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.
List Price Estimate
$4,334 - $9,546
Used MR2 Spyder for SaleSee all for sale
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
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.
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?
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
See all Used 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder features & specs
23 city / 29 hwy
138 hp @ 6400 rpm
22 city / 30 hwy
6-speed automated manual
138 hp @ 6400 rpm