Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder Overview
A Mid-Engine Convertible for Two
The MR2 Spyder offers a unique twist on the two-seater convertible formula in that it has its engine behind the front seats. The reason? Rear-drive vehicles generally perform better than front-drive vehicles because the wheels used to steer the car are not also powering it. On the other hand, front-drive vehicles have better traction because the weight of the engine rests directly atop the wheels supplying power. Toyota's mid-engine design delivers the best attributes of both these configurations and the MR2's performance confirms it.
The nimble little MR2 weighs only 2200 pounds and employs a 1.8-liter engine rated at 138-horsepower. That's enough power to move the MR2 with some authority, a task made easier by the perfectly placed shifter and its militantly short throws. The exhaust note has been meticulously tuned to emit a sound that both excites and soothes the ear. The excellent AM/FM/Cassette/CD player is loud enough to drown it out when you decide its time for tunes. Put in your favorite CD, lower the manual roof and toss the MR2 into curve after curve. You will be hard-pressed to wipe the smile off your faceeven after you're done driving.
Inside, you'll find the bucket seats to be comfortable, but very snug. A small, three-spoke steering wheel rests nicely in your hands with all the important switchgear easily reachable. The one switch you won't find is the cruise controlit's not available. There are storage compartments behind the two seats and another very small one under the hood, but that's it. You may notice that with the top down, the mast antenna whistles loudly, but if it bothers you, it can easily be unscrewed and stored beside the passenger seat.