toyota mr2 rev 1 uk spec

Readers Cars – Toyota MR2 2.0 GT 16V (SW20)

Toyota mr2 sw20
Sports Car
1989 - 1999
Engine Size
Top Speed
137 MPH
Mid Engine | RWD
Variant Featured
Normally Aspirated

What’s it like to own a Toyota MR2?

MR2’s are quick, fun to drive, look great, have awesome pop-up headlights and can be really economical when required and apart from a few age and service related issues its been incredibly reliable for me.

You can even fit a weekly shop in the boot and if you run out of room use the front one. The only downside is that it only has two seats so my kids have to take it in turns to have a go in it.

I’d like to add that the best gear in an MR2 is 2nd. You can get close to 70 mph in it and there’s nothing nicer then hearing it rapidly climb up to the red line of 7,000 RPM.

Are their any quirks at all?

Being rear wheel drive and mid-engined you have treat the car with respect otherwise you might experience lift off over-steer where the weight distribution shifts to the front and the back loses traction.

This set-up does have it’s benefits like when you come out of a corner you can really hammer it.

I believe the handling issues was fixed with later versions to be far more forgiving.


The car also feels like it wants to take off at high speeds so be aware of that and make sure you take it for a drive regularly as the calipers can seize through lack of use but that might be all classic cars to be fair.

Would you recommend an MR2?

Yes, they are brilliant cars.

They’ve aged well and are so much fun to drive and give great mileage on long motorway journeys too.

MR2’s are going up in value as less of them are around as time goes on but are still reasonable and has been a great starter car for me when it comes to classics.

Mine has been hugely reliable but I could be lucky so check some buyers guides out first and there’s also loads of reviews, guides and stuff on Youtube too.

Maintenance wise, I’m crap with cars and even I’ve fixed a few things thanks to following guides.

Are parts easy to get for an SW20 Toyota MR2?

Parts are easy to get in the main.

There’s some dedicated breakers and suppliers in the UK that can help for the rarer parts along with eBay and occasionally I get parts from the main dealer as they can actually be cheaper, but only sometimes.

What’s the best version of an MR2 to get?

Maybe go for a REV 3 model as they have some styling changes that make the car look a little bit more modern such as the rear light cluster and it comes with things like power steering and the handling is more refined.

However, for sheer power the MR2 Turbo which is a Jap import will give you a 0-60 of 5.5 seconds but they cost more and come with their own extra maintenance issues that the normally aspirated versions don’t have.

What’s your next classic car?

It’s got to be a Nissan 300zx Twin Turbo (Z32) the one that eluded me all those years ago due to fuel prices.

Want your classic car featured? We’d love to hear from you.

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If you’ve owned one or still do and want to share your views and experiences about the SW20 Toyota MR2 in the comments below.

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