The MR2 is the sports car that most fans of Toyota have always loved to drive. Introduced in 1984, the MR2 was a cost-efficient and economical alternative to more expensive cars, such as the Ferrari and Porsche. For 23 years, the MR2 raced the streets and graced the driveways of Anytown, U.S.A. In 2007, fans waved goodbye to the Toyota MR2 for the final time as the car was discontinued.
Being a traditional sports car, the MR2 was created for only two purposes: to drive and to drive fast. It was designed from day one as a sports car; therefore, the two seats available were not practical for family trips across the country. It was given a light body, which allowed for superior handling and a 0-60 in six seconds acceleration rate. The design of the MR2 changed drastically over its 23-year history, with the most eye-catching style being introduced in the third, and final, generation.
From the first generation onward, the MR2 was created with style. The 1984 model was small and looked similar to an exotic Lancia Stratos. It featured a 1.5-liter I4 or a beefier 1.6-liter, I4 engine. The second generation redesign was sleeker, especially when equipped with one of the many body kits designed specifically for this model. The MR2 2.0 turbo I4 engine was capable of producing 200 horsepower and featured a 5-speed manual transmission. The third generation was available as a 2-door convertible and featured only a 1.8-liter, I4 engine with optional 5- or 6-speed manual transmissions.
The interior of the Toyota MR2 is quite small, especially for anyone over six-feet tall; however, the addition of the convertible roof opened up the interior, making it feel less cramped. Power windows, locks and mirrors were standard on every model, as were a 6-disc CD player, tilt steering wheel and cloth seating. The 15-inch alloy wheels, new front and rear fascia and fog lights made the third generation model a popular favorite among Toyota buyers.
In 2004, the Toyota MR2 was named Most Dependable Sporty Car by J.D. Power and Associates. In the same year, AAA named the MR2 its 2004 Dream Car after announcing it was a fun to drive machine". In 2005, it was named Best of Class by IntelliChoice and was featured on their Top Ten Lowest Fuel Cost in Class list. That same year, AutoWeek announced that the MR2 was a "bundle of fun".
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