Toyota MR2

Toyota MR2

Toyota MR2

toyota mr2

The Toyota MR2 is a stylish two seater sports car which has been a huge success in the UK since it was launched in the mid eighties. The first-generation mid-engined MR2 two-seater sports coupe is now regarded as a classic but there are plenty of fans for the later MKII and III versions.

This great little car, which is known by some as Mister Two, creates lots of debate among fans about which version is the best.

The Three Versions

Mark I - 1985

Aspirated version from 1985-1989 plus supercharged version between 1986-1989.[B] Toyota originally revealed MR2 meant Mid Engined, Runabout, 2 seater but later said it was Mid engine, Rear drive, 2 seater.

The first-generation MR2 was made during a period of close cooperation between Toyota and Lotus and there are rumours the MR2 was designed in-house at Toyota by Lotus suspension engineer Roger Becker.

Another widely believed rumour is the MR2 was an abandoned Lotus design. It makes sense when you compare the two.[B] The MkI was either 112hp or 145hp and had a low angular look all of its own.

Mark II - 1990

With increased power updated aspirated and turbocharged versions were on offer.[B] The Mark II, for many, is the most beautiful of the bunch having been compared to both Pontiacs and Ferraris.[B] There are two body styles: coupe or the T-bar, with two removable glass roof panels that offer open-top experience - 135 and 200 hp.

Times Online said of the MR2 MKII:

The second-generation MR2 had no real competitors, its mid-engine layout and gutsy 2 litre power plant conferring handling and performance that were the stuff of dreams for the rival Mazda MX-5 roadster.

Mark III - 2000

This is the first MR2 convertible model known as the MR2 Spyder.

Yahoo Cars, said of the Toyota MR2 Roadster:

There are more affordable small roadsters on the market, but in terms of looks they lag behind this Toyota. Furthermore, nestled underneath those perfect proportions is a 1.8-litre VVT-i engine which comprehensively outclasses the competition.

Parkers Guide described the MK III as a great little sports car in the classic mould.


It was back-to-basics for the third generation Midship-Runabout two-seater (MR-2). Its loads of fun, with a lightweight body, free-revving responsive engines and a low-slung driving position. Its a proper little sportscar, but this is strictly a plaything - theres very little luggage space. With the hood up theres plenty of wind noise, so keep it down unless its raining hard as the heaters great and buffeting is minimal even at motorway speeds.

Review Centre Reviews

Toyota MR2.

Review Centre reviewers are clearly in love with these cars due to their reliability, style and performance. The emphasis is with fun with the MR2 rather than practicality.

If you want a fun, fast, and great mid engine handling sports car then you should defiantly check out one of these Japanese pocket rockets.

The Toyota MR2 is an amazing car. Its my first sports car and I just fit right into it. You can just feel the power behind you when youre driving her.

I own a standard 91 turbo and recommend it to everyone.

Vital Statistics 2000 Toyota MR2

  • Engine - Four cylinders, 1988cc
  • Power - 168bhp
  • Fuel - 31 mpg (combined)
  • Gears - Five speed manual
  • Max Speed - 137mph
  • Acceleration - 0-60mph, 7.7s

Second hand market

There are plenty of well maintained second hand models available. There are also many imports around but it may be advisable to find a standard British car in order to clarify its service history more easily.