1986 Toyota MR2 4A-GE 1.6 cc from North America
Fantastic driver's car if you can find a good one
Well, after 241,000 miles (and having the car 18 years) head gasket blew at 110,000.
1st engine got full of carbon and rings scored the pistons. I was told some of the 4A-GEs did this and nobody knew exact reason although 4 valves in a tiny combustion chamber probably has something to do with it.
I have had this car for 18 years and never tire of driving it. It weighs about 2250 lbs so even with a 112 hp engine it goes (0-60 in 8 seconds). I think given the current market one could call it a "poor man's Lotus Elise".
Steering response is instant and it corners flat.
Seems a bit to me like a 7/8ths scale version of a Lotus Esprit, although you want to find one with the rear spoiler - improves the back end looks tremendously.
Engine loves to rev - 7200 red line - get 30 mpg in town and 35 on the road.
The one complaint I've had is that the driver's side foot well narrows a bit giving one a bit of a claustrophobic feeling on long (600 mile day) trips. But I rarely take it on such long trips. It is a perfect urban car for zipping in traffic.
This month's issue (4-07) of Automobile Magazine mentioned this car along with the Acura NSX and early Porsche Boxster as one of the best "affordable mid engined cars" - I have to agree. Of these 3, "Mr. 2" is by far the most affordable - although finding decent examples is getting difficult.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 15th March, 2007
The fact that it has 4 valves per cylinder has nothing to do with it being unreliable, 16 valve 1.6 liter engines have been around for ages and the 4age is one of the best. This example must have been run out of oil or something at some point in its life. If you think 4 valves per cylinder is cramped, you should see the 20 valve version Toyota did around 1997. I have one with about 120k miles on it in my Corolla and it runs great!