"I remember the first time I saw this car in a Car and Driver article back in 1999. It wasn't yet available here in the states, but I knew I wanted one and put a solar yellow on hold at a local dealer and proceeded to wait until April 1st which was the official launch date. In the first summer of owning it, I put 16,000 miles on it. I am now up to 48,000. It was, and still is, such a blast to drive. A detailed explanation for my ratings follows:
Reliability: I'd like to have given this a 4.5, but instead rounded up. I did have an issue with fuel injectors in the spring of 2002. This might have had something to do with storing it all winter (I live near Chicago, and it's never seen salt on the roads.) Toyota covered this fix under warranty. I have also had an issue with the engine hood release cable and have had to remove the rear grill in order to unfasten the assembly on a few occassions. Thirdly, I just realized the other day that my passenger side window will not budge. I'm not sure if the switch went bad, or if it's a fuse. At any rate, it's not as cool when the top's down and the window is all the way up. Other than these 3 "minor" nuissances, the vehicle has been solid.
Quality: Bang for the Buck is the proper phrase for describing this car. This is simply an amazing car for the price. It was 23,500 brand new in 2000, and kbb has it listed at 11,500 7 years later.
Performance: This car is quick, but not fast. I've topped it out at 130 mph, and the acceleration is modest. I once read 0-60 in 6.6 in Motor Trend. However, it more than makes up for it in handling. Take this through a set of twisties and you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a go-kart on steroids.
Styling: With the unique styling of the MR2 spyder, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally love it's looks, and have had people ask if it's a porsche. The color of the vehicle does have a dramatic impact on the overall look. For instance, my solar yellow really pulls out the styling features whereas the black one seems to hide them.
Comfort: I've never sat in it and thought "Geez, this is uncomfortable." At the same time, I've been in luxury vehicles and know the difference. However, when considering the price, it is relatively comfortable and I personally like the "curb-level" view. You really sit low to the ground which helps with handling.
Overall Rating: I've had thoughts of selling it recently, but then I cleaned it up really well and it looked like new again. With only 5,000 being manufactured annually for the U.S. market between 2000-2005, Toyota put approximately 30,000 of them out on the road. I'd love to pull it out of the garage in near mint condition in 30 years when the number is dramatically lower. Bottomline, this is a wonderful and unique car... 5 stars."
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