The 2004 Toyota MR2, a lightweight mid-size sedan, is our BaT pick

• Not the usual choice for an affordable sports car, the Toyota MR2 Spyder answers the question, “What if Toyota built a Boxster?”

• This example has low miles and a nice package appearance.

• The sale runs until April 17. bring a trailer badge
Car and driver

Cheap sports cars are rare in the field these days, but in the mid-2000s, life was good. Then again, if you’re shopping for an affordable sedan, you might want to skip the Mazda dealership and get into Toyota, where the Miata isn’t always the answer.

Up for sale this week at Weta Trailer – which, like the car and driver, is part of Hearst Autos – is a low-profile, reliable, and functional Toyota MR2 Spyder. well with a Porsche Boxster or a Lotus Elise.

When new, you could buy a pair of MR2 Spyders for the price of a Porsche Boxster and wear them like shoes. In the center, light on its feet and even shorter than the second generation Mazda MX-5, the MR2 is lively, fun and friendly.

You can, of course, pick up a bag of used Boxsters at low prices these days, but the complexity of the water cooled Porsche and the price of parts can still unexpectedly mug you for a month’s payment.

This is not true for simple Toyota. MR2 engineering took the third-generation sports car back to its budget roots in a compact package and with the efficient, durable 1.8-liter engine shared by the Celica GT.

The original plan for the first generation MR2 was interesting for everyone, it resulted in an equal cross between a cheese group and a Star Wars A-Wing Interceptor. The second generation followed the speed and complexity of the turbocharger, and it was a bit smoother to drive. The third generation car is back in a lighter mode, with 138 horsepower against 2,200 pounds.

It’s not quite the power-heavy reach of the Lotus Elise, but the MR2 will start every Sunday as faithful as a Corolla, which unfortunately is not the case for the company and the fans often joke about : “A lot problems, generally bad.


This example is from the same production year and is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox (SMG is also available). It only has 18,000 miles on the clock and is in excellent condition. Best of all, it’s one of the few Red Collection editions that, please wait for the clap, has more red. Specifically, it comes with red seats and a red convertible top, which seems like a minor upgrade but subtly makes the car look gray.

The advantages of the new generation of MR2 are few. It’s tuned to be more civilized than raw, so there’s a more intense driving experience there. And the storage capacity is funny.

If you’re taking a friend for a drive, there’s only enough room for a sandwich, and you have to split it. Compared to a Mazda MX-5 of the same age and condition, this MR2 can fetch a higher price simply because it is rare and new. Meanwhile, we can all dream of the kind of sedan Toyota could build today using the GR Corolla’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine…