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The Toyota MR2 is a classic sports car from the Japanese automaker, but it’s been discontinued for many years now. That said, it’s still a popular car, and Toyota will be reviving the car in the near future. As such, for folks looking at buying a Toyota MR2, here’s a look at some of the car’s most common issues.

A brief history of the Toyota MR2

The 1992 Toyota MR2 mid-engine sports car
1992 Toyota MR2 | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Toyota MR2 was designed in the 1980s and premiered in 1984, but its origins can be traced back to the 1970s. The idea behind the MR2 was to create an affordable sports car with a mid-engine layout, and those were relatively unpopular ideas at the time. European sports cars had mid-engine layouts at the time, but they rarely became popular. The MR2, on the other hand, did become popular.

The MR2 had three generations throughout its life, and they were called Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3. The MR2 was never the fastest car on the road, but its powerful engine, combined with its handling capabilities and affordable price tag, meant that the MR2 had a lot going for it.

Unfortunately, while many people bought an MR2, there weren’t enough customers for Toyota to keep it going. Toyota ultimately stopped building the MR2 after the 2007 model year. There are plans to revive the MR2, but it won’t be coming until 2024. Not much is known about the MR2 revival, but it will be a mid-engine sports car, just like the MR2. 

The most common MR2 problems you should know about

The Toyota MR2 has quite a few problems, according to RepairPal. The two most common issues that the Toyota sports car has seems to happen when the vehicle has a lot of mileage on its odometer. At high mileages, which were defined as over 125,000 miles, the MR2’s automatic transmission may not shift correctly.

The good news is that this transmission shifting issue can be fixed without necessarily replacing the entire transmission. Folks will need to replace the car’s shift solenoid or repair its throttle position sensor. Another problem that happens at over 100,000 miles is that the car’s ignition key won’t work as well. Once again, this issue can be fixed by simply replacing the ignition key.

Another common MR2 issue is that it can oversteer, and if it does, it can lead to dangerous results. This is a harder problem to solve, as it’ll require drivers to know how to prevent oversteering from happening. 

The Toyota MR2 is still a fun and capable car though

Those were some of the most common problems that drivers may experience with the Toyota MR2, but it’s still a pleasant and fun car to drive. Since Toyota discontinued the car so many years ago, customers currently only have the option of buying a used one. As such, many MR2s will be relatively affordable, and they’re still going to be as fun to drive as they were back in the day.

For example, the most powerful generation of this Toyota sports car was the Mk2, and that generation spanned the 10 years between 1989 and 1999. For this version of the vehicle, Toyota offered a turbocharged engine option with 200 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. This allowed it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Even if folks choose the standard engine option, they’ll still get a fast and fun car that’ll spice up a daily commute.


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