pothole in the road. It’s a relatively cheap and easy fix. 
 
• On the test drive, you should also listen for any knocking of clonking from the rear of the car. If you do hear this, it is almost certainly the rubber rear diff mount. It’s not a huge job for any garage to undertake. 
 
• The 3S-GTE engine is an extremely strong and long-lasting engine in standard form, but regular oil changes are a must. Listen for any knocking signifying worn bottom end bearings
 
• Turbos can fail, and are more likely to if the car has been driven hard and not given time to cool down properly. Check for the usual signs of blue exhaust smoke, indicating worn seals.
 
• Check that proper bright red Toyota anti-freeze is at the correct level in the top-mounted intercooler. 
 
• Tuned engines are common, as more than 300bhp is possible on standard engine internals. It’s not as straightforward as some other Japanese cars, and poorly tuned examples might not last too long. 
 
• Gearboxes are strong, but the syncros can wear out, so check for crunching going up and down through the gears. Clutches can wear if abused off the line, so check for any signs of slipping.
 
• Rust is sadly not uncommon, so check all the usual places like sills, jacking points, door bottoms and rear wheel arches, as these are often first to go. 
 

Model history

 
1994: ST205 Celica GT-Four goes on sale.
Early 1996: A minor refresh sees a few changes, such as twin front airbags, side skirts, different alloy wheel design and revised rear spoiler brought in.
October 1996: Sales of the GT-Four stop in Europe.
Late 1997: The ST205 once again undergoes a facelift, freshening up the model for the Japanese market. This includes new front projector headlights, clear rear lights and different trim for the interior. 
August 1999: The last Celica ST205 rolls off the production line, as the factory prepares for the next-generation Celica
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
- www.gt4oc.net
- www.gtfours.co.uk
 

Summary and prices

 
Despite a few specialist aspects, the GT-Four is still a Toyota, which means that you can rely on the absolutely fantastic build quality. Prices in the UK do vary quite a bit, but it would be advisable to stay away from anything priced lower than £2500 unless you’re looking for a project. 
 
Around £4000 is enough to find a cracking example, with some dealers asking around £6500-£7000 for the very best. The later Japanese imports still carry a premium, so expect to pay around £3500-£8500 depending on mileage, spec and condition.
Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205
Last updated: 6th Oct 2016
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Toyota Celica cars for sale

21 Search results
Toyota Celica
450 23000 GBP
  • Toyota Celica

    £1,690 £1,690

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Alarm, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Folding Rear Seats, UK Supplied, UK Specification, 6 SPEED BOX, CD Player, Radio, Electric Mirrors, Electric Front Windows, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, ABS, Twin Air Bags, Rear Wash/wipe, Metallic Paintwork, 16'' Alloys THIS VEHICLE IS A PART EXCHANGE TO CLEAR , 12 MONTH MOT , SOLD FOR PARTS , REMOTE LOCKING , AIR CONDITIONING , ALLOY WHEELS , CD PLAYER , BLUETOOTH , 6 SPEED BOX !

    • Mileage: 117250 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
    The Car Centre Hereford
  • TOYOTA CELICA VVTi 2005 Silver with Blue stripes - 11 months MOT

    £1,200 £1,200

    ILVER TOYOTA CELICA COUPE 1.8 VVTi Silver with blue stripes.  3dr. First registered in 2005, this CELICA has Front Wheel Drive, Injection Petrol engine of 1794cc and Manual transmission. Welcome, this is my beloved Celica.This car is in my name for 3 years and never let me down. I was working in Gatwick, and starting at 3 am, the car has always been spot on.I'm moving abroad for work, so my cars are up for grab.Two new tires last weekNew MAF (m air flow sensor)11 months MOT17 Alloys WheelsTwo Color coded Leather seats. Multi CD changer player The car has few scches and chips, but normal for the age and was like that when I bought. I just put big alloys on it.Viewing is welcome and recommended as pictures never show all.  The Car is in Forest Row, 5 minutes from East Grinstead, 20 minutes from Gatwick and Crawley,  20 minutes from Lewis and 30 minutes from Brighton.Ed  

    • Mileage: 109 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica 2000

    £450 £450

    New radiator new battery new brakes and discs, new exuasust, new sun roof mechanism good tyres all parts within the last 18 months  good runner , no rust  body work could do with some tlc leather seats any questions call peter on 07940727887

    • Mileage: 150000 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica 1995

    £3,600 £3,600

    First registered in Japan in 1995 then in U.K. In 1998, On a 1994 cherished plate. A rare direct import from Japan, this car has added features and differences to U.K. spec such as 2.0L instead of 1.6L. Auto instead of manual. Auto box has sport mode and overdrive. All electric windows and roof as well as Air Conditioning. Clifford alarm / immobiliser. JVC Stereo. All bills and MOT's since 1998. Only 94,000 miles. New alternator and brakes all round.

    • Engine size: 1997
    For sale
  • TOYOTA CELICA VVT-I 2004

    £1,995 £1,995

    Good condition both inside and out, Service history, Alloy Wheels, Black leather seats, Perforated leather steering wheel, Air conditioning, Climate control, Sunroof, Electric windows and mirrors, Two keys, remote central locking, MOT until 23/11/2017. LOW RATE FINANCE AVAILABLE PLEASE CALL ONE OF THE TEAM FOR A QUOTE 01564703611, 100% HPI clear, part exchange available, located near Solihull, M42 J3

    • Mileage: 98000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.794
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica 2002

    £1,200 £1,200

    For Sale Toyota Celica 2002 vvti 1.8L 4 cylinder 140bhp. 6 speed manual gearbox. Unleaded Petrol. Electric windows, mirrors & sunroof. Heated mirrors. Built in touch screen sat nav with latest updates, with Dvd player, Bluetooth functionality which enables you to make and recieve calls from inside the car or listen to music from your phone through the 4 x in car powerful speakers. Also has capability of tv (additional box required not included). Has 2.0 USB & mini USB inputs + 3.5mm jack input. 17" Dare alloys, Full black leather seats throughout with maching leather door panels. 10 months M.O.T, partial service history. 134,000 miles on clock. Runs absolutely perfect. Does not come with my private number plates. The original reg plate will be re-igned which is FM51 YGC...£1,200 open to offers. viewers welcome call dan 01754 229343  In Wainfleet, Skegness, lincolnshire... pick up only

    • Mileage: 134000 mi
    • Engine size: 1800
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica 1998

    £600 £600

    CELICA 1.8 SR, BECOMING INCREASINGY RARE NOWADAYS, Next MOT due March/2018, 5-Speed manual, Central locking, Power isted steering, Driver & penger airbags, ABS with EBD,  Electric front windows, Electric door mirrors, Aux in stereo tuner, Momo alloy wheels, Rear spoiler, Front headrests, Height adjustable drivers seat, Front centre armrest with storage, Folding rear seats, Front foglights, Heated rear window, Rear wash & wipe. 4 seats, Metallic Paint. Signs of wear and tear nothing major great condition for age. I have been really impressed with this car, I'm sure you will be to. Will be sad to see it go but I need to change it for a van for my new job. 07427699446

    • Mileage: 127000 mi
    • Engine size: 1762
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica

    £1,695 £1,695

    Toyota Celica 1.8 VVT-I 2002 PlateMOT 25 May 2018Very nice Celica, lots of history, drives without fault, priced to sell.Lots of other cars in stock. Call 02392617444

    • Mileage: 113000 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica

    £1,495 £1,495

    Full Leather, Electric Sunroof, CD Player, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Power Steering, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Central Locking, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Rear Wash/wipe, 16'' Alloys TOYOTA CELICA 1.8 VVTI COUPE 3 DOOE, SILVER, 89,810 MILES, FULL LEATHER, E/SUN ROOF, CD PLAYER, E/WINDOWS, C/LOCKS, ABS, MULTI AIR BAGS, E/MIRRORS, R/W/WIPE, 16'' ALLOY WHEELS, £230 A YEAR ROAD TAX

    • Mileage: 89810 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica

    €23,000(£20,999) €23,000(£20,999)

    This Celica TA23 is from the 1,5 (23 series) generation. The 1.588 cc engine with a twin carburettor, the 2T-B delivered new 86 HP. The Coupe has the same basic shape as first generation but slightly longer between the front wheels and the doors. The front style introduced in 1973 on the Japanese models now used in all markets (lengthened to suit new chassis). Also it got a new style dash. Finished in British Racing Green with Brown interior this older restoration is immaculate. Excellent detailed engine bay. This beautifully Celica was imported to Netherlands in 2013. More information on: www.kucarfa.nl

    • Year: 1977
    • Mileage: 800 mi
    • Engine size: 1.6
    For sale
  • Toyota Celica

    £2,795 £2,795

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Colour Coded Interior, Folding Rear Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, Traction Control, ABS, Air Bag, Multiple Airbags, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Sunroof, CD Player, Radio, Radio Cassette, Rear Wash/wipe, Rear Spoiler, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Full service history Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTi, 39,000 Miles, Full Toyota Dealer History, 1 Previous Owner, Last Owner Since 2002, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Electric Mirrors, Air Conditioning, Height Adjustable Headlights, Genuine Toyota Floor Mats, 4 Keys, MOT Expires 14th October 2016.

    • Mileage: 39000 mi
    • Engine size: 1794
    For sale
  • TOYOTA CELICA TRD M SPORT LTD EDITION 2000

    £7,750 £7,750

    TRD M SPORT 0292;factory build number 0292 of just 1200 produced. This very rare and desired 7th Generation Celica comes.complete with all its original trd production upgrades still fitted, unmodified and in lovely rust free condition. ;TRD took the Celica from production line. then created the m sport by making the car lighter, stiffer, faster and with better handling.;TRD stiffened the chassis with additional spot welds to structural sections including roof supports shedding weight.where possible. some engine upgrades were carried out,then mounted to a uprated close ratio 6 speed gearbox, TRD short shift,Helical LSD and uprated organic clutch. ;TRD manifold and sports exhaust system. ;TRD Sportivo shock absorbers with uprated springs;TRD thicker front anti-roll bar;TRD uprated suspension bushes. ;TRD rear strut brace;TRD special instruments includes a 240 km/h speedometer with a contrasting white faced TRD;10,000rpm scaled rev counter finished within a carbon type instrument surround.;Wheels remain original in design, painted dark grey . ;the body-kit is Unique including a revised front lip, side skirts, rear valence and rear spoiler made of injection moulded Poly being more resilient to stone chips and damage ;TRD Sports leather steering wheel with a matching leather trimmed shift gaiter.;sports seats in part alcantara matching door inserts at the front, split folding rear seats also trimmed in alcantara;climate control, tinted UV glass,remote central locking, automatic power windows, full ABS, , lightweight space saver spare, high level central stop light, etc.;;part exchange is welcome. delivery can be arranged all major debit/credit card payments accepted

    • Mileage: 97800 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
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