Toyota MR2 Review & Ratings
- 7 May 2016
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Toyota MR2 is a 2-seat mid-engined rear-wheel drive sports car that is manufactured by Toyota starting in 1984 until July of 2007, which is when production of this vehicle came to a halt in Japan. There are three different generations of this vehicle, including the 1984-1989 ones that have angular body styles, as well as the 1990-1999 models which were styled in a similar way to that of Ferrari sports cars. The 2000-2007 model MR2s were similar to that of the Porsche Boxster with regards to their exterior overall appearance. This vehicle was designed to be small with an economical engine and a sporty style but with good handling.
The first generation of the MR2 was produced in 1984 with the “W10” model code. With the 1.5 liter 3A engine, however, this vehicle was known as the AW10. The 1.6 liter version of this vehicle was known as the AW11. The small and light overall design of the MR2 was very unexpected, as it was like nothing that Toyota had come out with in the past. Although the 2-seat MR2 was very far from being a practical family-oriented car, this automaker did come out with other models that could accommodate more passengers later on.
When the MR2 first came out onto the Japanese market in 1984, it was given the Car of the year Japan Award. This vehicle’s folded angular lines resemble that of an origami paper sculpture. There were a number of other vehicles that used this same basic design concept at the time, including the Lancia Beta Montecarlo as well as the Fiat X 1/9 and the Lancia Stratos in the 70s and 80s. The proportions of the MR2 were very close to the X1/9, though it was a bit longer in order to accommodate the 2.0 liter engine. The light body is definitely one of the more significant features of this vehicle and was a major selling point when it first came out.
The second generation of this vehicle came out in 1989, though they did not appear in North America until late 1990. This new version of the MR2 was larger than ever, weighing a total of 400 pounds of 180 kg more than the last version. The body styling of this vehicle was much rounder and more streamlined, bearing a striking resemblance to the Ferrari 348 as well as the Ferrari F355.
The third generation MR2 brought plenty of changes, and it came with three different names, depending on the country it was sold in. In Japan, this vehicle was known as the Toyota MR-S, in the U.S it was known as the Toyota MR2 Spyder, and in Europe it was known as the Toyota MR2 Roadster. There are many people who claimed that this vehicle’s design was based on that of the Porsche Boxster, which was launched in 1996, primarily because of its similar exterior appearance. These two cars did not, however, share much in common under the hood or even with the interior.
Feedback for the latest model of the MR2 was mixed, with some people who liked its new design and others who would have preferred that it followed the pattern set by its predecessors. The ZZW30 did have excellent handling, which is something that nobody could rightly dispute. This vehicle is widely regarded as having the best handling of any of these models and was praised on the BBC television show Fifth Gear for this particular quality. While some people complained that this vehicle did not offer enough power, with many people switching out the 1ZZ-FE for the 192 PS 2ZZ-GE, which is also found in the USDM Celica.