PH BUYING GUIDE: TOYOTA MR2
Toyota's mid-engined roadster is ideal for those looking for something less hardcore than an Elise
Sticking with the mid-engined layout of previous MR2s, the third generation W30 model differed slightly by having its engine turned so the exhaust manifold was to the rear of the engine bay. It also did away with the rear luggage compartment, making this model more focused on driving fun than practicality. This more than anything was what split opinions on the MR2 as many were happy to enjoy the purity of the MR2's driving experience, while others deemed it too compromised.
Toyota didn't need to change the MR2 greatly during its production life, which came to an end in 2006. The most significant were the addition of a six-speed gearbox and alterations to the engine to prevent the problems experienced by many early owners with disintegrating pre-cats that ruin the engine. For this reason, the post-facelift cars from late 2002 onwards are generally considered the most desirable. Take heed - though an early MR2 for around £1,600 can look like a bargain it can also be on the verge of some expensive repairs. Expect to pay from £2,500 for a facelifted car and all the way to around £7,500 for a late model, low miles example.
"I found the car to be really great fun and one of the nicest handling cars I have owned, and I have owned a few. Mine was low mileage and in mint condition so I never experienced any problems: the engine, six-speed gearbox, handling and driving position were faultless. The roof was easy to raise and lower too."