1987 Toyota MR2 NA 1.6 DOHC from North America
Superior Bang for the Buck!
The 02 Sensor went out. Easy to replace - took about 20 minutes.
The suspension was pretty worn out so I replaced it with bushings, struts, tie rods and springs. It rides beautifully.
Stock clutch finally went at around 115,000 miles - replaced it with a Stage 2 clutch capable of 300 RWHP.
Having owned a 91 CRX Si in the past, which was truly a fun car to drive, and quick, I must say that the Toyota MR2 beats it in every way.
Not only is the car slightly faster, but it handles likes it on rails. Thanks to the fact that it's RWD, it easily out handles 99% of the FWD cars on the market. I used to Auto-X my CRX, and I can honestly say that consistently turn out better lap times in my MR2.
This car is absolutely amazing to drive - it really puts the fun back into the road. It's got an almost neutral weight distribution, redlines at about 8,000 RPMs and runs a 16.0 on the 1/4 mile. I think the stock 1/4 mile times are slower, but I made my own intake and got exhaust. However, the main attraction to this car is it's sheer handling capabilities. You have to drive like an idiot to have this car get away from you. It is perhaps one of the funnest cars to drive. If you have never driven one, you simply can't understand it.
To go along with the performance, the car is super reliable. I've heard of these things lasting on average 200,000 miles and some up to 400,000 miles! My MR2 has about 122,000 on it right now, and it runs like it's right off of the line.
As far as performance options go - there are loads available. Mainly in the suspension department. There are some engine modifications available, but mostly for the true sports enthusiast, such as cams, pistons and motor mounts. There isn't a lot of aftermarket "Honda" type support like I saw on my CRX - such as paying $300 for intake that offers 5 HP, or loads of ugly bodykits and wings. To really give the car a kick you can get it supercharged for around $1,000, or drop a 20 Valve DOHC In-line 4 called a "Blacktop" which boosts it to 170 HP.
My only complaint about the car is the lack of space - BUT THIS CAR ISN'T FOR ECONOMISTS. This car is for sports enthusiasts who enjoy driving as fast as they can. It can also get a bit noisy inside the cabin on the highway.
Other than that - this is really one of the best cars EVER made. And all for a price that anyone can afford.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th April, 2003
I had an MR2 from new in 1987. It was a fun little car, but I had quite a few problems with it. Nothing really major, but things like the engine light came on at about 25000 miles and stayed on. Took it to my dealer and after a 1000.00 dollar bill, they were still unable to determine the cause.
I drove the car for the next 5 years with the engine light on. It must have been a faulty sensor because the motor seemed fine. It made it difficult to sell when the time came.
The trunk never worked from new, had it repaired 3 or 4 times, but it would always break down again within a few weeks, I finally gave up on it.
Lots of other similar issues kind of turned me off of Toyota, and I have not owned one since.