Used Toyota MR2 Roadster 2000 - 2007 review

Category: Sports car

Impractical but fine-handling two-seater

Toyota MR2 Roadster (00 - 07)
  • Toyota MR2 Roadster (00 - 07)
  • Toyota MR2 Roadster (00 - 07)
Used Toyota MR2 Roadster 2000 - 2007 review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota MR2 sports like?

The MR2 evolved from a coupe in the 1990s to a two-seat roadster for the new millennium to take on the Mazda MX-5. This generation sticks with the mid-engined, mini-supercar layout and, like the MX-5, has just the right amount of power to be great fun, but without scaring the pants off newcomers or costing a packet to run.

The 138bhp 1.8-litre engine is borrowed from the Celica coupe and whizzes away merrily through all five of its gears, with the slick gearshift just adding to the sense of fun. It's all topped off with excellent handling courtsey of the mid-engined layout, and the only thing to watch out for is that the MR2 can catch out the unwary in the wet.


Impractical but fine-handling two-seater

  • Open-air fun that won't cost the earth
  • simple hood
  • Limited storage space

As you'd only expect from a car that's been engineered so well, the hood is a masterpiece and folds easily with one hand from the driver's seat, snicking into a locked position when folded to stop it flapping about.

Inside, the cabin has a nice snug, sporty feel, and just enough equipment to be comfortable, although not every model has air-con.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota MR2 sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota MR2 sports?

For a great-looking open-top roadster, the MR2 is easy on the wallet, thanks to its use of an engine that's common to several other models. Toyota's franchised dealers' labour charges are generally higher than those for Mazda dealers', but the MR2 is unlikely to need anything other than routine service work, so this is not such a concern.

The MR2 delivers strong performance but also good economy and you can expect a combined consumption of 38.2mpg. It won't munch through tyres as quickly as many other cars with similar performance, either.

Insurance is also reasonable as the MR2 sits in group 13, which is the same as a Mazda MX-5 and less than a Mini Cooper S.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota MR2 sports should I buy?

There's only one MR2 model, so all you need to decide is which gearbox suits you. We'd go for the five-speed manual which has a clean, crisp action that works well with the rev-happy 138bhp 1.8-litre engine.

There's also the sequential manual transmission (SMT), which is Toyota's take on the Formula One-style manual gearbox without a clutch pedal. It works more smoothly and quickly than most contemporary systems, but we still reckon the standard manual is more fun.

Other choices are limited to air-con and leather seats (many later MR2s have both). Some cars were fitted with a removable hard top as new - it's useful in winter weather, although you need somewhere to store it when you want to enjoy open-top motoring.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota MR2 sports?