Toyota started from scratch with the third generation MR2 which had many changes to the format. Firstly it was now a roadster, secondly it was a transversely mounted mid engine car and thirdly it had lost weight and sat much lower so stability and handling were second to non in its budget roadster category.
The all new MR2 roadster had a smaller engine than its predecessor but weighed in over 300 kg lighter and with nearly 30 bhp less still performed equally. This Japanese roadster handles better than a MX5 and a BMW Z3 with its power from behind which is where any true roadster should have it. The only down fall is its lack of practicality but this is a real drivers car so I suppose we can forgive that. The third generation Toyota MR2 is finally what it was always meant to be and that has never changed with exhilaration and fun at the top of the list.
With plenty of these roadsters on the market you should be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a Toyota MR2. Let’s take a look at what to look out for.
The third generation roadster shouldn’t have any issues with rust unless shoddy repair work has been done as a result of an accident so check the car thoroughly for any overspray or poorly aligned panels. Engines run well as long as they are serviced at regular intervals every 10,000 miles should be fine. Regular oil changes is a must these roadsters like good clean oil. Check out the hood for signs of wear and tear and open and close it looking for any signs of malfunction.
Make sure you bring a friend with you to help with checking for a backfire, blip the throttle while your friend puts his hand near the tail pipe. Wheels have a tendency to wear badly so make sure you check them thoroughly. The early Mk 3 roadsters have a problem with the pre cat shaking itself to bits due to oil getting through so post facelift models are a safer bet as this problem was rectified.
The founder of Toyota Motor Corporation actually spells his name T-O-Y-O-D-A. Kiichiro Toyoda, to be exact. The spelling of the company name was changed to Toyota because when it is written in Katakana (a Japanese script) it only takes 8 strokes to write, and 8 is a lucky number in East Asian culture.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“With the 2nd generation MR2 looking more like a Grand Tourer the Mk 3 Roadster reignited the Toyota flame, cutting back the weight to a spritely 996 Kg and starting from scratch with a brand new design. Compare it with the Mazda MX5 and there is little to choose between them if you’re looking for summer fun.”