1989 Toyota MR2 Reviews - Page 5 of 6

1989 Toyota MR2 Base 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired13000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Bug

Summary:

The best 2 seater you can buy used for under $3000

Faults:

Only one thing went wrong with the car that took me about 1 month to figure out. I dropped a dime in the cigarette lighter socket and it shorted out my stereo.

General Comments:

This car has to be the most reliable car I've ever owned. I drove it for 4 years and never had a single problem with the car getting me anywhere. Over 20 trips from Seattle to San Fransisco without a single problem.

I sold the car with 90,000 miles to a friend in 1998. It's now November 2002 and he still drives it, with over 160,000 miles on the odometer and the engine has never been rebuilt. If he offered to sell it back to me I would buy it in a heart beat. If you can find one buy one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2002

1989 Toyota MR2 T-Bar 1.6 NA from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 NA Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired61000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Corsa

Summary:

Probably the only classic 80's sports car

Faults:

New exhaust (don't buy a cheap and nasty from KwikFit as was originally fitted to mine)

Two new batteries.

T-bar roof leaks (Once a year make sure a you clean and apply some silicone to the rubber seals)

Handbrake cable (the hand brake cable can freeze in place at low temperatures)

HT leads.

Needs new radiator (not yet completed)

General Comments:

This car was the one I always wanted as a kid. It has lived up to every expectation.

The handling and performance are superb. A decent set of rubber is essential if you are going to push the car to its limits.

I find the driving position extremely comfortable and supportive. My car has been to Italy and Switzerland in recent years and I never feel tired after the drive from the UK.

Luggage space is restrictive, but you will learn how to cope. There is a surprising amount of space in the bonnet and even behind the seats. On trips to France I have had 20 bottles of wine and a case of beer behind the seats!

Servicing is recommended every 6000 miles which can become costly if you use the car regularly. Don't use Toyota dealerships. Other running costs are good, 44mpg on long motorway runs, group 14 insurance and good reliability for a car of this age.

Tin worm (rust) is a big problem. If you are looking to buy check rear wheel arches and the top of the windscreen. My car has also rusted the radiator mounts right through (not sure how common this is?)

Buy a T bar model and you will also get leather seats as standard. The red cars seem to lose their colour and gloss.

My girlfriend owns a new Mini and the MR2 always turns more heads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st November, 2002

21st Jan 2005, 19:14

Just a small correction... leather seats do not come as standard on T-bar models, my brother's 89 T-bar has identical cloth seats to my 89 sunroof model.

18th Sep 2005, 02:48

Leathers DO come with some T-Bars. Mine did from the showroom :)

23rd Apr 2007, 12:16

It's pretty common for this car to have a leaky t-bar. I sealed mine permanently with silicon sealant. It works.

1989 Toyota MR2 SC 1.6L supercharged from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6L supercharged Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carOpel Calibra

Summary:

Fun per Dollar cannot be beaten

Faults:

When I brake or when I drive up a ramp or something similar, the steering wheel vibrates or shakes. It happens especially in the first few milliseconds of hitting the brake.

Since I still can return the car, I urgently need some feedback from other MR2 owners. Is this normal, or is something wrong here?

The T-glass roof seems to be not 100% waterproof. Again, can anybody comment?

The oil-bucket seems to have a minor leak. At least I hope it is just the bucket. Just a few drops per day, but still, a paper below is always required.

General Comments:

In general, if you are looking for a car to have fun with, this is it.

It corners very well. It does handle differently than cars with a front-engine or front-driven. This alone is fun. Suspension is a bit soft for a sports car, maybe some sportier replacement parts can improve handling.

Acceleration is good for a 1989 car. Nowadays of course, it is nothing special anymore.

Be aware of the limited space. Not the best choice if you are taller than 188cm/6'2.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2002

11th Sep 2002, 18:20

Did you purchase the SC (Super Charged) version or is it the normal version.

The leak in the roof can be stopped by using a little bit of Silly-Putty in the top 'gutters' to prevent water from leaking under and inside of the trim.

As for the steering problem... never encountered it.

With respect to the low rating for comfort, at least you're not sitting on the floor as with a Camero, Fiero, MG, etc. I think its one of the most 'form-fitting' factory driver seats I have ever encountered.

Thanks.

7th Oct 2002, 11:35

The steering wobble is caused by warped rotors. Get them trimmed if they measure more than.820" in thickness. I suggest not using mettalic brake pads since the rotors are fairly expensive and breaks are cheap.

T-tops that leak are usually caused by the sealing slot between the actual glass section mating up to the side window column. Apply a small amount of vasaline to this area only.Re-apply as needed - anything else will ruin your car. If there is a total gap then remove the door panel carefully and adjust the window stop brackets up a bit, this should allow the window to travel up further and aid in sealing.

30th Mar 2003, 04:52

The problem with the t tops in the 85-89 mr2 is that the seals are made of S1 foam rubber and after 10 or so years they shrink and tend to leak from the heat from the sun.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 18 reviews