10 Best & Worst Toyota MR2 Years [Complete Data]

Source: cargurus, PCarMarket, Mecum

Without a doubt, the legacy the Toyota MR2 left behind is the reason it is currently becoming less common. However, across its entire production run, this sports car was a joy to drive because of how beautifully it controlled the road.

Numerous Toyota MR2 variants have been manufactured for more than 30 years. Having said that, not every year is the same. This article will examine the Toyota MR2 from the best and worst years, revealing the most reliable years and avoiding the ones that aren’t so great.

The worst years to avoid the Toyota MR2 are 1992, 1993, 2003, and 2004. The best years to buy the Toyota MR2 are 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmunds, J.D. Power, Repairpal, and Kelley Blue Book.

Worst Toyota MR2 Years to Avoid

These are the Toyota MR2 years that should be avoided:

  • 1992 Toyota MR2
  • 1993 Toyota MR2
  • 2003 Toyota MR2
  • 2004 Toyota MR2

4. 1993 Toyota MR2 (3.82 Rating)

Source: Pinterest / bringatrailer

It is better to avoid the 1993 Toyota MR2. It shares several characteristics with the 1994–1995 vehicles, such as a mid-engine layout and great handling, but it also has some serious flaws.

Transmission issues, such as gear sliding and difficulties shifting, are common in the 1993 Toyota MR2. Also, sports car fans won’t be as interested in it because its horsepower is lower than that of the 1994–1995 models.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 2003 Toyota MR2 (3.19 Rating)

Source: classicpromenade

The 2003 Toyota MR2 faces recurrent issues reported by owners, including excessive oil consumption, timing chain/sprocket wear affecting VVTi, engine rattle at all speeds, and Check Engine Light problem.

Moreover, transmission slipping out of gear, and rough idle with backfiring engines are the other commonly reported issues. These problems highlight potential concerns for owners of the 2003 Toyota MR2.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 2002 Toyota MR2 (3.14 Rating)

Source: Wikipedia / OSX

Another year to stay away from is the 2002 Toyota MR2. One owner claims that the driver-side sliding door unlatches when opened, but stays closed otherwise. On top of that, it has transmission problems as well. There were a few owners who were unhappy with the vehicle’s excessive oil consumption and the cramped cargo area.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 1992 Toyota MR2 (3.09 Rating)

Source: Cars and Bids

1992 is definitely the worst year which should be avoided at all costs. This particular MR 2 model was the sole one that was impacted by a recall. Defective airbags were the cause of this recall.

Some vehicles from 1992 have problems with the exhaust manifold warping. Less power and throttle responsiveness can be the result of exhaust leaks caused by a twisted manifold. It is also noted that some people report that automatic transmissions cannot shift correctly when the mileage is high.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Best Toyota MR2 Years to Buy Used

Here are some of the Toyota MR2 years that are the most reliable:

  • 1994 Toyota MR2
  • 1995 Toyota MR2
  • 2000 Toyota MR2
  • 2001 Toyota MR2
  • 2004 Toyota MR2
  • 2005 Toyota MR2

6. 2000 Toyota MR2 (3.82 Rating)

Source: Mecum

2000 Toyota MR2 is one of the best MR2 cars. Everybody who owns this car has nothing but praise for it. The mid-engine design is well-balanced, and it scores well on the fun scale. Additionally, it is affordable. Running on regular unleaded fuel, it achieves an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 22 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, and a combined 24 MPG.

It is equipped with a 1.8L Inline-4 gas engine and a 5-speed manual transmission, offering a spirited driving experience with its rear-wheel-drive configuration. Generating 138 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 125 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, this sports car combines performance with efficiency.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

5. 2001 Toyota MR2 (3.85 Rating)

Source: PCarMarket

Driving a 2001 MR2 Spyder can be the most thrilling and enjoyable experience. It is reliable, captivating, and a timeless classic. The 2001 Toyota MR2 maintains its dynamic performance with a 1.8L Inline-4 gas engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Operating on regular unleaded fuel, this model delivers 138 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 125 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. The fuel efficiency remains consistent with an EPA-estimated 22 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, and a combined 24 MPG.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

4. 2005 Toyota MR2 (3.86 Rating)

Source: en.wikipedia.org

The sales of the MR2 had concluded in both the US and Australia with the 2005 model year. With its lively and accurate handling dynamics, high ratings on the fun metre, optional SMT gearbox, and inexpensive price in comparison to other European-brand roadsters, the 2005 Toyota MR2 is a great sport utility vehicle.

The 2005 Toyota MR2 has 138 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 125 torque at 4,400 rpm, and it gets 23/29 MPG according to the EPA. Moreover, Cars.com has given it a rating of 4.9 out of a possible 5.0, and one hundred percent of drivers recommend it.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 1994 Toyota MR2 (3.90 Rating)

Source: Cars & Bids

The 1994 Toyota MR2 is a great testament to MR2’s success. Toyota addressed handling concerns from earlier models, earning praise from Car and Driver for revisions made in 1993, including an improved suspension, larger wheels, and tires, mitigating the snap oversteer issue.

This model year marks the debut of the passenger airbag, made standard with ABS. There is a change to the taillights and an additional adjustment to the suspension. Both the base model and the turbo model come standard with CFC-free air conditioning, which was introduced standard on the turbo last year.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 1995 Toyota MR2 (3.92 Rating)

Source: which.co.uk

Since the 1995 model year was the final year for both Revision 2 and the MR2 in the United States, it is one of the better years to hunt for. Instead of using a supercharger, the Japanese automaker used a turbocharger in their 1995 MR2. This turbocharged motor could produce 200 horsepower.

The automaker that has created some of the world’s most bulletproof cars and engines also makes the MR2. However, the Toyota MR2 from 1995 will turn 30 years old in the near future. Consequently, it will inevitably experience issues and use up items that have reached the end of their useful lives.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 2004 Toyota MR2 (3.93 Rating)

Source: CarGurus

With an overall consumer rating of 4.8 and a reliability score of 4.9, owners of the 2004 Toyota MR2 consider it to be the most reliable MR2 vehicle. Some of the greatest things about the 2004 MR2 are the sequential gearbox and fantastic handling.

Amazing top-down driving fun, top-tier efficiency, performance, and looks are the other features. This production model is in pristine shape and is one of a rare Red Collection edition with brilliant red seats and a matching convertible top. It is equipped with the preferred five-speed manual gearbox.

Despite the MR2’s restricted storage capacity and its subtle shift away from visceral driving experiences towards a more civilised feel, the 2004 model is notable for its distinctive features.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Common Toyota MR2 Problems

Even though the Toyota MR2 is renowned for its reliability, there are a few typical issues to be mindful of. Among these issues are:

  • Engine oil leaks
  • Transmission issues
  • Fast Rusts
  • Problems with Suspension
  • Broken Hoses
  • Electrical issues
  • Oversteering
  • Overheating

Maintaining your Toyota MR2 on a regular basis and taking care of any faults as soon as they arise will help you avoid these concerns to some extent.


Is the Toyota MR2 a good car?

The Toyota MR2 is an excellent sports vehicle with a stellar reputation for reliability on Repairpal.com (4 out 5), stylish good looks, and excellent handling. It’s a great choice for those who love sports cars but are on a tighter budget.

How much does a Toyota MR2 typically cost?

Depending on the year and condition, the price range for a Toyota MR2 can vary. A well-kept 2005 Toyota MR2 can be yours for less than $10,000, but older vehicles from the ’90s can fetch upwards of $15,000.

How long will a Toyota MR2 last?

With routine maintenance, a Toyota MR2 can last for many years. Reportedly, some variants can withstand conditions for more than 200,000 miles (321688.8 km). There are instances where it can exceed 350,000 miles (563,270.4 km).

Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a Toyota MR2, the years 2000, 2001,2004, and 2005 are your best bet because of the reliability, sportiness, and handling of those years. Alternatively, the 1994–1995 models are excellent options if you prefer a more retro style. However, Avoid models from 1992, 1993, 2002, and 2003 at all costs because of issues with the engine and transmission.

Maintaining your Toyota MR2 and fixing any problems as soon as they arise is essential for a dependable driving experience regardless of the model you choose.

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