Toyota MR2 MK 3 (W30) 1999 - 2007
For the third generation of the MR2, Toyota aimed to return to its roots, creating a lightweight and nimble sports car but this time in roadster guise. Utilising steel monocoque construction and a transverse, mid-mounted 16v 1794cc DOHC engine with variable valve timing and electronic fuel injection, the car produced 138bhp in stock trim. The gearbox was a five- (later six-) speed manual and a rare optional SMT semi-auto 'box. A Torson LSD was fitted as standard to SMT cars and offered as an option on other models.
The interior is functional but not luxurious, but leather and alcantara seat options do add refinement. Luggage space is extremely limited, but the soft top is practical and efficient.
Today, the W30 Toyota MR2 is becoming a collectable modern classic. Post-2002 facelifted cars are sought after, as are original cars without the ubiquitous body kits and other aftermarket 'improvements'. Engines and bodywork are for the most part robust, but sills and subframe should be checked for rust. The ceramic pre-cat attached to the manifold has a tendency to disintegrate, destroying the engine, so is best replaced or removed. Lambda sensors can also be costly to replace too. Alternatives are the Mazda MX-5, the MG F and the Alfa Romeo 916 Spider.
|Mk II W20
|£ 2,600 6,800 10,100 13,100
|MK III W30
|£ 1,800 3,300 4,500 6,500