Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Toyota Celica...

We've covered some great cars on Not £2 Grand, there's no doubt about that. The question is, in terms of value for money have we ever featured anything as impressive as the Toyota Celica? Probably not...



The Celica we're looking at is the seventh generation car, or the T230 series to its friends. The first generation came about in 1970 and offered motorists a sporty four-seater, rear wheel drive car that looked fantastic. It was a hit from the start, remaining incredibly popular up until its (seventh generation) demise in 2006. Here's a terrible picture of three of those seven generations in action, sort of...



It's a good looking machine for your hard earned £2000 too, and a lot of machine at that. It impresses with its specification first and foremost, though the rear wheel drive aspect has been swapped in favour of front wheel drive, sadly. Still, there's a long list of other great automotive attributes which includes goodies such as...

Leather trim, 190bhp (if you get a T-Sport, 140bhp if not), fancy fuel injection, six-speed gearbox, contemporary looks, alloy wheels and other stuff like carpet and glass...

That's a lot of spec. The engine is the most impressive aspect though, as it uses Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVTi) which is a form of witchcraft and magic used to control the valves at varying engine speeds. According to Wikipedia "the VVT system is a 2-stage hydraulically controlled cam phasing system". Er, yes, quite. Basically it moves the cams and valve-timing around a bit so that you get solid power delivery across the rev-range. Or something. It's not exciting, but it is nice to have and it is reliable which is important when buying a car on a budget. Don't, however, explain the principles of VVTi to your friends. They won't be interested. Trust us, we tried while writing this and soon found we were alone...but still talking about VVTi.


I are in ur Toyotaz, timing ur valvz


Oooh, that was all a bit exciting wasn't it? Er no, you're right, it wasn't. Still, you know about VVTi now, sort of. You can thank N£2G for that! Anyway, moving along...

The selling point of the Celica as far as we're concerned is the look of it. That is one slick, streamlined and sexy looking car. It's low-slung and it's got pointy bits amongst other attributes, and we like pointy bits. Crucially though, it looks modern - you really could imagine this sitting in a showroom today without looking too out of place. That's why it fits in with the N£2G ethos so well - no one would suspect you coughed up less than £2k for one of these!


Look, I'm in the countryside, with fields, rah!


Inside there is, as we mentioned earlier, some leather, four seats* and some electric things that go 'ping' whenever they feel like it. A word of warning though: when you're inside a Celica try and focus on the drive. If you try and focus on the interior itself you'll soon fall asleep because it's one incredibly dull place to be. An odd juxtaposition when you consider the exciting external aesthetic. Don't believe us? Think we're being too harsh on the Celica's innards? Fine, we'll show you...


WAKE UP! YOU ARE IN A CELICA INDUCED STATE OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS! THINK OF SOMETHING MORE EXCITING, er, like beige


We can forgive it of its mind-numbingly dull innards though, mainly because it's modern, a hoot to drive, more reliable than a Swiss watch and it looks pretty damn good. It's like a sexy Corolla or something, maybe. Look, we've been drinking, we're not sure what we're on about, though we are now thinking about Corollas..NO! STOP THAT!

The interior is also forgiven on the basis that the chassis is brilliant. Find yourself on a decent ribbon of B-road bliss and you'll no longer be drifting into a 'holy shit, that dashboard is dull' coma. Nope, you'll be brimming with enjoyment and you work the 1.8VVTi engine and six-speed 'box to get the most out of one of the best chassis to be crafted by Toyota's army of robots. It's firm, well footed and fills the driver with a feeling of being planted while still hanging onto a bit of enjoyment and excitement - it's the perfect balance of safety and fun for any self-respecting B-road warrior!



Tempted by all of this? Well, we best put our money where our mouth is, so to speak...



So, there you go, the seventh generation Toyota Celica. Yes, you can get earlier generations for even less money, but that's not the point. Plus, the earlier ones (apart from the 70s cars) were all hideous - they looked like whoopy cushions with wheels. The seventh generation is the one to go for. It'll never break down and it'll always look great, unless you dick about with it...



...though be warned, if you do mess one up like the atrocity above we'll be left with no choice but send the boys around to hit you in the face with a copy of our 988 page book entitled 'Car designers know what they're doing, a man from Bromley with a £50 Halfords voucher does not know better'. It's a great read...if you like fictitious books.

*It's a four seater be definition. However, if you plan to put an actual human being on the back seats you're going to need a pry bar, some Vaseline and a lot of force. The back seat is better used as a glorified shelf to be honest, not a space for people.