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Toyota MR2 Roadster (2000-2006)

The Toyota MR2 MK3 was a break-away from what came before. The first and second generation Midship-Runabout 2-seater although available with T-bar roofs, were very much coupes, while the third generation followed a renewed interest in roadsters. Unusually it was smaller and lighter than the previous model, while the handling was much improved. Known as the MR-S in Japan and MR2 Spyder in the US, the MK3 took the idea of creating an uncompromising yet affordable driving machine from stock components and a mass produced chassis. As with the Mazda MX-5, the designers looked to classic British sports cars for influence but the end result was a rather different car. The 1.8-litre engine is positioned behind the driver but in front of the rear wheels to provide a perfectly balanced chassis that has go-kart-like handling. The minimal nature of the car means that the low power output is ample for fun twisty-backroad driving.

The MR2 Roadster sits within the marketplace as a budget alternative to a Lotus Elise and a more finely balanced, if a little less forgiving, chassis than the more practical Mazda MX-5.

The Mid-engined Toyota MR2 Roadster ended production with a final edition model. The TF300 is a special edition with imports to the UK limited to 300 cars. Each car was built to order and features the production number stitched into the headrests and a certificate of authenticity signed by the Chairman of Toyota GB. The TF300 also features a unique leather and Alcantara interior and stainless steel twin sports exhaust pipes.

The MR2 faced tough competition and although a fun car to drive it lacked any luggage space to speak of, but still sold in reasonable numbers. As a used buy, it offers good value and Toyota’s renowned reliability record.

Toyota MR2 Roadster Details

Production dates2000-2006
Length 3895 mm / 153 in
Width inc. mirrors 1695 mm / 67 in
Height 1240 mm / 49 in
Wheelbase 2450 mm / 96 in
Turning circle 5 m
Fuel tank capacity 48 litres / 12.7 US gal
Warranty 3 years or 60,000 miles
Service intervals 10,000 miles

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Toyota MR2 Roadster 1.8 VVT-i Specifications

Fuel type Unleaded Petrol
Engine type Straight 4
Engine capacity 1794 cc
Power 140@6400 bhp
Torque 125@4400 lb.ft
Torque 170@4400 nm
Transmission type 6-spd manual / 6-spd SMT
Kerb weight 1030 kg / 2271 lb
UK retail price from £18,015
UK insurance group 13/27

Toyota MR2 Roadster 1.8 VVT-i Performance

Max speed (manual) 131 mph / 211 kph
Max speed (auto) 131 mph / 211 kph
0-100kmph (manual) 8 seconds
0-100kmph (auto) 9.3 seconds

Toyota MR2 Roadster 1.8 VVT-i Economy and Emissions

EU combined MPG (manual) 38.2 mpg
EU combined MPG (auto) 38.2 mpg
CO2 emissions (manual) 178 g/km
CO2 emissions (auto) 178 g/km

Information last updated

One Owner Review

Do you drive a Toyota MR2 Roadster? Would you recommend it to others? Why not leave a comment to let us know what you think of the car. This Toyota has one owner review.

  1. tim major tim major says:

    The Mr2 Mk3 is a very precise driving instrument. Its poise, ride, and handling is truly addictive. I purchased my car, a 2002 model, for £2100. Never has so much fun been purchased for so little money!

    6 months latter I blew up the engine pulling 5000 revs in 3rd gear. It was a mighty explosion, you could see through the engine afterwards. The car was beyond commercial repair but so hooked was I that I paid out £3700 and put a 2005 fully refurbished motor in it with new clutch, cats, and starter motor (It got sheared off when the engine catastrophe occurred. The car has since had new shocks and a new hood (another £1000.)

    Tyre choice and pressures are very important on this car. I fitted new Falkens as they ride and grip well in all conditions. The Mk3 is very slide-able in the wet, which is enormous fun.

    I am a 60 something Managing Director with 3 other cars all less than 3 years old. The 13 year old Mr2 is my daily drive of choice. The car feels and drives similarly to a 1970’s Porsche 911. If you want to drive one of those today you’ll have to find circa £100k. No electronic control gizmo’s, the Mk3 is an ‘analogue’ car pure and simple. It is a gas to drive on rural roads and motorways do not embarrass it either.

    I have, for an outrageous outlay of £6000 a 2002 Mr2 Mk3 that is a minter. I will drive and drive it until either I or the car drops dead. Two thirds of a Boxster for one quarter of the money. Buy one!

    Oh and don’t try to go anywhere overnight. There’s no luggage space

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