2001 Toyota MR2 Roadster from UK and Ireland - Comments

21st Apr 2004, 05:47

Agree with the comment above - anyone who thinks an MR2 is a better handling car than the MX-5, or that the MX-5 is somehow dated dynamically is living in a dream world:

I quote What Car?: "More important, though, is that the MR2 fails to excite a driver like an MX-5 does. It's more expensive, too."

What would What Car know? OK, how about Autocar on the MX-5.

"Dynamically, everything from the gearbox to the steering is straight out of the top drawer: it's a Ferrari in miniature... Above all else it is the car's ability to involve the driver intimately in its every response that makes it a joy to drive. Few others, at any price, can offer so much. "

Or Auto Express:

"Its appeal has remained largely intact despite ever-growing competition, a result of Mazda keeping the formula simple, and providing a class leading driving experience. Add in a gearshift that's one of the best you're ever likely to experience, direct, communicative steering and tidy handling and its difficult not to be bowled over by the MX-5's abilities. Basic, functional and more practical than the majority of its intended competition, Mazda's current MX-5 remains the original modern roadster and also the best."

Dated...hairdresser car... get real.

17th Sep 2004, 05:30

Who cares if people call it a hairdresser's car? I own a mark 2 MR2 and I much prefer it's looks to the MX-5. Having not driven the MX-5 I can't compare how it drives. Handling-wise the MR2 is a split-personality for me, simply excellent in the dry, but rather wayward in the wet. Would like to test drive an MX-5 as it seems like a nice tight car to drive.

4th Jan 2005, 07:36

The MR2 and the MX-5 are quite different cars, they have one huge difference that affects handling greatly,- the engines are in different places. The MR2 is mid engined which everybody knows makes handling and cornering infinitely better than in a front engined car. Almost all thorough bred sport cars are mid engined for this reason. The MR2 really is much more fun to drive as its mid engined, and has very good breaks. In fact it takes 1 foot further to stop than a Porsche Boxster going from 60 mph to 0. Unfortunately the roadsters do have hairdressers reputations, however the MR2 with its history and mean looks is widely regarded as the least hairdresser like of the bunch. The top on the MR2 also has big advantages over the MX-5 and the MG TF in that it can be easily raised and lowered whilst in the car, it has no zips, poppers, velcro, it just folds back and clicks into place, and the release handle is positioned for easy reach. Another huge advantage is the fact that the MR2 has a glass rear window, with demisters which is rare in convertibles, this means not only is the car safer and more secure than the MX-5 / MG TF with there flimsy plastic screens, but you can actually see out of it on cold wet days. In short the MR2 is the best drivers car you'll get without buying a lotus Elise or a Boxster. The MR2 is 95% the fun of a Boxster and a third of the price.

13th Jun 2005, 09:10

The comment above betrays a staggering lack of knowledge.

"The MR2 is mid engined which everybody knows makes handling and cornering infinitely better than in a front engined car. Almost all thorough bred sport cars are mid engined for this reason."

Rubbish. A mid-engined layout makes it theoretically easier for designers to give a car a more even front to rear weight distribution. In addition to this, not having the engine up front allows for a lower "bonnet" and therefore gives the styling team more options. A 50/50 weight distribution is not the preserve of mid-engined cars however, and it can be achieved with a front engined car using careful design. The BMW 3-series manages it, as does the MX-5, Porsche 968 (the Club Sport model being widely regarded as one of the finest handling cars ever made), the Ferrari 550 Maranello, Caterham 7, original Lotus Elan - need I go on?. It is not "infinitely better". I doubt any keen driver on the planet who has driven any of the cars listed would rate anything else (mid-engined or otherwise) as infinitely better.

"The MR2 really is much more fun to drive as its mid engined, and has very good breaks. In fact it takes 1 foot further to stop than a Porsche Boxster going from 60 mph to 0. Unfortunately the roadsters do have hairdressers reputations, however the MR2 with its history and mean looks is widely regarded as the least hairdresser like of the bunch."

Is it? By whom? Again, your comment that it is better to drive because it is mid engined is nonsense, and can be disproved by looking through any handling competition in history where front engined, rear drivers are always well up there.

"The top on the MR2 also has big advantages over the MX-5 and the MG TF in that it can be easily raised and lowered whilst in the car, it has no zips, poppers, velcro, it just folds back and clicks into place, and the release handle is positioned for easy reach. Another huge advantage is the fact that the MR2 has a glass rear window, with demisters which is rare in convertibles, this means not only is the car safer and more secure than the MX-5 / MG TF with there flimsy plastic screens, but you can actually see out of it on cold wet days."

Again, nonsense. The MX-5 has had a glass rear screen since 1997, and the hood can be raised and lowered without a zip, popper or bit of velcro in sight. Perhaps you could also explain how, even if the MR2 did have these "advantages to itself (which it doesn't), it is safer or more secure? What good is a bit of glass in security terms when mounted in a mohair/canvas roof that can be opened with a Stanley knife in 10 seconds flat.

If you're going to make comments like this, at least do your research first. The MR2 is a great car, but to claim it is somehow superior for being mid-engined is misleading and in my opinion plain inaccurate.

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