The Toyota Celica 2.0 ST Coupe

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The Toyota Celica 2.0 ST Coupe

I HAVE just driven for 1,000 very smooth and comfortable miles in the 2-litre four-cylinder version of the exceedingly good-looking Toyota Celica Coupe range, but after the very complimentary things A.H. said in the September issue about the higher-performance 2.8-litre fuelinjection Celica Supra there is not much to add, except that to me the 2.0 SL felt like a slightly-outdated Vauxhall with Japanese mod. cons. There arc, naturally, small differences between the Supra and the smaller-engined ST Celicas. For instance, instead of a digital fascia clock you get a conventional one with hands, and instead of the Cruise-Control (and I agree this is a fitment not needed on our comparatively brief Motorways, compared, say, to driving most of the day on an American Freeway where low, strict speed-limits apply) there is an adjustable indicator to remind you how often the Toyota requires an oil-change — apparently every 70,000 miles, as set, on the test car — a more “ginunicky” fitting even than a Cruise-Control . . I ffid not think the stalk-controls particularly frail-feeling, and I was interested to find the r.h. one operating the turn indicators, contrary to present general practice. The 2-litre Cell. contents itself with just heat and fuel minor dials — no oil-pressure or battery gauges and the windows in the two doom are worked manually. The horn-pushes are badly located, on the lower part of the steering-wheel spokes. The sunroof requires two switches to be used to close it, which baffled me for a time, nor can the ignition-key be withdrawn until a button has been depressed. The ventilatory system gave lots of cool air, but its many controls are difficult to understand (no indicator-arrows), and I wanted more face-level fresh air (which is so lacking in many modem cars), and, conversely, more Minn anon my feet and, unless too notch heat was used, demisting, on that very wet ant Monday morning hs September, was very poor. Head and leg room

in the rear is somewhat restricted. The 2.0, carburetted, o.h.c., four-cylinder 1,972 c.c. Type 21R 84 X 89 mm. engine of the ordinary Celica ST, against the six-cylinder engine of the Supra adapted from the Toyota Crown saloon, gave an overall fuel consumption (4-star) of exactly 30 m.p.g., so this N a thrifty 2-litre. This figure can be bettered with care. The fuel gauge was very accurate and has the unusual facility of recording the level in the 13.4 gallon tank even when the ignition is “off’. The heavy, rear-hinged bonnet is easy to open and battery, dip-stick, etc., are all very accessible. Equipment includee internally adjustable door-mirrors, switch-actuated radio-aerial retraction, and the other conveniences reported by A.H. in the test report on the Supra. The ST was shod with Dunlop SP Steel GEL 70 185/70 SRI 4 tyres. The appearance of these new Toyota coupilo is certainly excellent, very smooth and sleek, even to tiny badges on the body sides, apeing those of “farina”. Unlike A.H. I did not th. the Hillman Avenger-type housing for rear-window demisting switch too hideous (it is matched by that fatuous oil-change reminder) and although performance is not the ST’s outstanding factor, the engine still runs to 6,000 r.p.m. if needed, the pop-up headlamps arc fitted to this model and I endorse the excellent five-speed gearbox and the reasonable power-steering. Detail work is good, too, the wide doors with effective “keeps,” front seats sliding forward as the squabs are angled for access to the back seat, a roomy flat-floored boot, not many stowages but useful pockets in the front door, etc. — all, well, of “Toyota-quality”. Japanese thoroughness includes warning lights showing a door not to be fully shut, a useful rest for one’s “clutch” foot and adjustable lumbar-support for the driver’s seat cushion. You save £3,284 by buying the booted ST in place of the liftback Supra, as the price is a very reasonable £6,604. —

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