best platform: miata or mr-2

05-23-2006, 08:25 AM
Hello to all, I've been reading up on the miata and the toyota mr-2, which seem to offer good performance for the money. My thoughts are of autocross and handling more than speed, so which chassis do you think is the best for someone to start with and progress techniqe with? Also, I'm only comparing the non-turbo mr-2(138hp) to the miata to be fair, and I'm looking at the 94-97 miata body style and the 91-93 mr-2.

I would like input and specifications, price, reliability, and handling please.

reminder: Mr-2 is a mid-engine vehicle while miata is traditional, yet both are very light cars which is why I have an interest in them. Thanks for input.

Rand Race
05-23-2006, 12:28 PM
For a beginner I'd say Miata all the way. It is a MUCH more forgiving car and it's the kind of car that will teach you how to drive better. The MR-2 is, ultimately, a better chassis but it is VERY unforgiving. Snap oversteer is a killer with SW MR-2s, especially if you've never driven a mid engined car in anger before. If you do go the MR-2 route look for a 94 or 95, Toyota revised the suspension geometry on those and they handle much better.

Purely specs-wise there's not much to differentiate them. The MR-2 has a bit better balance and turn-in speed while the Miata has a bit better P2W ratio being a few hundred pounds lighter. Non-turbo MR-2s also very rarely have LSDs (none in 91 and 92 and just a few in 93) while about 50% of NA Miatas do. They both compete in ES class and, generally, between the two they dominate the class.

Miata is a lot easier to work on, but they're both very reliable. Turbo MR-2s have a habit of blowing head gaskets but the NAs are fairly bulletproof.

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