1989 Toyota MR2 (Mk1 AW11 4A-GE) 2-door coupe, automatic trans, great condition!

Price: - Item location: Torrance, California, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Toyota
  • Model: MR2
  • Type: 2 door coupe
  • Year: 1989
  • Mileage: 138,500
  • VIN: JT2AW15C0K0156918
  • Color: White
  • Engine size: 1.6 liter inline-4 DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: Air Conditioning
  • Fuel: Regular grade gasoline
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic ECT with overdrive
  • Drive type: Mid-engine RWD
  • Interior color: Blue cloth
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Options: Alloy wheels, Cassette Player, Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1989 Toyota MR2

This is a very reliable and fun to drive collectible classic sports car in great condition for its age. Very low mileage -- only 138,500 original miles, which averages less than 5,000 miles per year.

This is my wife's car, and she is a petite, mature, conservative driver. When asked to describe her car, she summed it up in four words: "One owner, no racing." This MR2 is from a non-smoking, child-free home. So the interior is in terrific condition -- no odors or stains. We are selling the MR2 because she needs to be able to carry a third person.

This MR2 is all original (other than wear items such as tires, battery, brakes and filters). There's been no modifications, except for adding alloy wheels. We've kept this car factory original -- no holes drilled for accessories, nothing cut for upgrades, and no suspension or exhaust modifications.

The car has not been in any accidents, and has never been to an auto body repair shop. As far as I can tell, there's no rust to the body, other than one very minor spot, and a couple of specks of surface rust, all detailed below.

The automatic transmission provides very accurate and effortless shifting of gears, is ideal in stop-and-go traffic, is much easier for first time drivers, and there's no clutch to replace.

Overall, this is a wonderful example of a completely original first generation (aka Mark1 or Mk1) MR2.

1. Mechanical

The MR2 is in excellent running condition. It starts, runs, drives, and stops great. Original engine and four-speed automatic transmission are both running strong. It does not burn oil, and there are no leaks. Drive train, brakes, and exhaust system are in great condition. The automatic transmission, ECT switch, and overdrive switch all work as they should.

Electronically Controlled Transmission, or "ECT, "? lets you change the transmission's shift points from normal to power with the flip of a switch. The owner's manual says, "NORM" is for general driving conditions, and "PWR" is for powerful acceleration. (My wife always drove with the NORM setting, except when driving uphill. Seriously, no racing.) The overdrive switch selects either a three-speed or four-speed transmission.

This car has been meticulously serviced. My father-in-law is a mechanic and has followed Toyota's maintenance schedule. Also, any extensive service was performed by a local independent auto repair shop, including at 124,545 miles, replacing the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, idler, cam seal, crank seal, valve cover gaskets, distributor housing, and coolant -- all as preventative maintenance. (A copy of the service receipt is in the glove box.)

The most extensive service ever performed on the MR2 was replacing the timing belt. There's been no major work requiring removal and replacement of the engine or transmission.

A new 36-month battery was installed in July 2017.

The MR2 runs on regular unleaded gas and gets impressive gas mileage -- around 30 MPG.

Original features and options:

  • Naturally aspirated 4A-GE 1.6 liter inline-four engine with dual overhead cam and four-valves-per-cylinder (Toyota model code AW11).
  • Four-speed automatic transmission with ECT and overdrive.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Detachable tinted-glass sunroof/moonroof.
  • Toyota premium audio AM/FM with electronic tuner and cassette audio system with Dolby NR (Toyota model 6626)
  • Manual windows, mirrors, and door locks.
  • White exterior, and blue cloth interior.
  • Factory blue carpet floor mats.
  • All three original keys.

All of the above original features and options work great.

Tires are in good condition, size P185/60 R 14, with 6/32, 6/32, 6/32, and 4/32 of an inch tread depth, and even wear. The spare tire is in good condition, with 7/32 inch tread depth. The original jack, tools and tool bag are present. The original black vinyl spare tire cover is included, and is in like new condition (removed in photo to show full-size spare tire).

2. Exterior

The MR2's exterior is in great condition. The car has not been in any accidents, and the paint is original. No primer spots. No Bondo. All original body panels are intact, and the car still has the original sealant between body panels. This MR2 has no body rust -- other than one very minor spot, and a couple specks of surface rust, all detailed below. Plus, there's no rust to the rocker panels or underpan (see underpan photo).

The detachable tinted-glass sunroof/moonroof works nicely and does not leak. The glass panel may be tilted up for ventilation, or completely removed for open-roof motoring. The glass panel can be stored in the front "trunk." There's also a separate detachable sun shade panel, which matches the blue headliner, both in excellent condition.

The pop-up headlights go up and down at the correct speed and don't sound like they're struggling at all (they go up instantly, and go down after a second or two when you flick the switch back down, as they should). Also, if you turn the headlamp switch to the last clickstop, the pop-up headlights stay up with all lights turned off.

The doors do not sag, and do not scrape the door sill when closing.

For model year 1989, an LED-strip third brake light was integrated into the rear spoiler (replacing the incandescent third brake lamp on earlier models).

3. Interior

The interior is all original with no modifications. The blue cloth interior is in especially good condition, with no odors or stains. The fabric seats and door panels have no tears. The door panels are in very, very good condition with no cracks. The carpeted floorboards have been protected by factory floor mats since day one.

The factory air conditioning works exceptionally well, which is becoming extremely hard to find on these cars. All air conditioning controls (normal, ECON, and four-speed fan) work as they should.

All of the remote cable releases work properly: front trunk lid, engine compartment, rear trunk lid, and fuel filler door.

All gauges work properly, except the speedometer. (When accelerating from a stop, the needle remains at zero until the car reaches 30 MPH, then the speedometer reads correctly. The odometer and trip meter operate properly even if the needle is at zero.)

The dash warning lights come on when starting the car, then go off once the car is started, as they should. (Note: The parking brake warning light stays on until the parking brake is released, and the fasten belts light remains on until the driver's seat belt is fastened.) No warning lights are on while driving.

The parking/emergency brake is properly adjusted (5 clicks), works well, and holds the car. (Factory spec is 5-8 clicks.)

The manually adjustable driver's seat moves fore and aft, reclines, and the seat cushion angle is adjustable. The manual passenger seat moves fore and aft and reclines. Tilt steering wheel. The interior light works as it should (three-position switch: on/off/door). The glove box is very clean. The owner's manual is included.

There are no water stains behind the seats (which would often indicate a leaky sunroof), or anywhere else in the interior.

All three original keys are included -- two master keys and one valet key, plus the key number plate for ordering additional keys from a Toyota dealer. The glovebox is lockable with a master key. For security, the valet key will not open the rear trunk or glovebox.

4. Upgrades and extras

Upgrades and extras include:

  • Borbet 14-inch alloy wheels.There's no curb rash (damage to the wheels from being rubbed along a curb), though the wheels have some very minor paint chips.The left rear wheel (see photo) shows the typical condition of all four wheels.
  • Full-size spare tire (P185/60 R 14) on an MR2 steel wheel (replacing the max 50 mph space-saver donut spare).
  • Factory mud guards with MR2 logo.
  • Two aftermarket emergency plastic car keys (on credit card size backings for carrying in a wallet).

That's it -- no holes drilled or cuts made for accessories. No suspension or exhaust modifications. No wheel arch modifications for bigger tires. No holes drilled for side skirts. No holes drilled for underglow or ground effects lighting. No add-ons have been added then removed. The bottom line: this is an unmolested MR2.

5. Additional details

Now, here are the dents and flaws I'm aware of. I want to be up front about this, so you know the true condition of this car.

  • A slight one-inch dent on the left rear quarter panel (see left rear quarter panel photo).
  • Two very slight dents on the right rear wheel arch (see right rear wheel arch photo).
  • A barely perceptible ding aft of the the right engine bay intake grill (see right rear wheel arch photo).
  • A small 3/8 inch crack in the windshield, next to the right A pillar(see photo with sunroof panel removed).
  • The dash board has cracks next to the clock (see interior photos).
  • A couple of nicks and blemishes on the center console (see interior photos).
  • Rear view mirror has some oxidation at the top and bottom edges (see mirror photo).
  • The windshield wiper "intermittent" setting does not work, and the wipers don't park in the "home" position.(We simply turn off the wipers in the home position.)All other windshield wiper and washer settings work well (fast speed, slow speed, mist, and washer on).[Note: there's repair video on YouTube, "Toyota intermittent wiper problem $10 fix.”]
  • The rear trunk support spring is fatigued (this is common with the optional spoiler), so we use a manual support (see rear trunk photo).
  • The paint on the front bumper is chipped, and could use re-painting (see front photos).
  • The two-piece front lip or spoiler has paint scrapes and a crack at the center where the pieces overlap (see front photos).
  • Wear and tear typical for a car of this age.
  • A small rust spot (3/8 x 3/4 inch) at the front top edge of the left front fender where it meets the left pop-up headlight (see "sailboat" photo).
  • Two specks of rust at the top aft corner of the driver's door, barely noticeable (see left rear quarter panel photo).
  • Three specks of rust on the roof were removed, and touch up paint applied, a few years ago (see roof photo).

As far as I know, there's no rust to the body other than those just mentioned.

Other than the roof, no touch up paint was used on the MR2. None of the photos were Photoshopped.

6. Some final words

This is a one-owner car. Since we are the original owner, we know this vehicle's history and can say with confidence that this 1989 MR2 is all original with no modifications. We purchased it new in June 1989. It hasn't been driven outside of Southern California, and has never been exposed to snow or road salt. It's never been driven hard. My wife hasn't seen any of The Fast and the Furious movies.

The MR2 is a California vehicle that recently passed the California emissions test (smog check) in May 2018. It has a valid smog check certificate, which is required to transfer title to a California buyer. The next emissions test is not due until June 22, 2020. The California DMV registration was renewed in June 2018 (valid through June 22, 2019). Title is clear and, along with the valid smog certificate, is ready to transfer.

The AutoCheck vehicle history report is clear. This car received an AutoCheck Score of 72, which is "Above Range" (the range for "1989 Sport Car - Touring" is 31-53). Interestingly, the detailed vehicle history shows the date and mileage of every smog check, including the most recent on May 25, 2018, at 138,466 miles.

If you're looking for a one-owner original low mileage first generation MR2, look no further. You would be hard pressed to find a cleaner example of a Mk1 MR2. Several years ago, in an Automobile Magazine article "Collectible Classic: 1985-1989 Toyota MR2, "? author Jason Cammisa wrote, "Numerous clubs and websites are dedicated to modifying these cars, so finding a stock example -- like Lee's [featured in the story] -- can be difficult." (March 15, 2011.) That was seven years ago.

1989 is the last model year of production for the MR2 Mk1, benefitting from mechanical and styling improvements over prior model years. (See Wikipedia, "Toyota MR2, "? First generation; Yearly changes.)

The Mk1 MR2 was well received by the automotive press. Road & Track and Car and Driver both chose the MR2 on their lists of ten best cars. (See Wikipedia, "Toyota MR2, "? First generation; Reception.)

This MR2 would make a great dependable commuter car, or a fun weekend escape. This car is a head turner. At gas stations and parking lots, people would stop to say nice things about our car. Strangers have asked if we'd sell it, and it often receives an unsolicited thumbs-up.

This car is a prime example of legendary Toyota reliability. Again, the only reason we're selling it is my wife needs to be able to carry a third person. (She hates to see her "baby" go.) The MR2 was recently cleaned and detailed in preparation of selling.

The MR2 is sold as-is, with no warranty or guarantees express or implied.

This car is located in Torrance, California, just a few miles from LAX airport. Full payment is due within three days (wire transfer, cashiers check, or cash). Funds must clear before car and title will be released.

My name is Arnold and my cell phone is 310-947-2091. Serious inquiries only.