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geraintthomas

Quality, toys & optional extras over the generations.

Question

I drove next to a Gen 5 GT-Four for a while on the motorway yesterday. After about 15 minutes, he held up a sign saying "Services?", so we stopped at the next services and had a good chat.

It was a white, Japanese imported Gen 5 GT-Four which was up from 6psi to 16psi, running over 300bhp. He's well into his Celica's, and I've told him about the club.

Either way he showed me the car. I thought mine was good in terms of refinement etc, but wow. His had electric seat bolsters that you could move so that they hold you tighter, the steering wheel pops up when you want to get out of the car so you can move your legs more, it had 10 speakers as an optional extra Toyota sound package (I think it had a badge saying Super Sound something), and plenty of other bits and bobs. It was insane. For a car that's at that age, it was hugely kitted out as standard.

And I just thought, "why the hell did they stop doing this"? Comparing a Gen 5 to a Gen 7 in terms of looks and you can tell it's a lot older - I don't mean that in a bad way, the Gen 5 is a gorgeous car, what I mean is that it's an obvious looking classic car, what with the block tail lights, pop up headlights and dated interior. It's not what we'd call 'modern' but still lovely in it's own right.

So when you compare it to a Gen 7 for example, the only thing the Gen 7 has going for it when it's put up against a Gen 5 is the fact that it looks more modern, inside and out. That's it?! It's not as quick, not as kitted out and not built as well. Don't get me wrong I love my car, but I've had to do quite a bit to it to make it to the standard that it's at now.

What I'm trying to get at is this - the Gen 7 was the modern counterpart to the previous celica, as with any successor in car generations, but if you put a Gen 7 in a Gen 5's skin, it hasn't got anything going for it. It's just the cosmetics that what wins some people over.

What on earth were Toyota thinking?

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If someone held up a sign saying "services?" to me on the motorway I'd assume I was being propositioned and he meant the bathroom...

I'm gonna assume to bring the cost down and because no-one's ever really thought "I wish my car had a pop up steering wheel and lots of speakers". Gen 7 got 190bhp (er, ish) out of a 1.8 engine, and has everything that most people want? The chassis is like 16 years old now and I feel like it holds up as a strong example of an old car that doesn't feel dated.

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sad fact is the gen7 was made during toyotas cheapskate generation. all you need to do is take in the interior plastic quality. less fasteners on things. window switches in center console.+ a lot less sound deadening.

the gen5 was built in a time when toyota were the kings and cost was no problem because people bought the cars.

I think i read somewhere a few years ago that the gen7 was the poorest selling celica of all generations :(

the gen6 had lots of extras but not nearly as many or as cool as the gen 5

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Super Live Sound system was available for them,the JDM versions especially the older gens had some nice kit.Example,the gen5 GT-R i had for a while had 4 wheel steering (i know it was particular for that car although they did a GTR without it), it had climate control,electric foldy mirrors,the electrically adjustable seat you speak of with the lumbar and adjustable side bolsters to really 'hug' you in,you also had the option of cruise control on the JDM car as well.When Wayne had his JDM vert gen4 from 1987,that had the power roof,and it also had the cruise and other buttons mounted on the actual steering wheel exactly like a modern car.That was nearly 30 years ago!Remember the Japs did keep a lot of the good stuff for their own market,also factor in costs as the years went by,the Celica was a pretty pricey car in its day,aimed at a certain market and Toyota did start cutting costs anyway,theres no doubt,especially for the UK market.The technologies with the VVTi system etc etc mechanically were improved over the 3sge days (you can argue about the longevity of the later engines against the modern ones though) but there were definitely cost cutting exercises in materials like plastics for interiors etc.The older gens may look a little dated on the insides etc but they were arguably put together better as well....but again,car manufacturing processes have changed over the years.They dont need to use as much material to fit things together.Try taking off a front bumper from a gen5,ridiculous amount of screws and stuff,Celicas from that era were definitely over engineered.Nowadays you really do have to pay for your toys,but conversely the loaded Celicas werent cheap!

I think since the Celica marque went fromn the scene Toyota have slipped behind Honda and the like personally.Honda for example,still make the small car,the family car,'urban' vehicle,like Toyota do but they and others still recognise their sporting side...they still improve on their 'Type R' cars,theres a new Civic again out now thats a a right beast,there is still a market for these cars.Toyota havent done anything like this for years,probably not since the last of the Supras/GT4s/Fast MR2s were about. You cant put the GT86 in that bracket,we've had countless discussions on this so i wont go too far over all that again,but yes,its a great chassis,and its power to driveability is much like that of say an MX5,neither are very powerful cars but theyre a good package.But since when has a good package been enough?Where's the development?All this TRD history,the rally heritage,all this stuff is what Toyota were famous for,and when it comes to performance cars ,for me theyve done nothing compared to the other manufacturers for years.

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I think the worst thing Toyota did was pull out of the rally business in 1999 (I think).

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If someone held up a sign saying "services?" to me on the motorway I'd assume I was being propositioned and he meant the bathroom...

I'm gonna assume to bring the cost down and because no-one's ever really thought "I wish my car had a pop up steering wheel and lots of speakers". Gen 7 got 190bhp (er, ish) out of a 1.8 engine, and has everything that most people want? The chassis is like 16 years old now and I feel like it holds up as a strong example of an old car that doesn't feel dated.

But that's my point - the fact that it doesn't feel dated is purely down to its looks. I'm not slacking off the 7 as I wouldn't trade mine for any other Celica, as I'm all about modern and refined. But when the earlier generations (as explained by Sherv above) have countless toys and features, it shows that they really put their head into making their cars. The 7 seems a little "Oh yeah we need a new celica. Shit, forgot about that" when you compare them side by side in terms of build quality and features. The 7 feels so basic in comparison.

But you're right about the 1.8 and 190bhp though. Amazing figures from a 1800cc inline-4 engine.

Also that white Gen 5 I saw had a momo steering wheel that was branded by Toyota. Some sort of JDM Rally edition of the Gen 5, which was supposedly more rare than the carlos sainz. Mad.

Edited by geraintthomas

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I know what you mean, but I feel like having a sleek interior without any messing around with ultimately pointless things that (can) break or go wrong is a sign of a more modern car too. You don't see any audiophiles going for the ten speaker setup, for example. Personally I don't want silly bells and whistles in a two door coupe. The only things I'd add to a Gen 7 interior realistically is cruise. To me, throwing the kitchen sink into a car just means they were trying to out-do other brands with gimmicks.

That said, JDM cars do tend to have a bad rep for interiors post millenium. I've heard a fair bit of complaining about Subaru and Nissan interiors too.

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Always thought the gen5 better screwed together than gen6 but prefer 6 driveability and looks.probably inevitable that each generation feels less "solid" than the previous as manufacturing techniques and materials change.emission standards and cost cutting does the rest.still doesn't excuse gen7 rear styling though...what were Toyota thinking?

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Coupes are all about fashion. New car buyers have them for the aesthetics above anything else. The Gen 7, when it was announced in 1999, was considered to be very well equipped. I would have have liked to have seen a reach adjustable steering wheel, but it should be remembered that even the base model has a respectable standard spec.

ABS

EBD

Side impact airbags

Rear discs

Alarm

Immobiliser

Electric windows

Electric mirrors

Heated mirrors

Air conditioning

Remote Central/Double locking

Sony CD/Cassette/Tuner

A full list price of £16650 doesn't seem to be an extortionate figure for the list above..but how did it compare list price wise with a high spec. Gen 5 or 6?.

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It's all about personal preference innit.?...I like ALL the generations of the Celica..but I was drawn far more to the Gen 7 because it appealed to me in styling terms...and that includes the rear end.!! :)

My stance is...whichever you drive...love it and enjoy it..!!

Neil

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I do remember when the Gen 7 came out we went down to the Toyota dealership to take a look at both a Gen 6 and Gen 7 - possibly with a view to a future trade-in. The thing that struck me most at the time was how cheap and plasticky the plastic bits felt and looked. I remember thinking knowing my luck, the children would break, crack and snap bits! I had a bit of an argument with the salesman saying how could that model be better than my 5? As has been said, it was s sign of the times when manufacturers started to use cheaper materials to keep costs down.

Fortunately, I kept my 5.

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My 2001 Astra turbo had more toys than the Celica. I love the basicness. I spend all day fixing useless crap on other cars I don't want the headache of fixing my own car. Hence buying a Toyota.

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My 2001 Astra turbo had more toys than the Celica. I love the basicness. I spend all day fixing useless crap on other cars I don't want the headache of fixing my own car. Hence buying a Toyota.

Agreed. I had a 2001 astra before my celica and the only feature I really miss was the auto windows still went up after taking the key out and I didn't have to wait lol.

Volkswagen are the worst for fixing the useless crap. I work in a garage and I call BS on volkswagen (German quality). 90% of what I fix is VW/Audi/BMW. Does my head in as well because most of their design is utter rubbish.

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Agreed. I had a 2001 astra before my celica and the only feature I really miss was the auto windows still went up after taking the key out and I didn't have to wait lol.

Volkswagen are the worst for fixing the useless crap. I work in a garage and I call BS on volkswagen (German quality). 90% of what I fix is VW/Audi/BMW. Does my head in as well because most of their design is utter rubbish.

I had the coupe, it had heated seats, cruise control, comfy leather seats that the leg support adjusted. I had a Clifford alarm with global closure so I could leave them open and lock it. Oh and 300hp to put a smile on my face. But it spent 80% of ownership broken!

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Coupes are all about fashion. New car buyers have them for the aesthetics above anything else. The Gen 7, when it was announced in 1999, was considered to be very well equipped. I would have have liked to have seen a reach adjustable steering wheel, but it should be remembered that even the base model has a respectable standard spec.

ABS

EBD

Side impact airbags

Rear discs

Alarm

Immobiliser

Electric windows

Electric mirrors

Heated mirrors

Air conditioning

Remote Central/Double locking

Sony CD/Cassette/Tuner

A full list price of £16650 doesn't seem to be an extortionate figure for the list above..but how did it compare list price wise with a high spec. Gen 5 or 6?.

Back in the late 80's you could buy a gen4 ST162 with the 2.0 fuel injected DOHC engine developing 147BHP,disc brakes all round,PAS, ABS,electric mirrors,electric tilt and slide metal sunroof,Air conditioning,alloy wheels,radio cassette,armrest with two cupholders,oil pressure gauge,rev counter and battery volt gauge on the dash, for....just over 16 grand.(In 1988 Toyota made aircon and ABS an option.) So you could say the prices were the same but 16 grand was a bit more cash in the Eighties (but then this was the Eighties and cash was king).Celica was very well equipped,good performance,good looks,bulletproof engine....but it did cost you. Compare the spec to the cheaper but inferior Ford Sierra of the day,GL spec you got different wheeltrims for your steel wheels,90BHP,one drivers electric mirror,drum brakes on the back and thats about it.When they introduced the 2.0i model they squeezed 115BHP out of it,gave it a Ghia badge,alloys,electric mirrors,velour seats and a rev counter.And a fag lighter. Get what you pay for i suppose

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the funny thing was on my old 1997 se9 calibra v6 was a flagship model which had a few toys and stuff including a 7 mode fuel computer yet the 2003 tsport doesnt even have that

calibra-interior.jpg

but the reason i chose the 7 was because it had a much more futuristic interior than the v6 as i was originally wanting a gen 6 but went for the 7 instead as it seemed to tick all of the boxes.

and with some of my improvements has made it a joy to live with :)

Edited by celica1977

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In terms of looks, the 7's are very sensitive to what you do to them.

Now take Vin's machine for example. This is how he bought it:

2004%2BCelica%2BTS%2B-%2B10.jpg

And now look at it.

_DSC1507.jpg

_DSC1501.jpg

My favourite 7. Looks a completely different car, and just with Toyota optional extra parts too. It's just a shame that these sort of parts weren't just fitted and left on the car as standard. Then we could say "I own a celica", rather than having to say "I own that celica, not a normal one".

I agree with the interiors though. The build quality isn't the best on the Gen 7 - but that's kind of what my thread is all about, making it what it should have been.

If I had a spare bit of cash, I'd love to buy a Gen 5 GT-Four to do up to the same standard as mine.

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yep agree ger ,big bodykits really dont suit this car but subtle bumpers,lips ,skirts etc do :)

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In fairness, there's a base spec Celica like there's a base spec Focus. You can get all the parts bin stuff you want to plug on and make it look like an RS if you didn't buy one initially. I can't think of many cars (that aren't halo brand marque cars) that don't have a poverty spec. When my last car got written off I was given a bottom of the bottom spec brand new Focus and it remains the worst driving experience of my life - and I used to own a Hyundai Accent with 300km, no functional brakes or exhaust on it that we didn't dare change the oil as it was very likely holding the engine together.

Saying that, why they thought the base spec Celica owner would want to go off-roading I have no idea. Defaulting to 4x4 ride height was a weird one.

Edited by toiletduck

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But then the standards in those days were a little different. Same thing with the Ford Puma mind, why the suspension is that high I'll never know.

I just don't get it. They make a 140bhp celica - fine, make it standard. But when they make a T-Sport, why on earth would they want it to look like Vin's original car? It's mental.

Even so, build quality and optional extras are just fantastic on the older generations. Then again I'm only now finding out what they had on the 7 in different countries. Painted headlight inserts, electric folding mirrors, aerial's built into the windows of the Sports M, sunlight sensors for auto-on headlights, etc. Quite interesting the more you go into it.

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