My MR2 purchased via Auto Trader was a Jap import with low mileage (Kms) it had only done approx 55000 miles equivalent. Had all the history including original owner in Tokyo, somehow this car had been stored I think in Hereford ? since import.
Anyway this is my second MR2 mk2, my first was a GT in lovely red purchased from an add in a newsagent. Originally from Southampton and guess what it failed MOT after about 5 years due to underbody rust.
But the good news is imports are the better bets, my Limited Auto is spotless underneath and has additional features such as cruise control and air-con, auto folding wing mirrors. And also a nice MR2 lighted badge thing by the boot lid. (Only problem strangers take it for a boot handle, so has had super glue treatment).
So years later of great reliability and fun, it has about 70,000 miles (in Kms) and I know my speed in Kms /hr and have a handy reminder on a card just in case.
These cars have been so popular -for good reason. The turbo models can out gun most things but for me the NA (normal aspirated) is the cheap fun. Being semi retired and want my fun on a budget , this car fits very well. You can get an Auto (yes auto) for around £1000 or a bit more for a special one. The price sort of depends on the service history. Avoid boy racer stuff , go for the loved ones. They are very reliable but need servicing , oil changes , fan belts etc.
I found a local garage in South Wales (Osaka Motors) Toyota trained partners who love these cars. Only recent drama was the EM-unit but after a few hours this was fixed or refurbished and has even improved performance.
Can be a cheap car if you go to the guys that have the knowledge.
The pay-off is a sporty looking car , mid engined that can hug the road and make you smile . On a proper trip it comes into its own, with third lane performance and out there with the best of them.
Nostalgic yes, capable also yes.
I need to start this review by saying I absolutely adore this car!
A little bit of background about me:
My Dad, my boyfriend and myself are very much into our cars - especially classics. My boyfriend is a mini fan in particular (owns a '76 pickup) and I'm into Capri's (got a 1969 Auto XL), but we also like to keep a 'sensible' car between us for times when our classics are having work done to them etc. Sensible cars past and present we've owned are a 1.6 VW Golf CL (we still own it, but it's currentl off the road at my dad's waiting for some work to be done), a BMW 318i SE and now the Toyota MR2 G limited japanese import.
When my boyfriends first mini was stolen we needed to get a cheap car quickly for work purposes, and ended up with the BMW - it was a nice car and we kept it for abot 10 months until it developed an electrical fault and the handbrake cable snapped, due to the age of the car it wasn't really worth bothering with so we sold it on and went looking for something else - in steps the Toyota!
What is an MR2?
As we've already established it's a Toyota and put simply it's a mid engined, rear wheel drive sports car - essentially it's a 2 seater with the engine situated over the cars rear wheels. Under the bonnet you can find the battery and the spare wheel (great to confuse small kids with - you can have the engine running, then lift up the bonnet and tell them it's a magic car because they can't see an engine). Behind the engine compartment there is still a boot - it obviously isn't as big as most boots, but it's still fairly deep.
Where to buy?
Well the mk2 hasn't been made for sometime now so you'll have to purchase from private individuals, ebay, traders, auction houses and the like.
How much can you expect to pay?
This will vary massively depending on the precise model, condition, age, mileage etc. Ours was bought through ebay and we won the auction at just £560. So what did we get for our money? This car is a 1993 G limited, solid topped japanese import - it's a 2 litre (no turbo) pushing out 178bhp as standard. It runs very well and has not a single dent or rust spot on it, the only signs of age are a few tiny spots where lacquer has peeled off, a slightly larger patch on the front bumper, and there is a rip to the drivers seat. It also had a long MOT, but no tax. You may ask why such a powerful car in good condition would be so cheap and there is a fairly simple answer - these cars aren't cheap to insure so generally speaking people who can afford the insurance would want a newer car and people who can afford the car can't afford the insurance. This leaves quite a small pool of people who'd want/be able to buy a vehicle like this. That said you can expect to pick up a Mk2 for anywhere between £500 and a couple of thousand.
Is it practical?
Well yes and no - it all depends on what you want to use it for. If you're a family ie. with kids then no it won't be practical at all, this really is a car for single's or couples only. If you're one of them then yes it can be practical - my boyfriend and I proved just how practical it was by doing a 100 miles round trip to Ikea and back, returning in it with a desk, filing cabinet and large office chair (flat packed of course but still bulky). Ok so we couldn't close the boot and had to tie it down with string and I had to sit with my head at an uncomfortable angle wedged under the desktop, but the point is we managed it!
How does it drive?
This is the main reason I love this car - it is quite honestly the best thing I've ever driven. It's comfortable to sit in, the clutch is so easy to control, gear changes are smooth, the placement of the engine gives a good weight distribution that means the car handles like it's on rails you really can chuck it round corners and it hugs the ground. I must admit that I do like fast cars and this thing can really accelerate - it picks up speed at a rapid rate and revs to about 7500 if you want to push it that dar. It will out accelerate pretty much all other non turbo 2 litres on the market and many cars with bigger engines. I cannot fault the way this drives and it's alot of fun too.
I have to be honest this isn't the most economical car ever, but it's not bad either - I don't tend to drive with my foot to the floor, but I don't hang around either and I tend to get through half a tank (around £30 at current prices) every two weeks averaging about 140 miles in that time. As it's a japanese import we do treat this car to premium unleaded - this is a higher octane fuel and fuel in Japan is generally of a higher octane so it should run better on this, although that's not to say you couldn't fill it with standard unleaded if you want.
We haven't had to perform any maintenance to our car so far - these Japanese cars have a good reputation for reliability so hopefully we shouldn't come across any major issues in the near future (touch wood). On the plus side as the car was very popular back in it's production days, and the engine was used in a number of other cars, parts are still quite numerous and easy to get hold of. On the downside due to the position of the engine, anything in the engine bay will be quite fiddly and hard to work on - it's all compacted into a very small area and you have to lean over the rest of the car to reach it, even checking the oil levels is a trial because you can't easily see where to put the dip stick back in! That is the only real gripe I have though and it's a sacrifice I'm prepared to put up with for the improved handling the engine position gives.
Great fun to drive, it corners like it's on rails with virtually no body roll. The snap oversteer issue is exaggerated and no worse than any other RWD car I've driven. In fact, if you've got enough room you can really enjoy getting the back end out, just don't lift your foot. You have to drive it like a bike - set up your road position for a bend and accelerate through it, keeping the power on all the way.
For an old car (1990) it's in remarkable condition - no rust, everything still works, the seats don't look worn and the engine is sweet as. I've had two BMWs and they were crap in comparison.
The tank is a bit small, only holding about 250 miles worth of fuel in normal use but I have had 320 miles out of it on a run, and that was over 90mph most of the way.
Luggage space is a bit limited but I've not had a problem with that - managed to fit in everything in for a two week camping trip for two. I suppose it might be an issue if you need to move bulky items but that's what vans are for.
I owned this car for about a year before it became too expensive to run - parts and servicing are really pricey as with all Toyotas. Great flash car though - loved the pop up headlights!! Only thing was I am quite short, and unfortunately the top of the steering wheel was right in my line of vision....but that was just a personal thing! Found it difficult to parallel park, as the back window is very narrow. However, I did have a crash in this, and I swear had I been in something else I would have had severe injuries - but the Toyota MR2 is a good solid car, and I just walked away, with the car having minor damage to one side. Can be difficult to get in and out of if you are older!! Tyres/alloys very expensive too. It's a two seater as well, but the boot had a lot of space in it.
Fantastic stereo, 6 CD changer in mine.
High category for insurance.
I've had a Toyota MR2 G-limited (t bar) 1992 for approximately 3 and a half years, in this time I have never had any major trouble with it. I have nicknamed it 'my little go-kart' purely because it's so lightweight I can nip around and take corners faster than a lot of other cars and really feel like it's firmly on the ground with no sliding or skidding issues. It's smallness means that it never takes long to heat up or cool down the seating area when driving in different temperatures. Not having the turbo hasn't been a problem for me and it means I still get a nippy car that doesn't need warming up or cooling down of the oil.
The t-bar means I can have the glass roof panels off in the summer, but to be honest this is something I haven't done very often because I feel worry that they are not safe slotted in behind the seats when driving in the car. I have found because of the age of the car and the rubber seals showing their age that it doesn't seal as well as it should on the glass top and sometimes have a drip or two or rain come in, also because of the car having no metal edging on the door top, in the winter this can cause freezing of the rubber to the glass and has made it difficult to get into the car on a few occasions. Also, only having the 2 seats has sometimes been an inconvenience but to be honest with a sports style car it's what you expect. I love the relaxed style of the seating position, at first I found the seating area very low to get in and out of but now I love it! Overall, I am very happy with the car and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun car!
The MR2 Mk2 is a brilliant little sports car.
I own a 2.0 G-limited T-Bar (Japenese Import) and I loved every minute of it. I will be trading it in soon for something more practical but I will be sorry to see it go.
The handling and weight distripution is perfect, especially when pushing it around some very tight bends through the countryside. The boot is big enough to fit a couple of sizeable bags in it for a small weekend away (i have transported most of my stuff from University to home in anyspace I could find).
The engine is brilliant even without a turbo, there is plenty of torque at the low revs and the power is steady throughout the gears.
With some careful driving, it can handle in all conditions.
The car is very reliable as all japenese cars are. If serviced reguarly, the car will keep going and going.
Toyota MR2 GTS Turbo 1995 a pocket rocket!
Japanese Import only and cheap to buy,the GTS turbo is a real flying machine,makes the standard MR2 UK car feel like its diesel powered.Mine was a 1995 model with 17" white Enkei alloys,black leather interior,wow,wow what a machine.It had the largest exhaust I have ever see on a car,Japanese Dragar racing I think.It was race tuned so Ferrari fast,no joke,it was a scarey little roller skate of a car.I bought it in the late 90s when it was just a few years old and had a little over 12,000 miles on the clock so was still very new then.The ride was terrible,very very stiff/hard,ok as a second car as mine was for weekends but thats all.Cramped inside,hardly any space for luggage etc but who cares! Servicing was slightly problematic,my local Toyota dealer was impressed but had never seen one before,diagnostics were a problem and when the aircon stopped working they discovered it was totally different from UK spec.It was Japanese "Jungle spec" used to working in hot humid climate so more heavy duty.They took a little longer to sort it out,but they did,and general servcing was not a problem,nothing new under the bonnet appart from the Turbo and exhaust which was stainless steel last forever job!Build quality was excellent,performance terrific but at the end of the day it was just a souped up Toyota and not that exotic.Loads of fun,GTS never came as a T bar,mid engined of course and the cover has raised vents unlike standard non turbos.It sounded amazing,turbo whistling,exhaust roar,impressed the girls no end!
Insurance will be expensive on any special import like this so shop around,there are specialist insurers.
Find a good one,lots of cheap rubbish so take care,pay more for a well cared for example,FSH a must,a dog could cost a fortune to fix and if your brave enough go for the GTS Turbo!
Thanks for reading my review and I hope you found it interesting.If this has been useful to you and you take time to leave Your rating it will be appreciated and hope you will take a look at my other reviews sometime.I also leave reviews on the Ciao website about this and other items,many thanks!
My mr2 is the 1991 GT T-Bar, 2.0. It is not in a great state but I still love it....best car I ever had and I'll be very sorry when it dies. For a car this age (even for a modern sports car) it is very fast and great fun to drive. Taking the roof panels off in the summer is a brilliant feature and easy to do...the glass panels store neatly behind the seats and have their own straps to secure them. The engine sounds fantastic although it is quite noisy, particularly on the motorway. Design wise I think the car was ahead of its time and is very attractive. The car has also taught me that it is true what they say about the reliability of Toyotas since it has never had any problem whatsoever. I paid £1,200 for it with 60,000 miles on the clock and for this money I do not think it is possible to move as fast or look as good.
I owned one of these cars from new, back in 1998 it was the last of the line 10th anniversary GTI models(168BHP) with the facelift and adjustable spoiler. It also came with beefed up suspension, fatter wheels and 16" alloys all as standard. This was a fantastic little 2 door 2 seater, mid-engine sports coupe which to this day still looks like a baby Ferrari. The ride quality was firm (to be expected on a true sports car like this) but it handled like no other car I've driven! I would often accelerate around bends to throw the cars handling off but never did this little car ever let me down. It had tons and tons of grip due to the chassis and the very low height of the car (48.6 in). Also not forgetting the huge rear Yokohama wheels (225/50 x16). The UK spec was reasonable compared to Japanese model however the imports would often attract much higher insurance premiums and servicing costs. This car was capable of hitting 150 MPH without a problem and did 0-60 in around 7 seconds. Reliability wise IT was flawless, absolutely built like a tank and I never had any problems whatsoever. The trim felt absolutely solid and the cabin was all black high quality plastic with black leather around the handbrake, gear knob with really nice red stitching would recommend this car without a doubt especially as today you can pick one up from as little as £1500. This car, like its predecessor, is a classic car without a doubt and the very late models hold their value well indeed. The only other true rival to this car at the time was the Honda CRX VTI model which was slightly faster but nowhere near as good looking! A few issues I had with this car were that the spare wheel was actually a space saver, which is, in reality, half a wheel which you can only do 45 mph as it's supposed to be a temporary solution. Another point was, after a few hours of driving, the cabin inside the car, would start to feel a little claustraphobic at times.
Hi, and welcome to my review of the Toyota MR2. I have owned 5 MR2's over 6 years from an early Rev1 through to a Japanese import model, a G-Limited Rev3. I have had sunroofs, T-bars and Tin-tops. Most have been well cared for and serviced, however two were more restoration projects and I'll go into some detail about this for your benefit. I'll do my best to list what to look for when buying and how to best care for your aging beast.
My Rev1 was blood red, built in Japan in October 1989 for the UK market. Like all UKDM (United Kingdom Domestic Market) MR2's there was no power steering and no air conditioning. It came with a cloth interior, sunroof, and original 14" alloys hiding small brakes which are sadly prone to fading under heavy use, be it on track or on a twisty country road. The Rev1 is the rawest of all the Mark 2 (MK2) MR2's with no catalytic converter meaning the engine is free to produce 158bhp at the flywheel. The throttle response is also much sharper than later Revision MR2s which combined with slimmer tyres (195 front 205 rear) can lead to snap oversteer. If your thinking about purchasing your first MR2 than this basically means that an MR2 is capable of going side ways, and if your not quick, spinning, almost instantly. This is not a forgiving or learner friendly car, especially coupled with the heavy steering and poor brakes provided by Toyota.
Sadly the Rev 1 is now getting on in years and this has exposed a number of problems with any potential purchases. Sills can rot especially at the rear near the arches. On T-bar models the leading edges of the roof can rot and many arches are now starting to show corrosion both front and rear. A major problem is that brakes will seize with lack of use. After a test drive carefully feel all four wheels (not discs, you will be burnt) for any that are much hotter than the others. This will denote binding callipers. Lack of engine power will also denote sticking brakes, which is why you must drive a selection of MR2s before committing to purchase. Be aware that larger wheels will upset the handling significantly, fashion seems to point to people putting 17" wheels on a car originally designed to accept tiny 14" rims. This will affect acceleration and the handling adversely, and place further stress on suspension components.
Furthermore evidence of what many would consider adequate or normal servicing is no longer sufficient, buy an MR2 that is over 19 years old with only 19 service stamps and you'll find thick black oil and rust blocked radiators. Oil should be golden brown and not thick black gunk. Coolant should be red and free from rust, neglected cars block radiators quickly and overheat even faster. Furthermore cleaning and flushing the 15 litre coolant system when it is full of sludge and rust is a time and labour intensive activities that few garages will be bothered to do to any sort of acceptable standard. Gearboxes can suffer from damaged synchromesh especially on 2nd gears which will crunch when down shifting. This will spoil the driving experience, however gearboxes are available for around £125 from SMR and a clutch for around £90, and its not a horrific job for the competent home mechanic. Clutches can last as little as 40,000miles though so check that yours does not slip. Check that there is no knocking or banging from the suspension when going over bumps which can denote worn drop links. Even though a complete set of anti roll bar drop links can be had for around £75 removing the old ones is a fiddly and job that usually necessitates some grinding! Any MR2 with changed drop links is a bonus.
However the very best way to get into an MR2 is to buy from an enthusiast. From someone passionate about the MR2 an early rev1 is still a potentially enjoyable and reliable buy, however there is some seriously abused rubbish just waiting to have its way with your wallet, so be warned. Buy with your head, and your heart will follow when you new purchase turns out to be reliable!
Rev 1s go for attractive sums, with crash damaged or neglected examples fetching little more than £500 on eBay. Average cars that need work for the next MOT can fetch from £800-1000. Expect 130,000 miles, worn seat bolsters, worn steering wheels and some oily days in the garage though for this sort of money. Straight cars can fetch up to £1450 with changed cambelts, tensioners, and strict servicing with high quality materials. For this sort of money the service history you get is often reflective of many thousands of pounds over the last 5-6 years.
The Rev 2:
Of all the MR2's that I have owned, the Rev2 represents 3 of the 5. I have had two UK sunroof models and a UK T-bar with full leather. All were 1993 models in either metallic aqua (green) or Zircon blue, which is especially fetching. The difference between Rev 1 and Rev 2 is surprisingly large, Toyota added bigger 15" wheels with fatter tyres (195 front 225 rear), a deeper front splitter, power steering as standard, larger brakes (indeed older 14" wheels will not fit the Rev 2 models) and a dulled throttle response (longer pedal travel). Inside you get a revised three spoke sterring wheel and a shorter throw gear change compared to the Rev 1. Lastly Toyota felt it necessary to reinforce the suspension strut towers to reduce the possibility of them being damaged over the cars life. By 1993 'K' registration all bar some rare examples of MR2s retained by Toyota are Rev 2.
The Rev 2 feels much more like a grand tourer, it is both more comfortable and refined. Furthermore these represent a much better buy for your first MR2 due to the safe understeer Toyota built into the revised suspension geometry effectively warning you about the transition to oversteer about to take place. Don't underestimate the car and heed its warnings and you'll be fine with a Rev 2 where a Rev 1 would be demanding more skilled driver inputs. The range also came in more attractive modern colours replacing navy blue for a light metallic blue (Zircon blue), the blood red for a much more Rosso red for example.
It seems to be easy to find an MR2 Rev 2 from an enthusiast or club member keeper with extensive history for around £1250-2000 depending on spec, mileage, and the extent of work carried out. Remember that cambelts need changing every 60,000 miles or 6 years, and that most local garages will want around £250 to complete this job. Buying an MR2 with the belt changed within the last few years makes sense, even more so the clutch, radiator, and gear selector cables, other expensive labour intensive jobs that will cost you dearly. However if your willing and able to do jobs yourself parts are not unreasonably priced and there is more room than you would imagine when working on the mid mounted engine. Don't forget to check the catalytic converter fitted to the Rev 2 cars, they can rot away and be expensive to replace. On paper the Rev 2 is 4bhp down on the original rev 1, however due to the tamed experience it all just feels like part of the package.
In all the Rev2, from my point of view, is a better everyday car with more humane road manners that don't bite as hard as the earlier car. However much as owners of the original 1980's MK1 bemoaned the extra bulk of the MK2 when it was launched those who have sampled the Rev1 will often be bored by the dulled responses of the Rev 2. Try extensively before you buy to see what suits you.
The Rev 3:
Most probably my personal favourite, according to the motoring press of the time it took Toyota until the Rev 3 to get the MR2 formula right. Further changes were made to the exterior including colour coded splitter, sills, new round rear lights and painted centre panel, and new interiors amongst other more subtle changes. My Rev 3 was a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) G-Limited with a tin-top roof, cloth interior and air conditioning. Engine power was increased to over 170fwhp with a higher compression engine (all MR2 used developments of the 3S-GE engine designed by Toyota and tuned by Yamaha excepting the 3S-GTE and Beams engined cars). The Rev 3 felt much more 'together' and seemed to handle much better, the turn in was sharper, some of the oversteer had been bought back albeit in a gradual and well controlled manner. A Rev 3 in good order will really dance through the corners, however I would be hard pushed to notice any major differences between sunroof, T-bar and tin-top cars. The extra rigidity is marginal compared to the thrill of taking the Targa roof off on a summers day. Even if seals can perish and leave you being dripped on in winter. Check T-bar seals for dry rubber, Vaseline can help as can silicone grease, however new seals are expensive so factor this in to any potential purchase price accordingly.
On the Rev 3 third gears seems to suffer, especially on higher mileage cars. This will be evident as grinding synchromesh when down shifting into third. Again this will compromise the driving experience and should be given careful thought. Remember that the Rev 1 cars are unique in that they had a cable speedometer drive, and that the Rev 3 used all new gear ratios due to the power hike. Be sure to get the right gearbox for your car if you have to change.
Rev 3 cars are now reaching low prices, as low as £1300 for big mileages, however £2000 will buy you a car you would proudly show. UK or JDM is down to personal choice, some companies demand higher premiums to insure JDM cars.
Servicing and maintenance:
Servicing is not as horrific as you might imagine. Oil filters are obscured by the exhaust manifold on Rev 1-2 cars which can be tricky. However on Rev 3 cars the oil filter was relocated to the sump and as such is easier to get to. Coolant changes are straight forward thanks to logical Toyota having the filler cap at the very top of the system and providing bleed tubes for both the radiator and heater matrix in with the original tool kit. Over heating is usually caused by blocked radiators and/or neglected fluid changes leaving silt and sludge in the large cooling system. Flushing is best done part by part and is labour intensive, and under floor pipes can be hard to get to due to corroded fixtures holding in the multi part under tray. Suspension top mounts can wear denoted by metallic clangs and knocks on full lock, these are however readily available and not too hard to fit. As mentioned earlier drop links are a pain but necessary to keep the ride quiet. Brakes present no especial difficulties for the home mechanic and exchange callipers or re build kits are easily available. Drilled/grooved discs and good pads such as EBC Greenstuff do make a welcome difference especially to the earlier Rev 1 cars. Plugs, leads and the distributor are all easily within reach and no more expensive than those for a Rover K series engine.
Big bore exhaust & induction kits are fitted by many well meaning enthusiast owners, including myself. These are expensive new and do add both noise and drama to the driving experience. Your wife will hate it, but I guess that's at least part of the point of a middle aged crisis. However large stereos, subs, amps and neon lights that hack into the complicated Toyota wiring are to be viewed with caution, ask who fitted them, even some auto electricians have been left stumped by the electrics in these cars when they remove a stereo.
Simply not cost effective unless you get parts from a breakers yard (of which there are many specialist UK based MR2 breakers) and do the work yourself. Garages hate working on mid engined Japanese cars and few will have the experience or motivation to treat your car with the care and respect you deserve. Costs of restoration will often exceed the price difference between your 'project' and a good straight car in the first place. My advice, having restored a Rev 1 and spent £3500 to make it perfect is spend as much as you can in the first place. Why not enjoy driving the car straight away? Unless the track awaits your unlucky new purchase, then the cheaper, the better!
I got my mr2 as a 21 birthday present 2 myself. I paid over £3000 for it on a H plate. The car itsel looks fantastic and the feeling you get the first time you drive it is amazing. But unfortunately this has been the worst purchase of my life. The repair costs are expensive and there will be a few. In 3 years i had to replace so many parts i lost track. The main selling point of this car is the looks and the handling which is unquestionable in the dry. I had never driven a rear wheel drive before and didnt relaise how twitchy they are in the wet. You barley need to touch the throtel and the back slides out and trys to over take you. The insurance was ok but i had a good no claims bonus still nearly a £1000 fully comp. The boot is tiny and really you cant argue in any way that this car is practicle. I used to commute quite a bit and hardly drove it only at weekends and sunny days. I finally got rid for £750 to put towards my present car my golf vr6 which is much more comftable and practicle yet still gives you a great feeling when you drive it. Plus the performance is much better.
I've owned my 1992 Mr2 GTS for three years now, and before that had a 1990 GT.
The GTS is a littler lighter and harder than the GT and I feel more playful.
Neither MR2 Turbo is a learner drivers car with (until you get to Gen3 models) a tendency for snap understeer.. can get a little hairy in the wet.
In the dry I have never (ever) got in trouble with either the GT or GTS.
Both are very quick off the line, handle well, and look like they mean business. Expect to surprise the odd EVO and WRX, but don't expect great economy if you decide to push the throttle.
Well I'm on my second mr2 being my first a standard 2litre, but when I got my turbo WOW what a diffrence, faster, better what a car. Ive always liked the two seater and don't really find it a problem as ive no kids, and rear wheel drive is just so much fun and cant really understand why people go for 4 wheel drive as weres the fun! People keep writing everywhere that they get about 24 mpg and an avarage of 5000 miles to there tyres. Dont know why as I get 11mpg and about 2700 on the tyres and that tyre wear was on the standad 2litre and that only did about 18 mpg, does anyone else get figures like mine? as its unfair why everyone else gets more? These cars can be tricked up a lot body and engine as you just can't go without having that full body kit on as its just the bizz, with it lowered. The suspencion is very good and can handle a good 50mm drop as its still a nice soft drive but no lean whatsoever round the bends. I cannot after looking for months find a car that drives and looks as good as one of these even after having a go in a jag 4litre supercharger and thinking wow my mr2 will eat that. So get out there and bag one before theres no more left as they dont make em like they used too
Last year I bought my girlfriend an MR2 turbo. This is a japanese import 1995 model - the one that looks like a baby ferrari with the round rear lights. I would advise anyone to get one. But make sure that it's not been abused or raced. Also, go for the model with the round rear lights because it has suspension modifications to make it less "tail happy" and also an uprated engine. But you don't care about that do you? You want to know how this thing goes. Well it's got a 240bhp 2litre turbo engine like in the celica GT-four but of course it's mid engined and the car weighs about as much as a jay cloth. Result: 0-60 in 5.0 seconds and a top speed of approx 150mph. Standing 1/4 mile is 13s at 98mph I think. The car is limited to a top speed of 120mph by default however and toyota recommend not exceeding 130mph for sustained periods because of danger of heat build up around the turbo. The car handles like it's on rails and goes very quickly. It's a joy to drive on twisty country roads. However, it's not much fun on a long motorway journey where the hard ride and loud engine make you feel tired. It's the sort of car that does well darting around the country lanes for a weekend bit of fun. The car is quicker than the usual boy racer choices like escort cosworth and handles better. It's quicker than a subaru impreza because I've driven one and because it's 2 wheel drive it's more fun to drive on the corners as you get to flick the back end out more easily. You can't really tell the look of a turbo model from the normal, much slower, UK MR2. Things to look out for are the air vents above the engine (a turbo model has raised vents while the non-turbo has flat vents) and also the turbo says "turbo 16 valve" on a detail strip on the side of the bumper. Finally, the turbo has by default much wider twin exhausts than the standard MR2. In my opinion, the turbo
engine transforms the MR2 into the sports car that it should be. In fact, the MR2 turbo is the fastest 4 cylinder sports car in the world. I've been in a normal (UK) MR2 and been a bit disapointed with it. If you're in that category, try an imported MR2 turbo instead. Downside is the parts and servicing (surprise), fuel economy and insurance. Servicing is not that hard though and toyota dealers have given me no problems. The parts have usually been in stock or available in a few days, so I wouldn't be put off an import just by that.
Supercar on a Shoestring II
Four years ago my love affair with the Toyota MR2 GTS began. The honeymoon is over.
So was it a marriage made in heaven, or did the shoestring snap!
You could now scroll down to the end of this missive for a partial answer to that question, or come with me through the history of ups and downs of our relationship.
First, lets look at the Supercar scenario.
The car is 14 years old and has covered 62,000 miles. Has it stood the test of time as technology marches on?
Well, the Toyota designers did an excellent job. There are still only a double handful of cars in the world that can match the performance of an MR2 Turbo.
A scan of What Car will show you the competition.
TVR make some, as do the Fiat Group (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Masarati etc) the Ford Group (Aston Martin, Jaguar etc) the VW Group (Bentley, Audi etc) BMW, Porsche, Mercedes and others of (Jeremy) Clarksons Chancers like Noble and Eggsnog or whatever theyre called.
Some of their products could keep up with 0 to 60 in under six seconds
But how much do those products cost?
Consider this scenario. Its a sunny evening and youve driven down to the coast with the roof off, enjoying the music, playing from the stereo and the exhaust pipes.
The local hostelry beckons.
Will you dare to bail out of your beautiful beast and abandon it in the local car park with never a thought for the potential depredations of the local pond life?
Mr.2 cost £6,500 and, on a good day, is now worth maybe £2,500.
So I will!
And there hangs the Shoestring part of the definition.
My costs so far include the paint, which started to peel on the front hood (the bonnet to us Brits) after a pre-ownership respray started to go wrong. So I delivered Mr. 2 to the local cosmetic surgeon who resprayed the area and dealt with a small dent in a lower panel for £360.
That, apart from the annual insurance cost, has been the largest single item of expense to date.
Next was rubber costs; a miscalculation on my behalf. In my earlier report I was wrong about the longevity of the rear tyres. The Michelin ZX 225/55R15s lasted only 16,400 miles. Perhaps Im too enthusiastic with the throttle and tempted by the cornering abilities of the car.
New back tyres have been fitted at a cost of £225.60.
Front tyres were fitted at 48,480 miles, cost £162.15 (theyre cheaper and smaller at 195/55R15) and seem to be lasting well.
We also needed new front brake pads and new brake caliper seals at a cost of around £170.
The car appeared to have a tendency to use coolant. I say appeared deliberately.
There were no obvious leaks and a new radiator cap (£17.51) last year did not solve the problem. Two litres (over three years) of top-up Toyota antifreeze has cost around £8.25. Then, when I at last asked the right questions, I was told by a friendly Toyota mechanic (and there seem to be a lot of those. Perhaps it goes with job satisfaction?) that you cant check the coolant level properly by looking inside the filler cap. You must dip the long rubber hose that leads down into the expansion tank. So there! No 'leak' of coolant since.
A small and annoying oil leak, so slight that there has been no need to top up the level between services (6,000 miles) (ever!) is still there, despite a replaced cam cover gasket which seemed to be the source of the problem. So Mr. 2 gets parked over some paper (when I remember) or he leaves his mark on the barn floor. Rather like our cat!
A front wheel bearing was needed at 57,000 miles and two front ball joints at 61,000. At 62,000 new seals where required for the clutch slave cylinder.
Servicing costs over three years, including MoT testing and those noted, have amounted to £1,800.
Insurance still makes me quiver. £465 last year; £411, this year and £1,859 total over four years.
We live deeeeeeeep in the country and have clean licenses, so check your quotation before you buy!
Norwich Union Direct did the job for us.
The overall condition of the car is still very good. Like all teenagers, there are some signs of acne; on the rear spoiler (glass fibre) there is a hint of osmosis, but there is no sign of any rust. The stainless steel exhaust continues to bark joyfully and sail through the emissions test of the MoT.
So did the shoestring snap?
I suppose, like most things in life its the Curates Egg Syndrome; good in parts!
For me, the definition stands. I think Mr. 2 has been excellent value for money.
Regretfully, she who must be obeyed feels otherwise.
She no longer wants my Supercar, whether or not its on a Shoestring.
So a divorce looms. But will it be the car that has to go?
Watch this space!!
And on that note I shall end, for now.