My MR2 died unexpectedly so I had to pick something up really quick. Found this car on craigslist and jumped on it immediately as it was in good running condition for 1k bucks. It handles well and gives good feedback, though it has tiny wheels and tires on it. I'd say with some wheels from a b13 it would do wonders for the handling. The seats are actually really comfy and well padded, wasn't expecting that from a car this old. Gets pretty good mileage though I ended up with an automatic so it's not exactly as good as it could be as it's only a three speed. The car has been pretty reliable, though has a lot of little issues related to how old it is, I can't complain too much. The rear doors don't open anymore, the driver's side window doesn't roll down and the weather stripping is shot. Paint is surprisingly good, but the car definitely has some rust on it. The motor is strong and has an iron block so I expect it to last a long time but has idle issues, and it blew a head gasket at 150k (previous owner). Parts for it are nonexistent though they are cheap if you can find them. The differential is starting to whine and chatter, and the front axles need to be replaced. The transmission shifts just fine though, but OD is starting to slip on hard throttle inputs. Overall for a 1k dollar car that I bought just to get me around temporarily has exceeded my expectations really. I'd say with proper upkeep it should last me until about 200k miles but I don't expect the transmission to go much longer than that (I really hope it proves me wrong). Really wish that I would have ended up with the manual version of this car. If you're looking at getting one of these today as a beater, just be aware of how hard parts are to find and get a manual. These things are solid, they certainly don't make them like this anymore.
I carpool and cycle whenever I get a chance so the mileage is low (156000 km) in which 85000 km was originally on the vehicle when I purchased it in 1994. But now the car is getting old and the cost for repairs is starting to be almost as much as the vehicle is worth. With two tires needing to be replaced,lower ball joints worn and the gas gauge not working, it is time to upgrade. Plus my children are getting bigger which means a larger vehicle.
Very low repair cost per year. Sometimes going two years with no cost but for oil changes.
I've actually owned 2 of these cars
(the first being a 2 dr XE). The
first car's timing chain guide wore
out at about 220,000 miles. I scraped
it out for little parts, and use them
to replace the occasional need for the
one I'm driving now. It has a
remanufactured engine in it, so
there's no telling how far this one
will last. It's a good compact car.
Starts easily in any temerature (even
a freezing 20 or 30 below).
Maintenence is a sinch.
It doesn't hurt to put in a nice CD
player, but my car (in it's lifetime)
has been broken into about 3
times...by force. So, in that
case...get a car alarm.