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1989 Supercharged vs. a 1993 Turbo

Someone wrote asking about opinions on the Toyota MR2. Here are mine.

I love them. I've been fascinated by the MR2 ever since its introduction in 1985. I remember that was the car I wanted when I was to turn 16. In fact, just recently, I had a chance to test drive a few MR2s, since I was really interested in buying one. I was able to test drive a new 1993 Turbocharged version, and also a 1989 Supercharged version. Here's a summary of my findings:

+ 1989 Toyota MR2 SC

Wow. This car was white with a flawless exterior, a black leather interior, T-tops, air, cruise, and even a stereo cassette. As soon as I started the car, I felt like a little kid (well, I still am :) about to get a ride in a really fast car. At idle, it purrs, but while driving, it gets a little bit noisier. I guess it's Toyota's way of reminding you it's not your father's Oldsmobile. Stomp the accelerator, and you're greeted with a beautiful growl right from behind your head. You're pushed back into the seat, and a seemingly endless supply of power charges you down the road, right up until the 7500 rpm redline. It sounds as though you still have another 5000rpm of tach to go. It's musical.

At a stoplight drag against a Honda Civic Si, I did a subtle drop-clutch start, and gave the other driver a pleasing view of my backside. Response is immediate, and when the supercharger kicks in, all you can do is hold on. This car is surprisingly quick and nimble through traffic, and is a hoopla of fun on the highway entrance/exit ramps. It gets a bit noisy in the cockpit at about 75 mph. For the price, I don't think you can beat the entertainment and reliablity value. I don't own one, so I can't comment on problems (if any).

+ 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo

*gasp* Don't drive this one first. You won't want the 1989 SC model, and you certainly won't want any other car. Open the door and the cockpit treats you to leather, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, T-tops, and a home entertainment center. Start the engine. At idle, it's dead silent. Blip the throttle, and you'll know that you've got loads of power from beneath your right foot. As soon as I got into second gear and the turbo spooled up, the car was flying (as in F16 :) down the road, you're pinned in the seat, and you've got an endless surge of power that will get you in trouble faster than you can run out of gas.

While driving it, I was always anxiously waiting for the redline before I shifted into the next gear, and by the time I shifted into 4th, I was already cruising along at about 185 kph. I decided to slow down at this point to avoid any jail term that might soon be following me in the form of a big white sedan, decorated with disco lights. This is THE car. The styling is still ahead of its time. It's got gobs of power, it's built remarkably well, it's made by Toyota, it has leather, shifts are crips and solid, the factory sound system sounds amazing, it has t-tops for summer fun, its blindingly fast... you just won't need another car for a LONG TIME. It's just too much fun for a lifetime. I'm hooked. If I could have afforded it, I'd still be driving it now, and wouldn't have time to comment on it. :)

I hope this helps.

Information courtesy of Greg Tsoutsas