My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

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AE86
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My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby AE86 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:13 pm

Hi all,

I didn't know where else to post this, but I wanted to share my experience with those on here. As we all know, there's extremely limited information on cars in terms of reviews because cars are so new to this country.

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There may be no chance to find a genuine AE86 (the model code for the Toyota Sprinter Trueno) and where my username came from obviously, so when in Cambodia you have to make due. To be frank, this is my nephew's car and we swapped our Mini for a bit, but I wanted to but as much info out there as possible because as you know, it's damn near impossible to find anything related to Cambodia and car reviews.


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The car: ($7,200) 2002 Toyota Celica GT, automatic, wreck of course...who knows how many miles.

So if you want a car that is not your basic Toyota, but is still a Toyota (meaning reliable and serviceable), this car is definitely a viable option. At just over $7k for a decent one, (around $5-6k for some real crap), not only is it on the cheaper side, but it's practical as well. As practical for a 2 door as you can find in Cambodia that is. For the 7 months this car has been used here (or 2,500 miles), not one breakdown.

The car I recommend getting is the automatic GT, which is the slowest version. I recommend this drivetrain setup because the GT-S is considerably less reliable, and a manual transmission is cumbersome in traffic here. Also, the GT uses the same motor as the 1.8 Corolla. This means an infinite part supply is available and it will likely last longer than a Cambodian house.



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What's it like to drive? Surprisingly comfortable, with very poor visibility and a long nose.


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The Celica is honestly very boring to drive, in terms of being on the open road in a country with proper roads, but in Cambodia it was fantastic for a coupe. Yes this car has been raised (which spoils the look in my opinion), but it took bumps nicely, absorbed potholes well, and was quiet to run in town.

Visibility was bad and a little unnerving at times out the back, so very slow turns and long time signalling is how I managed. Also the nose is a bit long, so if you're new to driving in Cambodia, be aware you can clip all kinds of things when making sharp turns in town. The front bumper cover ended up needing a respray after a few months of use from my nephew.

Power wise, there is plenty. It's not fast at all, but power delivery is very smooth. Just the thing you want in Cambodia honestly.


Practicality? No breakdowns & 17 mpg (US) over 7 months.

As with virtually any car here, premium fuel is required to avoid pinking the motor. My nephew seems to average 7 km/l, or 17 mpg (US), 13.83 L per 100 or 20.5 mpg UK. I personally didn't check. As for the 2,500 miles covered in the car, it's had no breakdowns and only minor "glitches" such as the A/C fan not working on a one of it's speeds. No surprise.

Also for repairs as mentioned, parts are everywhere for the engine and transmission, being the 1.8 litre motor is from the standard US Corolla.

Seating has enough for 4, or 8, depending on your nationality. There are 4 seatbelts however.


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Conclusion, final thoughts? It's a reliable car without the vanilla styling, but I'm not a fan.

While I do have a thing for 2 door underpowered Toyotas, I'm no fan of this car. I summarise this car as a long pointy Corolla. Sure it's interesting to look at vs. anything else, but it's anything but interesting to drive. Granted that there are no real "driver's roads in Cambodia, that's not a big deal and in fact it might be a good thing that the Celica is so "soft" to drive, but it's not my thing personally. I'm not into cars that look different, but drive like economy cars, but that's just me.


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However, I do believe that it is by far the best 2 door you can buy in the Kingdom of Wonder, simply because it's a reliable Toyota and you can sell it again when you're ready to move on.


-AE86
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby Username Taken » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:02 pm

"The Celica is honestly very boring to drive"

That may be true, but it does add an inch or two to your penis size. Or, so I've heard.

I believe one of the former, senior cabal members from tof used to have one (maybe still does).
... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ...

https://BooksAboutCambodia.com
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John Bingham
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby John Bingham » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:56 pm

I drove around in a Celica here a few times, and thought it was very under-powered and it's height/ visibility ratio freaked me out.
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby Digg3r » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:59 pm

That fuel economy is shithouse for an 1800

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AE86
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby AE86 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 am

@Username Taken, I remember that car well. Had to try and diagnose it on more than once occasion.

@John Bingham, it could have been running regular petrol vs. premium. Unless it's changed recently, most people don't realise that regular is 2 points too low octane for most cars, so the computer pulls ignition timing to compensate which prevents damage but slows you down a bit.

@Digg3r Fuel economy takes a major dive when in Phnom Penh. I suspect high 20's in mpg is doable once on the open road. My old Corolla 1.6 here did 18 mpg in Phnom Penh, but on it's first trip to Vietnam I broke 40.
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby willyhilly » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:33 am

I remember the well known poster's Celica as well. The head was fucked I think and no one could repair it. I think he has bought a Merc since so he may be a slow learner. My old Merc did about 14mpg around town buy nearly 30mpg on the highway and that was being thrashed.
I have a new i20 Hyundai now and it has exactly the economy as claimed, 6.6 litres/100 ks on the highway. That's pretty impressive as it is not a tiny car. My next project might be a Camry pickup, I should have done that with the Merc.
I have seen numerous Tico variants and an old Camry pickup in Sihanoukville. Do you know a shop that does conversions 86?
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Re: My experience with a Toyota Celica in Cambodia

Postby epidemiks » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:52 pm

I had a 79 Celica fastback a decade or so ago. Nice for cruising, but it didn't like turning corners.

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