2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder Review

Pros & Cons

  • A well-balanced mid-engine design, scores high on the fun scale, affordability.
  • Homely design, lack of cargo space.
Other years
Toyota MR2 Spyder for Sale
List Price Estimate
$1,457 - $3,355

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though better suited as a weekend car than a daily driver, the MR2 Spyder is the perfect alternative for those suffering from Mazda Miata burnout.

Vehicle overview

Given the popularity of two-seat roadsters, it was only a matter of time before Toyota joined the fray. It resurrects an old timer of the performance line, the MR2 in a new incarnation, the Spyder. Although it has its work cut out for it with the plethora of new roadster competitors, its price is its selling point. The MR2 is one of three new vehicles (the others being the Echo and Celica GT) trotted out by Toyota to appeal to younger, first time buyers.

The Spyder rides on a low-slung platform with MacPherson struts at each corner. The rear-drive wheels are attached to a five-speed manual, and the newly developed electric hydraulic power steering should make it a blast ripping through canyon roads.

It shares an engine with the Celica GT, a 1.8-liter twin-cam 16-valve four cylinder engine which produces 138 horses at 6,400 rpm and 127 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. Weighing in at a dimunitive 2,200 pounds, it provides plenty of vroom from the get-go. Not to worry, however; a long wheelbase, wide track, and different sized rear and front tires will keep you firmly planted to the asphalt. With the mid-engine design and its speedy recovery ability, acrobatics on curvy roads equals some good times.

The kids will have fun with the body, which features steel panels bolted onto a high-rigidity unit-body, allowing for aftermarket customizations. Considering the no-frills, form-over-function design of the interior, this may be the outlet to express your inner artiste.

The MR2 Spyder comes in one grade level which pretty much includes any features you might want. It comes standard with air, ABS, power windows and doors and tilt steering wheel. Plus it boasts something its higher priced competitor, the Honda S2000, doesn't have, a glass rear window with defroster. However, the ragtop, though made by the same company that makes the S2000 and the Miata, is a bit more cumbersome. It is necessary to get out of the car before putting it up or down.

Some might find contention with the styling of the little machine, Danny DeVito-esque being one of the terms to describe the bulging headlights and rotund yet busy lines of the sheetmetal, especially next to the sleek and curvaceous Miata. But one sometimes feels more affection for the less comely child...

Ah, to be young, beautiful, and racing around town in a convertible. You may not be the first two, but you could have the last for a lot less money than you would expect.

2000 Highlights

Toyota revives the MR2 nameplate on a minimalist two-seat roadster, set to compete directly with the ever-popular Mazda Miata. Only 5,000 are being built and sold.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Been trying to find an issue.. Can't seem to find one..
2dr Convertible
I have been looking for faults.. I honestly cant find any. At 12 years old, the most that has been replaced is Tires, Plugs, A tie Rod End, and the drop links on both sides, and a few sets of bulbs.. That's about it.. Even the original speakers, and stock radio sounds good. The Top makes a little noise at 70+ which i think is just an adjustment. Other then that.. Honestly.. Just awesome!
Janie's baby
Janie's baby,03/31/2010
2dr Convertible
I bought my MR2 for my 50th birthday as I always said that I would have a sports car by the time I was 50. I love my spyder! My only fault is the storage space but never the less I have been amazed at how much I can load into my car when going to the grocery. Everyone still stops to stare at my car. I probably need to sell but have not been able to do so yet. I just hate to give it up! I drove this car to work and back for 8 years and it has been parked for two only driving it when I want to feel special. It has been a joy and delight to drive and own.
Mid Life Crisis Everyday Driver
2dr Convertible
The Spyder has always grabbed my attention due to the look of the giant, Euro-styled headlights and it's no-fluff, sports car focus. Sure, it's impractical, with no luggage space to speak of, challenging entry/exit gymnastics, and lots of noise at freeway speeds. What I like is having a car with the maintenance requirements of a Corolla with the handling of a Lotus. My favorite roads are two lane highways where the combination of the excellent 5-speed gearbox, tight steering, and powerful brakes make every outing a joy. While I am quite tall, I have plenty of headroom and legroom, and the seats are comfortable for a two hour drive to the wine country.
2000 MR-S
Mark Cookson,07/24/2005
2dr Convertible
These cars are excellent. The performance is great, the handling is even better, and you'll never get more looks from people with another car. One thing I do need to warn you about is the pre-catalytic converters for pre- 02's. They are known to go bad and will ruin the engine. The easiest remedy is to simply gut the pre-cats. Its most likely illegal to do but techincally wouldn't make the car fail emissions. It only takes away its LEV rating. I'd much rather lose that than my engine. Another route is to have an engine from 2002 up put in there as they don't seem to be affected. (disclaimer, I assume no liabilty if you gut the pre-cats. its easy to do but requires a bit of work.)


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder Overview

The Used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder is offered in the following submodels: MR2 Spyder Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible. The Used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder?

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Which used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyders are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota MR2 Spyder for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,940.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $21,808.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota MR2 Spyder for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $16,707.

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Should I lease or buy a 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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