At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?

Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

It’s hard to believe today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MR2 Spyder is almost 20 years old. The seller notes that fact and says that the car shows its age. Let’s see if it’s egregious enough to prevent a buyer from showing up.

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Do you ever step out of your comfort zone? I mean like, go dancing or order that poison fish sushi at the place where they make you pay upfront? How’d that go?

Yesterday’s 2009 Grand Cherokee SRT-8 represented Jeep stepping out of their corporate comfort zone as the model eschewed stout off-road prowess for big block bad-assery. With its combination of a $17,500 price and a CEL that the seller problematically ascribed to a faulty gas cap, fully 92 percent of you felt a similar sense of discomfort, giving the truck a solid Crack Pipe loss.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?

If you want to really be uncomfortable, try wearing clothes that are a size too small for a day or two. Having to live with cramped quarters or too-tight shoes can really ruin your outlook. On the other hand, sometimes there are advantages to doing so, you can adapt and maybe even find it to be the preferred lifestyle.

This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder is a small car. No, it’s really small—like, have to get out to change your mind, small. Man, that joke never gets old.

The thing is because it’s so small, and so appreciably light (about 2,200 pounds) it’s also extremely flingagble.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?

The Spyder is the last of the MR2 line to date and is also—to date—the least enamored. For whatever reason, perhaps its twee styling or lack of a significant performance edition, it just doesn’t have the fan base as do the first and second-generation cars.

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That’s too bad, as, while the Spyder may lack ultimate oomph, its handling is engaging and it offers a full convertible top to allow you unimpeded aural access to the 138 horsepower 1.8-litre VVT-i four. That’s in line with the contemporary Mazda Miata’s output, only here it’s in a car that weighs a good 150 pounds less.

Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?
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When new, the base gearbox was a five-speed stick. In this car’s case, that has apparently been upgraded to a six-speed. Whether that’s the Celica/Matrix box or one of the JDM C66 imports goes undisclosed, but you’d probably still want to discuss the work with the seller regardless.

The rest of the car looks to be in decent if not great shape. The body, in Liquid Silver Metallic, exhibits a few boogers. Most notably of those are a sizable indent on the passenger door and an inexplicable outward bump in the bumper just below the right tail lamp. The headlamps are also a bit cloudy as they are wont to be on a car of this age and with such large plastic coverings. Finally, the top looks to have seen better days.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?

Inside, things look a little better. The seats seem to be in serviceable shape, and neither the tiller nor shifter show excess wear. There does seem to be some center stack wiring that perhaps should be covered up. Is that a missing panel or just an unflattering angle for the photo?

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Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?

The car comes with 146,000 miles on the clock and a clear title. The seller claims the car to be “Great for everyday city driving, track car, etc,” which pretty much runs the gamut of possibilities. They also note that it calls “attention anywhere is parked or driven to.” Bankrobbers be forewarned.

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I don’t know about that last evocation, however. After all, these cars just don’t seem to have found their following yet, and are so small they can go almost unnoticed. Perhaps the MR2 Spyder is a car whose time is yet to come? In that case, you might want to squeeze into one now so as to be prepared.

Illustration for article titled At $4,300, Could You Be Lured Into This 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder’s Web?
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This one, with the six-speed update but also with the signs of average use, asks $4,300. That’s on the low end for these cars, and it’s now incumbent upon you to vote on that price for this particular example.

What do you think, is this MR2 Spyder worth that $4,300 asking as it’s presented in the ad? Or, does the wear and tear add up to a lower price?

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You decide!

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Washington DC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to William Miller for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

When the first-gen Mister Two rolled off the transporter at our dealership in the 80s, I promptly signed one out for DMV errands. It was a hoot. At 5'10" and 145 pounds of rawhide chew toy teenager, it fit me like a glove.

Or considering how much fun it was to drive, like a condom.

I haven’t gotten any taller but since getting married and discovering my wife can cook, there’s an extra 50 pounds of me waddling toward this car like a greedy toddler. I want it. I will suck in. I will keep my elbows close.

I will skip dessert.

This one is even lighter than the first gen, while still being up on power even against the base model second-gen. And as much fun as the first gen was, my understanding is that Toyota kept improving the chassis with each iteration. In the world of slow car fast, this is slow car parts bolted together in fast car configuration. It isn’t blindingly quick but rewards the conservative, economical driver with the ability to build speed and then keep it in defiance of whatever the road does.

I’m willing to find out if I could be up to that.

Nice Price.  And it’s close to my folks, so I could pay them a visit while I was at it.