10k: Mintyship Runabout: 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder, Low MIles

The third generation Toyota MR2 debuted in 1999 with a  new lightweight chassis and Spyder name to highlight its drop-top design, a change from the past coupe/T-top only generations.  It is one of the few times that a new model actually dropped a few pounds between re-fresh and demonstrates that for all the appliance/boring/econobox hate that gets slung at Toyota, the engineers in the Aichi prefecture actually know how to build fun cars.  They just don’t do it very often.  Find this 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder for sale in Fontana, CA currently bidding on ebay for $8,200 reserve-not-met with 3 days to go.  Big thanks to tipper Gore Rod S.

We’ve always recommended that anyone shopping for an MX-5, Boxster, S2000 or 914 should consider a test drive in an MR2 Spyder.  It won’t wow you with acceleration, deafen you with 9,000 rpm howling or send shivers down your spine with a flat-6 crescendo, but it will happily give you miles of trouble free mid-engine motoring for a fair price.

The engine sitting behind the driver is the 1ZZ-FED, 1.8 liter all-alloy 16 valve engine good for 138 horsepower and 126 ft-lbs of torque.  Performance in the 2100 lb lightweight is still decent, but it is a real shame Toyota never put the 2ZZ-GE from the Celica GTS/Lotus Elise as it puts out 180 horsepower from roughly the same envelope and weight.  Luckily gear heads around the globe figured this out quickly and many 2ZZ swapped Spyders are driving around (like this 2000 Spyder 2ZZ that just sold for something less than $9800).

The MR2 Sypder has a cozy cockpit that isn’t too fancy and seems to survive the years well.  This one has only 10k miles on the odometer and looks factory fresh on the inside.

The real issue is what do you do with an ultra low mile MR2 Spyder?  It would be a great car to drive every day with its comfortable ride and easy ergonomics, but you’d hate to rack up the miles on something this well preserved.  On the other hand do you really want a low mile garage queen that won’t appreciate for at least another decade?  Hey, it’s your money, do what you want.

See a better runabout? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com