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2004 Toyota Celica Review
Small, economical performance.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2004 Toyota Celica is sporty compact coupe inspired by racecar styling. This sports coupe is more stylish than ever before thanks to a modest 2003 facelift where the front fascia was updated along with new taillights and a revised gauge cluster. Freshly available high-intensity discharge highlights were also added in 2003 to the GT-S model. The new generation Celica is nimble, stylish, and now performs sharper than ever before with a tightly-controlled suspension and steering that is more responsive and precise. Long gone are the days where it was criticized for being overweight and slow. Today’s Celica is a joy to ride. It commands attention with its cap-forward shape, sharp-edge panels, sinking curves, tall tail, and the stark contrasts created by its updated lowered front fascia.
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Toyota Celica GT, Toyota Celica GTS, Toyota Celica GT Action Package
Last year’s new high-intensity discharge headlights are now optional for all Celica models in 2004.
The 2004 Toyota Celica’s redesign was created at Toyota’s design studio in California. The shape was heavily influenced and inspired by racecar styles. It rides on a wheelbase of 102.40 inches that is longer than previous incarnations. Still the vehicle is now shorter overall at 51.4 inches with some reduction to front and rear overhangs. A steeply raked windshield, sharply creased sides, and a tall tail accompany the vehicle’s radically lowered front façade to make it look like a racing beast. Standard for all models are automatic headlights, interval wipers, daytime running lights, power adjustable mirrors, and a rear window defogger. Rear wipers come standard with the GT-S and as an option for the GT and GT Action Pack. For 2004, the high-intensity discharge headlights have become an option for all models. Fog lights come standard with the GT-S and as an option for the Celica GT. A rear spoiler is an option for the GT and GT-S. Alloy wheels come standard with the GT-S and as options on the GT and GT Action Package. The GT-S has disc brakes on all four wheels. The brake setup for the GT is a front-disc and rear-drum setup. Its 15-inch tires are standard for all with the GT-S having 16-inch tires as an option.
The 2004 Toyota Celica is setup to seat four people, but the backseat is probably best for children, pets, or cargo. Adult passengers will find the back of the Celica to be a tight fit with just 27 inches of legroom. Standard with all Celica models is air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, tachometer, AM/FM radio with a cassette and CD player, second row folding seat, cargo area cover, and cargo area tie downs. Cruise control comes standard with the GT-S and as an option for the GT. Other options for all models include a CD changer, a cargo net, and load bearing exterior rack as well as a power or manual sunroof. The GT-S has a standard leather steering wheel with optional leather seats.
Performance & Handling
The 2004 Toyota Celica’s best performance feature is its precise handling. Handling in this ride is firm and exact. It rides with great stability on the highway and produces very minimal body lean through curves and bends. However, there is a slight feeling of losing grip while rounding quick curves. The handling may be so rigid and stiff that city driving becomes problematic. Since it is low to the ground, some drivers complain of feeling every bump. It's definitely better for highway use. It accelerates fast from a standing start thanks to its high-revving engine. Unfortunately the acceleration can be accompanied by unpleasant sounds from the engine. Downshifts with the automatic-transmission may not be the smoothest. There can also be a blind spot that requires some caution when changing lanes on the highway.
NHTSA frontal crash tests rated the 2004 Toyota Celica with four-stars for driver and passenger crash protection. Side crash tests for the two-door Celica resulted in a three-star rating for front crash protection. Daytime running lights come standard with all Celica models. Anti-lock brakes and side-impact airbags are available as options.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Precision handling
- Resale value
You Won't Like
- Uncomfortable ride in the city
- Cramped cockpit
- Difficult entry and exit
- Loud engine
- Lack of visibility
Small, economical performance.
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