2005 Toyota MR2 Spyder

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2005 Toyota MR2 Spyder Review

A basic, stylish convertible that offers a fun drive.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2005 Toyota MR2 Spyder marks the last model year for this neat and stylish little sports car. The MR2 Spyder remains one of the best looking convertibles on the market with the best drive. Its styling seems more reminiscent of a Porsche than a Toyota and it also delivers a really fun drive. Many reviewers rate it as superior to the long gone but definitely not forgotten Mazda Miata.

This car also makes a great weekend driving vehicle for an average person on a budget. It seems very affordable when compared to its European competitors and offers similar driving performance. The precise handling dynamics make it easy to steer and drive. Lack of engine and transmission options and driving features like all-wheel drive disqualify if from the sports car realm even though it looks like one.

The standard cruise control and electric power steering make this vehicle easy to drive and steer. The interior looks a little bland, but buyers do not purchase convertibles for their interiors. The amenities found in European convertible interiors, like leather seats, do not show up in the MR2 Spyder. People who enjoy all of the luxury and amenities in the typical European or American convertible do not like this car.

Those drivers who feel nostalgia for the old days of Mazda Miatas, MGs, and other basic convertible sports cars enjoy this car the most. Modern drivers who want more luxury, more gadgets, lots of trunk space, and more power do not like it. Unfortunately, the MR2 Spyder has not found a market. This great little car deserves more attention than it receives. It makes an excellent vehicle for one person who likes to drive does not work as a family vehicle.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door convertible sports car
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Toyota MR2 Spyder

What's New

The only new feature available for the final year of the MR2 Spyder is a new sound system. The improved sound system features a six-disc CD changer and an amber-colored display screen. Other than that, Toyota makes no noticeable improvements for this vehicle’s last year of production.

Exterior

The MR2 Spyder flaunts a stylish body similar to that of a Porsche, with Porsche-style headlights. It comes in several colors. An old-fashioned manual roof keeps the cost down, but also makes for more work on the part of the driver. Alloy wheels provide a little more style.

Interior

Luxury and extras seem lacking in the interior, which gets described as bland. The interior features remain pretty basic. They include a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, cup holders, and remote trunk release. It offers little room for cargo and no room for more than one passenger. Younger drivers looking for lots of gadgets definitely feel disappointed by this car. One aspect of this car that many drivers hate concerns the lack of a trunk. Like many convertibles, the space where the trunk would go gets used to store the roof.

Performance & Handling

Superior performance and handling for the cost get provided by the electric power steering. The four-cylinder engine definitely feels underpowered for a convertible. This vehicle lacks many of the features and options that add power and performance to your typical sports car. Toyota offers no traction control, stability control, or all-wheel drive on this model, nor does it provide a range of engines or transmissions comparable to competitors’ offerings. Despite its lack of power, the Spyder should provide enough speed for most drivers’ tastes.

Safety

Safety features definitely seem lacking on the MR2 Spyder, but people do not buy a convertible for safety. Standard safety features include front and rear ventilated disc brakes, a four-wheel automatic braking system, an engine immobilizer, front fog driving lights, and a passenger airbag with a deactivation switch and electronic brake force distribution. Interestingly enough, the MR2 Spyder has never been tested or rated for its safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota MR2 Spyder: 23/30 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Stylish, Porsche-like body
  • Porsche-style headlights
  • Low price
  • Excellent handling
  • Electric power steering
  • Excellent gas mileage

You Won't Like

  • Manual roof
  • Low-powered four-cylinder engine
  • Lacks traction control, stability control, and all-wheel drive
  • Limited storage space
  • Limited seating
  • Very few interior amenities
  • Lacks transmission options
  • Few electronic entertainment options
  • No trunk space

Sum Up

A basic, stylish convertible that offers a fun drive.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Volkswagen New Beetle
  • Mini Cooper
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Ford Mustang
  • Chrysler Sebring
  • Toyota Camry Solara
  • Honda S2000
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
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