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Toyota MR2 Review Australia | Features, Specification, Price

Toyota MR2 Review Australia

Who does not know about the Toyota 86? It is easily one of the most iconic cars to date, a stark reminder to people that Toyota is capable of producing some great sports machines. Even today, you will see many cars of that era roaming around the roads here, even though they have been somewhat diminished. However, you will still see some Toyota MR2s on the roads here, as well as some Toyota Celica.


In this article, let us take a look at the MR2 in detail. It is a mid-engine car with rear-wheel drive and two seats, hence the name. This is a car aimed at those people who would love to get their hands on a Ferrari but are short on money drastically. As a result, you can buy a Toyota MR2.


Most sports and racing cars have a similar layout with a mid-engine and rear-wheel drive. This makes it possible for a nicer balance and on-road traction. But that earns some drawbacks as well. Especially in the handling department. The same applies to the Toyota MR2. It is alright when cruising, but once you test it to the limits, the car starts to feel out of control.


But these issues were present in the first generation of the car, called the Toyota MR2 AW11. Things were considerably improved in the second generation, called the Toyota MR2 SW20. It included an improved suspension as well as better handling.


Drivers who are not trained or well versed in driving sports cars should avoid getting behind the wheel of the MR2. It is alright if you want to go for a cruise but driving it at higher speeds can be tricky for the uninitiated. The MR2 applies Toyota’s reliability, making it problem-free for years to come.


Labeled as a mid-engine, two-seater, rear-wheel sports car, the MR2 is manufactured by Toyota over three generations. The production started in 1984 and ended in 2007. The first generation was from 1984 to 1989. The second was from 1990 to 1999. While the third generation, called the Toyota MR2 Spyder, from 2000 to 2007.


The idea behind the MR2 was to introduce an economical, compact sports car with a straightforward and aerodynamic design. The car applies fully independent front and rear suspension. An inline-four engine and four-wheel disc brakes.


The concept for the MR2 was derived from an older Toyota car, which had a good fuel economy and would be fun to drive. The design work started in 1979 and the prototype was completed in 1981. Even though the original prototype was not particularly a sports car, it slowly evolved into one later. Further prototypes were designed and tested in the US and Japan. The Toyota MR2 spanned three generations, all three generations were compliant with the Japanese government regulations.


Engine and Specs:

The first generation of the Toyota MR2 engine was powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The second generation offered improved performance by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The last generation, The Toyota MR2 turbo Spyder was available as a convertible and combined a high tech 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine which is by far the best engine in the series.


For the coupes in the first two generations, the car applies five-speed manual transmission. The convertible uses a sequential setup which does not require the use of the clutch, but the driver still has to make the gear changes. The sequential gearbox uses five-forward ratios, and a sixth was added in 2002. 


Since the engine and the transmission is hard to get in the MR2, it becomes difficult to get the work done. Mechanics have to completely remove the transaxle and put it on a stand to get work done. Consequently, that makes the MR2 an expensive car to repair. Parts and accessories are reasonably priced. But there are some parts which are rare even by Toyota standards.


Standard and Safety Features:

Even if you get your hands on an MR2 of the first generation, you will find that everything still works. Even the electrics work fine. The car applies power windows, power mirrors, air-conditioning, and cruise control.


However, there are no safety features to speak of. Except for two airbags, there are no safety features in case of an accident. The four-wheel disc brakes work well to stop the car, but they are not equal to the anti-lock braking system from today’s time.


There is no assist in the steering, which makes it heavy while in the parking lot. But the overall experience is direct and superb.



Interior space is the thing that you would expect of a two-seater. The seats are comfortable enough and hold you in truly well. Everything is inside simple reach; however, it may not suit truly tall drivers. Outside visibility is also incredible.


A moderate methodology has been brought to the cockpit. With bored amalgam sports pedals and delicate metallic complete somewhere else. Home solaces stretch out to a six-plate in-run CD player with radio/tape and four speakers. The security gear incorporates twin airbags.


The MR2 does not provide the best luggage space. You can fit a little golf pack behind the front seats. The MR2 accompanies a motor immobilizer, alert with alarm mode, and distant focal locking.



The first generation for the MR2 is available from a mere $2000 to $4000. The second generation is available from anywhere between AUD 11,000 to AUD 17,000. The new Toyota MR2 was brought to the Australian market with an introductory price of $45,000. But you can get a used one from AUD 20,000.



Great engine and transmission

The fuel economy is great

Lightweight and good handling



✓ No safety features to speak of

✓ Spare parts can be rare

✓ Older models can have rust



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