Pros: acceleration, handling, styling, stereo, unique
Cons: red paint fades, interior noise, burns through rear tires, brake dust
I had a poster of this car on my bedroom wall in college and promised myself that if I landed a job that made enough money that I would buy one for a college graduation gift to myself. In 1995, Toyota stopped production of the MR2 in the US (but was still available in Europe & Australia). Therefore I was stuck trying to find a used Mister2 in mint condition. After calling dozens upon dozens of car dealerships (and after trying to explain to sooo many used care salesmen that a Fierro is NOT almost just like an MR2) I found one on http://mr2.com drove 220 miles just to take a test-drive. Result... I fell in love with this car from the moment I layed eyes on it. The test drive just confirmed that it performed as good as it looked. I purchased my red 1993 MR2 turbo in June of 1996 (six years ago) for $15,500. The car was in PERFECT condition and looked brand new at the time.
Since then I have had the car repainted because the original red paint they used for 1993 MR2s fades incredibly fast in the sun. My wife owned a red 1995 Honda Prelude that, when parked next to mine, made my MR2 look almost orange. I had mine painted the exact same color as hers and now everyone comments on how much better my MR2 looks than the other red ones they have seen. I was annoyed that I had to do this but was VERY happy at the results. Highly recommended!
The most striking improvement I've made on the car is the addition of 17 inch rims with low-profile tires. You can see how it looks @ http://matt.quinlan.net/mr2.html . I have had Dunlop Sport9000 Z and BF Goodrich Comp T/A Z tires in the past and they both get chewed up pretty quickly but the Comp T/A's seem to hold up a bit longer.
I also recommend using synthetic motor oil (for Turbo models like mine) as this will help to ensure the life of your engine. I use MobileOne but any of the good synthetics should do.
The first time I got into the driver's seat of this car I felt like I was climbing into a cockpit... and I soon found out that I was in fact doing just that. The turbo model that I drive does not hesitate in the slightest coming off the line. And because of the perfect weight distribution only available in a mid-engine (ferrari owners will understand this better than anyone) along with the nice wide Z tires I almost never spin my tires coming off the line (unlike the mustangs that often try to race me). I love the stiff clutch (more like a Porsche) and the short-shifter. The 8 speaker stock stereo is by far the best I've ever heard from ANY stock system. The rear-view mirror is perfectly sized to make the view fit exactly within the small rear curved window. The engine has a nice throaty sound that all of the Honda owners buy special exhaust systems to imitate. The turning radius is fabulous in this car. Driving this car on a sunny day with the T-tops off and the windows rolled down along a deserted winding road is about the closest thing to heaven I have found.
As I read another review of the MR2 I saw that I am not the only person who was pulled over by the police for "excessive acceleration". I did not speed; I did not drive recklessly, I did not squeal my tires... but the cop said that she had to go 75 mph just to catch up to me and that's why she stopped me. No ticket :)
The only mechanical problems that I have had in the past 6 years was a caliper which somehow got stuck in the compressed position which caused the brake pad to be applied continuously (not good). And my passenger side window sometimes will not work with the automatic window controls (seems like a short). Also, brake dust can build up quickly on the 4 disc-brakes and cause squeaking even though the brakes are fine.
I am now married and we are considering starting a family but the thought of selling my MR2 would be heresy. Lucky for me, my wife loves my car as much as I do. If I do have to get a 4-door family truckster I will keep the Mister2 for weekends and sunny days. I will never find another car that is so much fun for so little money. They are a rare gem (especially those in good condition) so if you find a used MR2 in good condition... buy it, you will not regret it.
I also recommend checking out the International MR2 Owners Club (http://www.mr2.com/Clubs.html) as they have great info about modifications, repairs, and maintenance.