the new accord v-6 manuals will stomp a celica (stock for stock).
the celica is NOT that fast. it IS faster than most cars on the road, and its peformance IS great for 1.8L..but 180 horses is still only 180 horses. and for the price you would pay for a brand new celica gts..you should at least be getting an auto with a v-6 engine pushing at least 220 horses.
thats why you buy used...its ridiculous to have a car base at nearly $25k and only get 180 horses (and its a sports car..so you know its meager creature comforts).
Actually, the 240 hp V6 manual Accord isn't as fast as you might think. The very best time a stock Accord is capable of is a 14.5 in the 1/4 mile, but owners typically get a few tenths of a second higher than that. As we all know(since this is a Celica site) a stock GTS is capable of a 14.9 in the 1/4 mile. So the Accord is faster, but I don't think that it is exactly stomping the Celica by any means.
Also, a base Celica is $22,055 and as such, I think that the level of performance is pretty good for the price. I can't think of any car in the $20,000 - $25,000 price range that can significanly out perform it.
I'm not neccesarily saying that you are wrong, I just happen to dissagree with you. This is just my opinion on the matter...
SRT-4 comes damn close, with suspension mods, an SRT-4 could probably hang with a celica in the twities pretty good, and as for performance, Mopar claims it put's out 215 HP, chassis dynos actually show most SRT-4's put out over that numberto the wheels, not the crank!
It also costs less than the GTS, just under $20K.
other than that, there's the RSX, it does cost a little more, but a Type S is a close match to the celi GTS in almost every regard.
BTW: if the Celica had a V-6, you'd have a major understeer problem, the reason they kept the engine so small is to keep the weight down, for a 1.8 L all aluminum four cylinder engine, 180 HP is damn good, and it's lightweight too, which is one reason our cars weigh about 2500 Lbs.
Apples and oranges, I know; Just my opinion, nothing more.