2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lively and precise handling dynamics, scores high on the fun scale, available SMT transmission, affordable compared to other European-brand roadsters.
  • Severe lack of storage space, bland interior design, not many safety features available.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$4,334 - $9,546

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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.

2003 Highlights

For 2003, Toyota gives the MR2 Spyder a bolder look in front with a new bumper and fascia, dual-bulb projector-style headlights and integrated standard foglamps. The side air intakes are revised and now color-keyed. In rear, the MR2 is distinguished by new combination lamps with cylindrical turn signals and reverse lights that mimic the dual-bulb look of the headlights. Further, the rear grille garnishes combines body-color vertical ribs and mesh to emphasize the midengine design. A larger oval chrome tailpipe puts the emphasis on performance capability, and a new power antenna contributes to the roadster's clean lines. Inside, instrument panel graphics have been revised, and there are new chrome trim accents. Additionally, the leather seating packages -- black or tan -- now include matching color convertible tops. Mechanically, an all-new six-speed sequential manual transmission (SMT) is optional, replacing last year's five-speed SMT. Toyota has also upped the rear wheels to 16 inches in diameter.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Incredible little car
ajb240,04/04/2014
I have owned this car only for a short period but it is fantastic. I have owned and driven many cars in my time but this has quckly stolen my heart. I love this little car. It drive like every boys childhood dream of owning a Hotwheels, only this is the adult version. This car is not practicle as you might be able to carry a gallon of milk. It is not a smoth riding car and it can be noisy with the top up. It has one job and that is to put a smile on your face, and that it does everytime you drive it. My 1st day getting it on the hwy I took a cloverleaf at speeds that would have put another car in the ditch and I didnt even know it. But I had the biggest S(&T eating grin on my face.
Totally Fun top-down fair-weather driver
E. F.,06/19/2016
2dr Convertible (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
I've owned 2 Porsche Boxster S sports cars, and this little MR2 handles similar in the mountain curves. The 4 cylinder in the MR2 obviously does not have the power of the Porsche's 6 cylinder engines, but the handling is amazingly similar for a lower priced 2-seater sports car. I'd not hesitate to purchase another MR2! I wish Toyota would bring them back onto market as they quit production of this little gem in 2005. I'd love to have a turbo or super-charged version of this 2-seater convertible! This little guy gets to sit garaged and stay warm (on a smart-charger) during the bad winter weather.
A kickass pocket rocket
jim007,12/23/2003
The whole point of designing this car with a "limited" engine was to minimize insurance costs and to avoid the luxury tax. This car was designed for aftermarket modifications.....how wonderfully devious from Toyota. For an additional $6000 - $8000 you can install a Power Enterprises turbo kit, suspension kit, add racing rods, racing clutch, and 17" wheels. You will now have a Spyder that will out handle almost any stock sports car for less than a total price of $35000. And no exhorbinant insurance costs! No storage space, but why complain about things that are diametrically opposed to the design objective?
Finally, some fun on the streets
Mike,06/18/2009
The MR2 will never appeal to soccer moms, farmers, or anyone who prioritizes "practicality" over fun; however, if you want a reliable, economical, relatively rare, good-looking, and super fun way of getting from point "A" to "B" the MR2 can not be beat.

Features & Specs

MPG
23 city / 29 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
138 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed automated manual
Gas
138 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all Used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder features & specs
More about the 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder Overview

The Used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder is offered in the following submodels: MR2 Spyder Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible (1.8L 4cyl 5M), and 2dr Convertible (1.8L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder?

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Which used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyders are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota MR2 Spyder for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $10,192.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 5 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,000.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota MR2 Spyder for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $16,979.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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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