I bought my Spyder with 8,666 miles on it in December 2007. I had first looked at a Spyder several years earlier. I almost couldn't believe my ears when the Carmax salesman told me it had no trunk; I had never heard of a car without a trunk. I passed on it at that time because I thought having a trunk was important. But I'm still single, so I figured what the heck, I have no one I need to please -- I'll buy what I want and put the groceries in the passenger seat. Obviously, the car is fun. It's also more economical than a Miata because it uses regular unleaded gas, and I average about 28.5 mpg in the summer, about 27 in the winter. This car is fine in the snow with snow tires.
I had a 2004 MR2 with the SMT that I totaled in 2013 and went shopping for another car. With everything else out there, I finally settled on a 2005 MR2 with the five-speed transmission, and had it shipped it from New Jersey to California. I bought the 2005 because I had never loved driving before I drove the MR2 Spyder! Every Saturday and Sunday, I get in the car and do 60-mile loops just do drive it. It's really that much fun. My husband and kids don't even question it anymore. And I've owned these for 10 years now! Driving it never gets old!
Purchased my green/tan Spyder in Texas when I worked at Texas Tech. Would of course have purchased the Phantom if available (black and red). Learned early on from a friend I could flip the top back without getting out and have it lock in most instances - no apparent damage. This made me want to put the top down whenever possible. Handle - goes where you point it. Great acceleration leaving cars behind at lights without many RPM. Criticized for storage but drove it to Maine with enough clothes packed in to work indefinitely. Really enjoyed running 80 much of the time. OE Bridgestones being replaced at 18k under a warranty that came with the car. Pondering adding sports muffler.
DO NOT buy an MR2 spyder with the SMT -- it will fail, and Toyota will not be able to fix it. Something about the electronics, which Toyota is now famous for over-engineering and then having it all go haywire, and Toyota's well-deserved reputation for never admitting to screw ups. If you buy ANY Toyota, be sure and get as long a warranty as possible -- these electronics are VERY expensive, and rarely stay fixed for long.
Purchased a new MR2 a few weeks ago when I heard they were going out of production. Have wanted one for several years and finally bit. I drove HW20 across northern WA last week and it was heaven. 6 hours of twisted mountain roads with the top down. Car has adequate power for what I want, and does it turn. It's just perfect: predictable when pushed in corners, rock solid cruising at 100mph, settled over uneven pavement, fun to drive to work, looks great with the adorable blonde beside me. This is a special type of sports car to me: mid-engine, rear drive, lightweight, modestly priced. I love X1-9s, 914s, 1st generation MR2s. It's sad no one's making one now.