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Old 04-09-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
regal
 
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Yaris vs MR2 Spyder

This is an off the wall comparison, but these are really the only two production cars made the last 5 years that weigh less than 2400 lbs (not counting exotics like Lotus, etc.)

I bought a 09 Yaris 3dr LB, 5spd with CP about a month ago. I came from an old wishboned EF Civic and am am a little dissapointed in the quirky handling of the Yaris. I like my cars to handle like a rough go-cart, you know the lightweight tossable, could get killed in this thing feeling. The Yaris is about the lightest weight production vehicle made, but it just doesn't give me that go-cart feel I had with my EF Civic or MKII Golf.

I had no knowledge of the MR2 Spyder when I bought this Yaris and thinking I should have bought one of those instead. You can pick-up a pristine Spyder with 50k mi for less money an a new Yaris.

Plus I got divorced and don't need the 4 seats/hatch.

Should I invest in a TRD suspension and wheels for the Yaris, or dump it and get a Spyder?

Pro's Yaris:
- New with warranty - no worries about being w/out a car if needs service
- Lower Insurance
- No unknown maintenance history
- Hatchback (I love 'em)
- Gas Milage
- Does good in snow with snow tires
- I could be wrong but I think it has a very stiff chassis

Pros Spyder
- Great handling out of the box
- Faster
- Good loocking
- Low production, will hold value better
- RWD

Cons Yaris:
- Stock suspension is not to my taste
- Unknown handling potential w/$1500 on TRD susp + tire/wheels
- A little slow
- Probably will not hold value well if Echo is any indication
- No tach, no temp guage (WTF!)

Cons Spyder
- Unknown history
- Wreck it and die
- Gas milage
- Still a pretty under powered car
- Convertible
- Zero and I mean zero storage
- Can't drive it in the snow.
- Well probably take a $2-3k hit if I sell the Yaris, maybe more
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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MR-S = corolla engine in a "sports" car... But yes, they are rather nice... And with the right kind of mods, can give an Elise a run for its money...

Yaris = very versatile, not sporty by origin but can quite easily be turned into a giant-killer....
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by eTiMaGo View Post
MR-S = corolla engine in a "sports" car... But yes, they are rather nice... And with the right kind of mods, can give an Elise a run for its money...

Yaris = very versatile, not sporty by origin but can quite easily be turned into a giant-killer....

MR-S, get a 2zz swap and some suspension and you have a poor man's Elise.

I'm curious as to what you consider a giant?
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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I like off the wall car comparisons, at first glance they couldn't be more different. But there are a lot of similarities depending on what you like in a car.

For me the most important qualities in a car is for lack of better words "road feel" and "tossability." The Germans get you positioned just perfectly for road handling in a car. I could literally drive my old 318 BMW for 20 hrs and not be fatigued. My Golf was so tossable it was a delight on these hilly PA curves. Too bad German cars spent more time in my garage being repaired than on the road.

The Yaris seems like it is tossable, but the road feel is not there. I can't get positioned right and it just seems to snap and roll thru turns.

Can't decide if I should try a better suspension or just get a Spyder. Maybe both.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Crandall View Post
MR-S, get a 2zz swap and some suspension and you have a poor man's Elise.

Actually with the economy, 60k mi Elise's are being sold for $20k. A 2zz swap in a Spyder can get expensive, almost $7k to do it right. But there are hidden costs with the Elise like insurance, parts, fender benders, etc. I ruled out the Elise, too exotic, to many hidden long-term costs.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crandall View Post
MR-S, get a 2zz swap and some suspension and you have a poor man's Elise.

I'm curious as to what you consider a giant?
Well figuratively speaking, in terms of fun per dollar

Regal, try and find someone near you who's done some suspension work on their car and go for a spin with them
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by eTiMaGo View Post
Well figuratively speaking, in terms of fun per dollar

Regal, try and find someone near you who's done some suspension work on their car and go for a spin with them
Eureka, thats exactly what I need to do, thankyou for the suggestion. Heading to the midAtlantic forum.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
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I loved the way the MR2 felt at autocross. Nothing you can ever do to the yaris will make it as fast around a track as a well preped spyder. The yaris can handle great (for what it is) with a few inexpensive mods, but what I think you need to do is ask yourself a few questions:

1.) is it worth it - tearing down your brand new car and tracking it,
2.) what are you goals - autocross once a month/week, track days, drag strip - what do you want to do with the car
3.) realistic expectations, yes the yaris lots of weight up high and up front, has crappy rear suspension and less than impressive front suspension vs the spyder low center of gravity, balanced closer to 50/50 with independent all the way around but it is +30 on the yaris

My only complaint with the spyder was that I was never comfortable in it, ever. The seating position is so track driven that you never feel relaxed. However the midengine, torque, light weight car was the best thing when we had our autocross events, it kept up with s2000's, street prepared miatas and cars with twice the hp while having blown shocks... then again its all relevant, I was keeping up with mazdaspeed3's, wrx's and civic si's in my yaris.

If you want to keep the yaris and try to make it a little faster around the corners, there is a handling primer written by Tamago which is pretty complete - best bang for the dollar, get some TRD springs, shocks, rear antisway bar and decent tires and you can have some fun at local events and shake things up in a 108hp fwd :)

good luck in whichever you decide
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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I am not into racing or autocross, my EG Civic with Koni suspension was perfect. The Yaris in sharp turns on the road is just not elagant, it bobs and weaves and snaps at my spine. I'm not looking to drive wrecklessly, but in a way I am a connoisseur of auto handling. Also understand that I live in a hilly area with curvy rural roads.

The stock Yaris just isn't fun, I like a rough ride where you feel the road, but I hate being "jerked around." The stock yaris is driving me thru turns instead of me driving it if that makes sense.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I am not into racing or autocross, my EG Civic with Koni suspension was perfect. The Yaris in sharp turns on the road is just not elagant, it bobs and weaves and snaps at my spine. I'm not looking to drive wrecklessly, but in a way I am a connoisseur of auto handling. Also understand that I live in a hilly area with curvy rural roads.

The stock Yaris just isn't fun, I like a rough ride where you feel the road, but I hate being "jerked around." The stock yaris is driving me thru turns instead of me driving it if that makes sense.
regal,
I just read a post of yours saying that your Yaris is box-stock. To compare a Civic with Koni's to a stock Yaris is just plain silly. I also notice you are trying to hitch a ride in a suspension-modded Yar. Great idea, but Puh-LEEZ stop ranting about bad handling until you've had that ride.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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regal,
Great idea, but Puh-LEEZ stop ranting about bad handling until you've had that ride.
Steve

Agreed, just trying to discern if I should spend the $'s on the suspension.

With the Civic the Koni suspension was a proven upgrade with actual slalom results etc. There just isn't any info on what you get for your dollars, the only tests I have seen are Yarii with full coil-overs.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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speaking from somebody whos owned MR2's since 03, mid engine cars are a complete different ball park from front wheel drive

i cant tell you how many people think getting an MR2 is an awesome idea untill 2 days later they post about how they totaled out the car becasue of snap oversteer, there is at least one a month on MR2oc

MR2s are very unforgiving cars, press it the wrong way and it will try to kill you

ive spun the car numorous times in hard cornering without any warning

if your looking to track the car, your going to need a hard top which can cost up to 4-7K since they are out of production and the ones for sale are going for top dollar.

you better off getting a MKI, those are the best for auto X, the swapped spyders have problems with power oversteer

out here in phoenix we have about 8-10 MR2 owners who are active in auto X or racing

none own a spyder

there like the red headed step child of the MR2 world
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:54 PM   #13
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the Yaris with stock tires , handles normal, put the right wheels and tires on it and the handling is greatly improved. add to it a sport suspension and it will outhandle some of the better and more expensive cars. From personal experience with just a wheel swap im able to take aggressive corners at high speeds without problems.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #14
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Interesting. Probably an old Miata would be more fun than the Spyder.


Also I want to reiterate that when I say the stock Yaris handling is bad, I should have said for my driving style. Come to think of it I had my Civic up on one side (two wheels) once when it was still on stock springs. It was much worse than the stock Yaris the more I think about it. I just wish there was a before and after article with the Yaris + TRD suspension so I would know what I am getting.

I have got a week off on the end of April, I might as well just order the TRD suspension so I have something to do. Worse case I'll sell the shocks/springs at a small loss.

I apologize if I offended anyone knocking the stock Yaris springs/shocks, really stock springs/shocks are bad (for me) on any new car you buy. The big question is what transformation do you get when you upgrade?
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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Go with a miata...You can do anything to it. Drop in a LS1, RB26dett, 13B-REW, or boost it and make 275hp reliably.

Or go NA, run ITBs with 150 HP and rev it up to 9000rpm and you'll be doing 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:02 PM   #16
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Here's your answer: http://www.modified.com/news/0708_sc...ing/index.html

Cliffnotes, they were able to make a Yaris have over a G on the skid pad. Good enough for ya?
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:04 PM   #17
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I owned an NA (not naturally aspirated, talking about gen) with a stock suspension, but had a roll bar (not the aesthetic ones, but the ones that can pass for SCCA), and it handled beautifully. But make an error with the gas pedal when it's wet out, and be prepared to have your hands full.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:33 PM   #18
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No way...I've owned 2 NA's plus an NC. They are the easiest and most forgiving cars you can drive.

Other engine swaps I just remembered: F20A(S2000 motor) and SR20DET
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