It's funny how people say "Poor man's Boxster". How many poor people have nearly 20 grand to spend on a car that can carry 2 people and has no boot?
Wouldn't it be better to spin it around and describe the Boxster as the "Rich Idiots MR2"? :)
That aside, beware of duff paint on MR2's and most recent Toyotas.
Especially blue for some reason.
Have had long test drive - felt the steering is way too light and lacks feedback. I tried out an almost new car and noticed some scuttle shake which may become significant as the car ages. The car didn't seem to be very well built compared to Mazda and Honda offerings.
"The poor mans Boxster" that's funny considering the Boxster coined the phrase "Poor mans Porsche"
My MR2 Roadster is now 18 months old and I have started having steering problems. The problem I am having which I would like other users to try is to put full lock on and reverse slowly, what happens is my car jumps about 6 inches. Is this a fault or as Toyota tell me that it is a characteristic of the vehicle.
I bought my MR2 in May 2002 from Arriva Toyota Bristol who were very helpful and extremely competitive (matched the best importer's quote).
The car is superb, with good performance, predictable and excellent handling, absolute reliability and good comfort. The roof is exceptionally easy to take down and put up (I can put it up without leaving the driver's seat; taking it down is about 10 seconds work). Stowage space is obviously limited, but it's still very good for a two-seater.
I would thoroughly recommend this car to anyone. Re Boxster, yes it is a poor man's Boxster, no question. The Boxster S is simply the best two-seater sports car on the market (£100,000 supercars excepted). If you can stretch to a Boxster then get one (I would!). If not then the MR2 will give you 90% of the experience for half the price. Buy it with air con & leather and enjoy.
I live in West London with my MR2 parked proudly on the street outside. Next to it is my next door neighbours silver Porsche Boxster, and just down the road is another neighbours silver boxster. A couple of cars down, a silver boxster, and just round the corner, a couple more.
Just after leaving Sainsburys the other day, I considered how dreadful it would be to own one since it would be near impossible to find it amongst all those identical silver Boxsters all over the car park.
Responding to the comment in Jan about the juddering when reversing slowly with full lock.
I also get the same problem with my MR2.. It is 8 months old and I returne it to the dealer to check it out. They told me that they have had quite a few back with the same problem and Toyota are aware of it, but there was nothing they could do. They were awaiting instruction from Toyota as to what exactly the problem was and whether there would be a recall on any parts...
If anyone knows any more about this please post and let me know as it is getting a bit annoying now!
Other than that, the car is a dream!
Responding to the juddering problem; my MK 3 judders both forward and backwards. I recently took it to the dealers for a service, who told me this problem is a characteristic of the car. They also informed me that my tyres are down to the legal 1.6mm limit (20k miles) on all four tyres, the front ones were worn down to 4mm on one side and 1.6mm on the other. They also said this is a normal characteristic!
In future I will rotate the front tyres (not wheels) across after 10k.
Bought mine last week - still taking it easy, but its willing and wants to go! Looked at MX-5 and MG TF and could have saved money on both - but the MR is definitely a nicer package. I got a hardtop too... hoping I can justify the cost for all year running. It looks the biz, roof on or off. Need to get a roof bag to store roof safely.
Re the steering problems mentioned above.
My 2000 MR2 has just been back to the dealership for modifications to the steering. I too had a knock in the wheel arch on full lock and a judder.
Both these problems have now been resolved. The work was completed under warranty and the dealership was fully aware of the problems.
Have also had the brake disc's replaced under warranty, as they were warped.
Apart from that I love the car, never mind the storage space.
Boxster VS MR Roadtser???
I just sold my MR Roadster to buy a...Boxster!
I would say that each of them has advantages and drawbacks.
For instance, the MR is 275 Kg lighter than the Boxtser. I swear you can feel it in the car response in bends! I would say the MR is more "incisive" in curves than the Boxster. I can't wait to get back to Spa-Francorchamps race track where I tried my MR roadster once! A wonderful experience! I wonder how I will feel behind the Boxster's wheel...
The MR quality (build, paint,...) is very far behind the Boxster's. I had the engine, the soft top and the front disk brakes replaced on my MR (under warranty, hopefully!). After that kind of experience, you start wondering about whether Toyota's reputation for quality is a fact or a dream. I have read similar problems throughout my web surfing sessions.
The paint on the MR is awful! my front hood looks like the moon's surface because of the stones impacts!
How about the rims, which were corroded after 2 years (I bought the MR new), although I well maintained the car.
I know the Boxster is much more expensive. But I thought about many different things:
- It's a Porsche (resell value,...)
- The noise (music, I should say) of the flat six behind the seats is much, much more exciting than the 4 in line of the MR.
- The Boxster has got decent boot space
- The MR lacks torque and a bit of power to have real fun!
I saw a report saying that the MR outperforms the Boxster during the 40 to 70 Mph acceleration. This seems hard to believe having driven both (personal feeling, I haven't measured it!). But given the weight of the MR compared to the Boxster, hmmmmm... This could be possible.
Anyways, if you talk about driving experience, I would say that The MR beats the Porsche with respect to the handling, but the Porsche is much better in terms of torque, power and...noise. To me, it's simple, if you have got the money for the Boxster, try both of them and choose the one that YOU prefer. If you don't have the money for a Boxster, go for the MR: it's a great sport car. But I would NEVER say that the MR is a poor man's Boxster like I wouldn't say the the Boxster is the poor man's Porsche. They are all different and I know 911 owners who own a Boxster as well and said "the Boxster is a great Porsche".
Manu DELMARCHE, Belgium.
P.S. in french speaking countries (Belgium, France, Switzerland), the MR2 is called MR. This is due to the fact that if you say "MR2" in french, it sounds like identical to the french for "is crappy"...
RE: Front end "jumping" while backing up.
This is a VERY NORMAL result of the front end geometry. Look up "Ackerman Angle" for more details. It's quite common in high-performance vehicles.
That "Ackerman Angle" concept makes sense to me. It's kind of like, the inside tire (during a turn, while moving forward) should be angle a little more than the outside tire. So, if, when backing up you turn the wheel all the way to one side, the angle differences between the left and right front wheel become pronounced, and therefore, act like a wedge, and so, I could see how one of them would eventually have to unwedge itself a little, especially under power. Does that make any sense? : ()