Limited to just 5000 models, the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder provides entry-level sports car buyers with a unique blend of exclusivity and performance. While the Spyder has existed in some iteration or another for decades, the 2000 model takes a fresh spin on the classic two-seat roadster.
Designed to compete with the beloved Mazda Miata, the rear-drive Spyder offers a curvaceous design, compact body, and punchy engine at a surprisingly affordable price. In exchange for the lower price tag, Spyder buyers forgo the ability to add luxuries and customizations. The 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder comes in just one trim level, a two-door convertible powered by a 1.8-liter inline-four. While the engine might not sound like much, it produces more than enough power to push the 2200-pound car to impressive speeds.
While the Spyder may not offer the prestige or practicality of higher-end roadsters, its competent powertrain, impressive driving dynamics, and selection of eye-catching paint colors should be enough to satisfy most budget-minded sports car enthusiasts.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: Toyota MR2 Spyder
With the exception of its name, nearly everything about the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder starts new. Returning to the market for the first time in five years, the Spyder enters 2000 in just one trim and body style: a two-door, soft-top convertible. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission provide the only powertrain combination.
While the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder lacks the sleek styling of some of its rival roadsters, its minimalist curves and selection of vibrant paint colors still command attention. The Spyder’s design consists of a rigid lightweight frame, a steel-paneled body with various air intakes, and a manual soft-top convertible that must be raised or lowered from outside the car. With no factory options available for 2000, what you see comprises what you get. However, some Toyota dealers maintain the ability to add a front-end mask, tonneau cover, and wheel locks.
Standard exterior features of the single-trim Spyder include 15-inch aluminum front wheels, 16-inch aluminum rear wheels, body-colored front and rear bumpers, lightly tinted windows, intermittent windshield wipers, daytime running lights, power mirrors, a glass rear window, and a rear window defroster. The roadster comes in six exterior paint shades for 2000: Absolutely Red, Solar Yellow, Spectra Blue Mica, Liquid Silver, Black, and White.
The 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder measures 153 inches long, 48.8 inches tall, and 66.7 inches wide. With a wheelbase of 96.5 inches and a ground clearance of just 4.9 inches, the Spyder boasts sports-car-worthy stance. Its gas tank holds 12.7 gallons of fuel.
The 2000 MR2 Spyder comes standard with two cloth-covered sport seats, a center console, a partial floor console with an open storage compartment, a leather-trimmed tilt steering wheel, a leather-trimmed shift knob, power steering, power brakes, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power locks, cup holders, a tachometer, a wind deflector, and a four-speaker audio system with cassette and CD players. Available interior color schemes for the 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder include yellow, red, and a combination of black and red.
The cabin of the Spyder offers a comfortable amount of space, with occupants receiving 37 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, 49.8 inches of hip room, and 51 inches of shoulder room. Unfortunately, the Spyder’s mid-engine layout reduces cargo volume to a miserly 1.9 cubic feet, barely enough to fit a large handbag.
Performance & Handling
What the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder lacks in luxury and refinement, it makes up in power thanks to the 1.8-liter, twin-cam, four-cylinder engine it shares with the 2000 Toyota Celica GT. With an output of 138 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque, the inline-four propels the lightweight Spyder from zero to 60 mph in just over seven seconds. A five-speed manual transmission with overdrive comes standard.
Despite its featherweight body, the Spyder firmly grips the pavement with the help of its wide track, lengthy wheelbase, and larger rear wheels. With a mid-engine weight distribution, sharp reflexes, and nimble handling, the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder offers an exciting driving experience. However, the Spyder’s mediocre build quality sometimes results in noticeable road noise and an occasionally bumpy ride. Other drawbacks include impractically low seats and small door openings. As a weekend toy, the Spyder serves speed-craving drivers quite well. But those looking for functionality in addition to athleticism may want to look elsewhere.
Standard safety features on the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder include driver and passenger airbags, a passenger-side airbag deactivation feature, side-impact bars, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and warnings for the oil pressure, fuel level, and battery.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota MR2 Spyder: 22/27 mpg city/highway
- Responsive handling
- Zippy acceleration
- Lightweight body
- Affordable pricing
You Won't Like
- Uninspiring design
- Limited cargo space
- Low seats
Newly designed, no-frills roadster is frugal yet fast.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Mazda Miata
- Honda S2000
- Audi TT
- BMW Z3