The early 90′s Toyota MR2 was the poor man’s Ferrari. From the swoopy body work to its mid-ship engine, the MR2 was in a niche by itself by virtue of the latter and an astoundingly reasonable price. The Italian-esque styling has stood the test of time well and in fact we at hi-mpg.org greatly prefer it over the new millenium’s version of the MR2 Spyder.
Two engines were available, both 4-cylinders. The performance version, of course, was supercharged, but profiled here is the base model with its original EPA highway rating of 29 mpg, virtually making our 30+ mpg Hot Green Machines mileage criteria. Of course, all versions were solid just as virtually all modern-day Toyotas are, and there was virtually nothing to differentiate the exteriors of the base and supercharged. Sporting character made it into the interior as well, with a manly (stiff) clutch and short-throw shifter.
The early 1990′s Toyota MR2 is an exclusive affordable exotic and in fact one of the few true classic vehicles made in Japan from the last couple of decades. For these reasons, plus good gas mileage for a near-exotic, we dub the second-generation Toyota MR2 a Hot Green Machine.