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mr2peak
mr2peak New Reader
9/4/10 5:17 a.m.

Some Arguments, but not limited to:

Build quality? Is Mid-Engined all it's cracked up to be? Which looks less worse? 10 years from now? What would Top Gear say? 50/50 vs 45/55

I had a mk1 mr2 for a while, but it got totaled by a truck; so I'm considering a switch.

autoxrs
autoxrs Reader
9/4/10 6:00 a.m.

MK3 with 2zz. If you want Elise like capabilities for a fraction of the price.

Sigh I miss the Black Widow, it was automotive nirvana.

ZOO
ZOO Dork
9/4/10 6:49 a.m.

I love AW11s and NA, NB, and NC Miatas. I've only ever driven modded second gen MR2s (usually not that well-modded), but I suspect a stock car with decent suspension would be a treat.

Really, you probably can't go wrong with any of them. I'm partial to front-engine, rear-drive myself -- I like the balance. Not that I won't own an Elise or a 911 someday . . .

White_and_Nerdy
White_and_Nerdy Reader
9/4/10 7:10 a.m.

Maybe this will help you decide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4iWZVarElU

A friend and I co-drove each other's cars at an autocross a few years ago, an STS[2] 85 MR2 and an ES 90 Miata, both on Falken Azenis. OK, so I used to co-own the Miata, and had been running the MR2 regularly that year, so I had an advantage in both cars. The Miata is easier to drive fast - very predictable, and very forgiving. It will NEVER turn in as well as an MR2. Something to do with not having the engine in the front and all that. :) But the MR2 is more prone to snap oversteer. Not that you can't spin a Miata (see the video ). Engines are comparable as far as performance goes, but you hear of a lot more people putting the 4AGE into interesting things (Locost, etc.) than the early Miata's B6P. I think the 4AGE has more soul, if that counts for anything!

I would say, some way, somehow, test drive a Miata. You know what your MR2 was like, so compare/contrast that to the Miata. Then buy the one you like better. Though GRM's conventional wisdom is that the Ultimate Answer is Miata (not 42), I think there is no wrong answer here.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
9/4/10 8:54 a.m.

NA Miata > SA/FB RX-7 > AW11 MR2 > NB Miata > 2G MR2

Really can't go wrong with any of them, but this is where my 2 cents lies.

evildky
evildky Dork
9/4/10 11:01 a.m.

I like the handeling of the mk1 mr2 over the other gens and miata's, the mk2 is a much twitchier chassis and while I have not driven the mk3 I hear it's more similar to the first gen handling and lightness

the miata has unargued potential but just doesn't fit my driving style as well, thye are still fun tossable cars and the na and nb feel nearly identical in handling to my untrained self

one positive for the miata is the huge aftermarket and racing support, all the development is otu there and plentiful, all the parts are availabel and cheap, the mr2 is a low production car so many parts are tough to find and nto cheap, and all the worn needs to be done from underneath or hunkered over the quarter panel wedged bewteen the spoiler and the c pillar sail panel (read ad not ergonomic)

mr2peak
mr2peak New Reader
9/4/10 3:14 p.m.

Who has switched from one to the other? Why?

stan
stan SuperDork
9/4/10 4:01 p.m.

I"ve had both, but it was a few years between drives. I liked both, but oddlly the MR2 seemed to have more room (such as it is) if that's an issue at all. The MIata certainly has a lot more support both aftermarket and support on the 'net. You don't see as many MR2s these days and it always kinda nice to see one somehow. I sat at a light a few weeks ago and saw Miatas coming at me, turning right and turning left. Didn't work much on the Miata, but did a lot of stuff with the MR2. It was pretty easy, but I could only imagine the Miata would have been easier considering it's FR. MK1 MR2s are at least 21 years old.

Excuse the rambling....

Platinum90
Platinum90 SuperDork
9/4/10 5:55 p.m.
P71 said: something about miata's being better, and his two cents being lies...

Hey, You changed your name. Its a good thing you kept the Avatar, or I would not have known who you were, and discounted your two cents as nonsensical.

They are still nonsensical...MR2>Miata Always...

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/4/10 6:41 p.m.

MR2 of any generation > any Miata

DavidinDurango
DavidinDurango New Reader
9/4/10 6:57 p.m.
93celicaGT2 wrote: MR2 of any generation > any Miata

realllly? got $?

mr2peak
mr2peak New Reader
9/4/10 9:52 p.m.

What about the S/C cars? I know they are classed above them in autox, but is there really a big performance difference?

white_fly
white_fly New Reader
9/5/10 1:34 a.m.

I personally think the best way to illustrate the difference between the two cars is the shifter. While a Miata has one of the shortest, sweetest throws in all of cardom, an AW11 has a pretty wonky shifter with a longish throw and less feedback IMO. I've driven a couple of each, though never in anger and from a street driving perspective I prefer the NA Miata.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Reader
9/5/10 8:34 a.m.

As the proud owner of an AW11 and as someone who's driven a few Miatas, I do prefer the MR2. If it's been a while since you drive yours, just go drive both and tell us which one fits you better.

The AW11 shifter is a longer throw, but it is crisp and one of the best shifters I've ever felt that wasn't directly connected to the transmission. As for your question about the SC MR2s, I now have a JDM SC (165hp) engine in my car and it really transforms the car. It's a much nicer commuting car now, and has more than enough power and torque for autox. Factory SC cars tended to be heavier (T-Tops, power options, super heavy transmission) so that changed their feel, but to be honest, I've never driven a factory stock SC car.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
9/5/10 10:37 a.m.

Let's set the record straight. The Miata is the better car for a variety of reasons:

-Can be had for the same price or cheaper than a Solid MR2 these days, netting a newer and less rust-prone car.

-Ridiculous aftermarket support.

-Flyin' Miata

-You can not fit an LSx into an MR2.

BUT, despite all that, I've owned 1 NA Miata and 12-14 MR2s.

To appreciate the MR2, you need to be a Toyota enthusiast. They have entertaining handling characteristics from the lower polar moment of inertia and rearward weight bias. They're built like tanks. The 4AGE engine is sweet. I think they represent the pinnacle of Toyota's engineering efforts. I also think they will be historically relevant sooner than the Miata. I wouldn't call them a classic yet, but clean examples are hard to find.

I never had anyone question my lifestyle choices driving an MR2, not that I give a rat's ass either way. If your sensitive or insecure about your manhood, stay away from the Miata.

MR2 evils: Clunky steering over bumps - cheap $2 busing inside the steering rack. This will be needed on every MR2, as they only last about 30k.

Parking brake system is usually shot. New cables and rebuild the rear caliper.

Weak trim pieces:

C-pillar trim on the back. Cracked, or will disintegrate on disassemby and NLA. Someone really needs to reproduce this.

Front lip spoiler and valences. These cars didn't clear curbs/ parking stops when they were stock.

Interior- radio surrounds / cracked dash, ashtray lid

Rust, rust, rust. Cars fall into two camps: Rust-free or rust buckets. There are plenty of rust free cars around if you look outside of the rust belt.

Sorry for rambling. The Miata is the sensible choice. The MR2 is a close second, especially if you appreciate the car on its own merit.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/5/10 10:41 a.m.
DavidinDurango wrote:
93celicaGT2 wrote: MR2 of any generation > any Miata

realllly? got $?

I do have some, yes... I'm not positive what that has to do with anything, though.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/5/10 11:54 a.m.

HAIL!

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
9/5/10 12:43 p.m.

Sorry bub, you lose:

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
9/5/10 12:45 p.m.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/5/10 12:50 p.m.

Sigh.

Baaaaaaaaaahroots Sheeplesports.

autoxrs
autoxrs Reader
9/5/10 2:10 p.m.
-Can be had for the same price or cheaper than a Solid MR2 these days, netting a newer and less rust-prone car.

I bought my 2zz swapped Spyder with good suspension for $5500. Me thinks I won this round. 2100 lb chassis with a 180 hp engine revving to 8400 rpm redline.

I think the trifecta of Miata, E30 and P71 should become Miata, E30, P71 and 2zz Spyder.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/5/10 2:25 p.m.
autoxrs wrote:
-Can be had for the same price or cheaper than a Solid MR2 these days, netting a newer and less rust-prone car.
I bought my 2zz swapped Spyder with good suspension for $5500. Me thinks I won this round. 2100 lb chassis with a 180 hp engine revving to 8400 rpm redline. I think the trifecta of Miata, E30 and P71 should become Miata, E30, P71 and 2zz Spyder.

Well, then it's no longer a trifecta.

Ditch the P71. I think there's only about 3 people that actually like those things, anyways.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
9/5/10 2:48 p.m.

It's E30, Miata, XJ Cherokee now. Didn't you get that memo?

And since when is a 1st Gen RX-7 a Sheep car? The only one I've ever seen autocrossing (at the ~100 events I've been to) was mine. I've seen 5-6 1G MR2's and about 2 dozen 2G's, plus a handful of Spyders.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
9/5/10 3:00 p.m.

Where are these cheap 2ZZ-swapped MR2s that people speak of? I've heard of two, never seen pics, and certainly never seen one in the wild.

Meanwhile I've seen more Elises than I can count.

alfadriver
alfadriver Dork
9/5/10 3:31 p.m.

Read through all of this- they can all be good.

IMHO, the M2>M1> 1stG MR2.

My dad had the MR2, and it was a really great car. But I thought my '95 Miata was a better car.

But then S-Plan came along, and i went out to find the '99 everything the '95 was, but just better.

Had plenty of chanced to get an MR2 of many types, and had the '95, but I've put more miles on my '99 than any other car I've ever owned. And, if I do my math right, it's getting close to all the other cars I've driven, combined.

Oh, and if you think a Miata is a sheep car- there's a reason for that. They are that good.

If I were a smart person, I would be racing a Miata instead of the Alfa- they are easier to drive, easier to drive fast, faster, and easier to modify. And since it's 26 years younger than my GTV- the wiring is a whole lot less brittle.

Anyway- that's just my opinion. The simple fact that people have the opposite opinion illustrates how good all of the cars are. So picture the car as I picture my Alfa- which one will YOU PERSONALLY like the best. Which one can you take the jokes and the stereotypes? Which one will you not hesitate to use for a fun afternoon, let alone an autocross. It's about YOU owning it, not us.

Eric

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