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2003 Toyota MR2

$2,261 — $14,849 USED
Convertible
2 Seats
29 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Toyota launched its two-passenger, rear-wheel drive sport convertible as a late 2000 model, reviving a name used in the 1990s for a similar mid-engine coupe. Last year, a new model of the MR2 Spyder with a five-speed sequentially shifted manual transmission (SMT) became available.

For 2003, the sequential manual gearbox in the SMT version gets a sixth ratio, and cruise control is newly available. Fog lamps are now standard, the front fascia has been restyled, and a larger exhaust tip is installed. Side air intakes are now color keyed, and instrument-panel graphics have finer gauge gradations.

Similar in size and price to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which uses a front-mounted engine, the MR2 Spyder has a soft-top that folds manually and includes a glass rear window. The clutch and gear operations in the SMT model are computer operated, and electronic throttle control permits the system to reduce torque during shifts. Upshifts and downshifts are achieved by moving the selector to plus or minus positions or by using steering-wheel buttons.


Exterior
Boldly massive air scoops run along the body’s sides ahead of the rear wheels of the MR2 Spyder. A wide, gaping grille opening dominates the low-slung front end. Large, round headlights are encased in elongated, clear-plastic housings. Front and rear overhangs are minimal, and the MR2’s 96.5-inch wheelbase is 7 inches longer than the Miata’s.

The top folds flat into a well, and a wind deflector mounts behind the ...
Vehicle Overview
Toyota launched its two-passenger, rear-wheel drive sport convertible as a late 2000 model, reviving a name used in the 1990s for a similar mid-engine coupe. Last year, a new model of the MR2 Spyder with a five-speed sequentially shifted manual transmission (SMT) became available.

For 2003, the sequential manual gearbox in the SMT version gets a sixth ratio, and cruise control is newly available. Fog lamps are now standard, the front fascia has been restyled, and a larger exhaust tip is installed. Side air intakes are now color keyed, and instrument-panel graphics have finer gauge gradations.

Similar in size and price to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which uses a front-mounted engine, the MR2 Spyder has a soft-top that folds manually and includes a glass rear window. The clutch and gear operations in the SMT model are computer operated, and electronic throttle control permits the system to reduce torque during shifts. Upshifts and downshifts are achieved by moving the selector to plus or minus positions or by using steering-wheel buttons.


Exterior
Boldly massive air scoops run along the body’s sides ahead of the rear wheels of the MR2 Spyder. A wide, gaping grille opening dominates the low-slung front end. Large, round headlights are encased in elongated, clear-plastic housings. Front and rear overhangs are minimal, and the MR2’s 96.5-inch wheelbase is 7 inches longer than the Miata’s.

The top folds flat into a well, and a wind deflector mounts behind the seats. Alloy wheels hold 15-inch tires in front, but new 16-inch tires are used at the rear.


Interior
Seating is cozy for two occupants on bucket seats. Standard features include drilled aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, a cassette/CD stereo, air conditioning, and power windows, door locks and mirrors. A large, center tachometer dominates the three-pod gauge cluster.

Tall folks can stretch out, but cargo space is virtually nonexistent - it is officially listed at a minuscule 1.9 cubic feet. The sole factory option is a leather-trimmed seat package.


Under the Hood
The MR2’s 138-horsepower, 1.8-liter, dual-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine is adapted from the one used in the Celica; it teams with a five-speed-manual transmission. The sequentially shifting manual gearbox replaces the clutch pedal and gear selector with a single shifter, but it has no fully automatic mode. Toyota claims the MR2 Spyder can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
The MR2 Spyder is a sweetheart on the road, and it is among the more fun-filled two-passenger models around. It is tight inside, and slipping into the driver’s seat demands a few gyrations that culminate in an abrupt drop-into position. The prospect of controlling almost Boxster-like highway moves on a tight budget makes up for a few imperfections.

Equipped with a capable engine, the MR2 Spyder zips through challenging situations, gripping the pavement tautly through curves. On good pavement surfaces, the ride is surprisingly smooth. The manual gearbox works with easy motion but demands some effort.

The wind deflector can be distracting, but visibility is otherwise good. Faults come mainly in the area of storage space.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.9
29 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.9)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Unbelievable Handling

by Lenny A from Succasunna, NJ on September 24, 2018

I have owned the car for 11 years, and every time I drive it, i get a grin on my face. Phenomenal handling and great styling. Amount of storage space is limited, so you have to learn to pack light, ... Read full review

(5.0)

Fun Car!

by Retired and having fun from Folsom, CA on June 20, 2018

The MR2 Spyder is a fun in the sun little convertible. Drives like a go cart. It brings a smile to everyone's face and gets lots of attention wherever we go. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2003 Toyota MR2 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2003 Toyota MR2 has not been tested.

Latest 2003 MR2 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The MR2 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker