HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1985 Toyota MR2

Pick of the Day: 1985 Toyota MR2

Collector-grade first-year sport coupe


Some muscle car enthusiasts say, “There is no replacement for displacement.” In other words, the only way to enjoy a performance car is to configure it with the biggest possible motor. I beg to differ. What about a high-revving, nimble sports coupe that is a hoot to drive, yet still capable of 27 to 32 miles per gallon? Now we are talking.

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1985 Toyota MR2 listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Goldsboro, North Carolina. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Immaculate condition! Everything original,” the listing states. “It has been garage-kept and is very clean inside and out.”

The MR2 first went into production in Japan nearly 40 years ago, in 1984 for the 1985 model year. From the onset, it was engineered to be a well-balanced sports car. The layout was unique, designed around a rear mid-mounted inline-four motor, a two-seat cockpit, and rear-wheel drive. The chassis used a four-wheel independent suspension for optimized handling.

The first-generation MR2 was available with a few different powertrains, including a 1.5-liter “3A” inline-four, a 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated version, and a 1.6-liter supercharged variant. Power could be fed to the rear wheels through either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Today’s feature car comes with the middle of those three engines, combined with the stick shift. Even though it was only rated at 112 horsepower and 97 lb-ft of torque, the MR2 was praised for being fun to toss around. Its mid-1980s launch came around the same time of the Pontiac Fiero and the Honda CRX, both of which had similar “economical yet sporty” missions.

Showing just 51,679 miles on the odometer, this first-year red MR2 has clearly been loved throughout its life. The seller says, “I bought it as a collector, but it would also be a great car as a daily driver. It just looks and runs great. It has to be one of the best-conditioned 1985 MR2s out there.”

The interior carries through the red theme to the cloth seat inserts for a sporty look. The dash is perfectly boxy in all the right 1980s ways, and options include air conditioning and an AM/FM/cassette audio system.

This car is proof that you can indeed combine fun and fuel economy into the same package.

The asking price is $14,900 for this MR2, which includes a car cover, a factory service manual, the owner’s manual, and a window sticker.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine, KSLCars.com, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


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