MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
11-21-2012, 04:21 PM
Post: #1
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
Hi everyone!

I'm shopping around for a new car at the moment, as I felt like something a bit more back to basics than my current car.
I'm after a low power, fun instead of fast, back-to-basics car and feel like getting something RWD.

That's basically boiled down to the mk1 MR2, the AE86 or possibly a Mazda MX5.

I was wondering how the AE86 compares to the MR2 to drive? I mean, I know the main difference is the layout but in terms of feel etc?

The problem is that most of the good AE86es are loads more expensive than a good MR2, so I'm not sure if its really worth the extra for someone who isn't obsessed with Initial D & drifting! I know you guys are all extremely biased but I'd be really interested to hear opinions
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11-21-2012, 05:52 PM
Post: #2
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
AE86 feels MUCH more lively, the AW11 lacks steering response. If you want the best possible driving feel and responsiveness and fastest laptime, buy the MX5 Smile If you want to fight for a good laptime, the AE86 is perfect for you. :wink: :wink:

AE86 GT - SR20DET BlackTop //// Trackday beater
Citroen C4 Coupe VTR - 1.6HDi //// Streetcar
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11-21-2012, 11:05 PM
Post: #3
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
The AE86 an all around car easy to drive, fast, FR + lsd you can use it for many purposes and still throw tires on the back for track days, go to the grocery, haul tools and go for long trips with all the luggage.

If you drive it fast on the track you will feel the balance 50/50 on the corners, For me is an easy to drive car no front lift good balance 30 year old car with not much extra weight. Not a fast car you just need to learn how to drive it, use it like a knife with care and no violent inputs you will be happy to drive it.

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11-24-2012, 08:06 PM
Post: #4
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
Thanks for the opinions chaps. I guess parts availability is pretty good for the mechanical bits given they've got the same engine etc but how is the rest of it. Trim, bodywork bits etc.?
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11-25-2012, 01:29 AM
Post: #5
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
I have both, the AE86 and the AW11, I also had an mx5 mark2 ....

for track days I am starting to think the aw11 is my favourite ... the ae86 is brilliant and "easy" to control but the aw11 is more challenging and faster around the track.

The mx5 I just did not like it ...

I would not try to drive the AW11 on its limits on the roads though .... it does bite... you need space to learn how to control it first...

In my opinion, get a good aw11, drive it fast but not on the limit on normal roads (within the speed limit of course) and take it to some track days where you can fully explore it Smile

The AE86 is better in general but the prices are too high.
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11-26-2012, 12:30 PM
Post: #6
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
I have an MX5 and AE86. Always have huge dreams about the AE86, but in reality the MX5 has been bringing me to work every day, has been clockwork reliable during all the track days I've done and all I ever do is add a small amount of oil and plenty of fuel. Its also a lot kinder to expensive tires then McPherson strut cars are.
Parts availability is excellent and prices are cheap. I love the little thing and its been very fast.

In the end, all are capable little cars and all have the potential to be extremely entertaining with a little work. Probably the MX5 would be the sensible choice, but for a fun car you usually decide with your heart more then anything else.

A wheel to steer the front of the car
A pedal to steer the rear
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04-03-2013, 04:11 PM
Post: #7
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
gon Wrote:for track days I am starting to think the aw11 is my favourite ... the ae86 is brilliant and "easy" to control but the aw11 is more challenging and faster around the track.
I would not try to drive the AW11 on its limits on the roads though .... it does bite... you need space to learn how to control it first.

The AW11 does take more skill but is not faster around a track here is one going into a spin coming out of a bend while my AE86 is still stuck to the track
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04-03-2013, 05:18 PM
Post: #8
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
GTRJazz Wrote:The AW11 does take more skill but is not faster around a track here is one going into a spin coming out of a bend while my AE86 is still stuck to the track

One slow MR2 does not say something about the entire breed though.. lots of things could explain a single slow car of any type.

A wheel to steer the front of the car
A pedal to steer the rear
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04-03-2013, 05:18 PM
Post: #9
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
Having never driven an AE86 I cannot comment, but owning 2 mk1s in 7 years and currently rebuilding one to give 150-160 hp, still after all this time the unpredictability at the back is always interesting Smile

They are not slow, not slow at all. I kept up with an alfa 156 before mine overheated (not related to racing at the time) - 137...on a private road.

0-60 isn't shabby either.
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04-03-2013, 05:53 PM
Post: #10
MR2 v AE86 - how different is it to drive?
I drove an aw11 for 2 years as a daily driver.

I bought one that was 1750 euros, one of the more expensive ones at the time 7 years ago.I found it reliable (burns some oil but engine doesn't stop), fuel efficient, looks odd/cool,nice driving feel, sound coming from the back, parts are quite available at wreckers/ebay.

Downsides, only 2 persons, only room for 3 crates of beer,weighs more than the other 2 (roadtax).engine not really accesible (although they think things through at toyota).some weak points are rust at the wheel arches and the 5th gear popping out.

My 86 is finally on the road.Ofcourse it is a genuine legend but i think the prices people are asking are quite steep.Specific parts can be hard to find and expensive (bumpers, lights, transmission/rear axle parts).Car is fun to drive, has space for 4 persons and luggage.

I made some test drives in an mx5 (NA-model).I found it very promising in it's feel when driving, this car has potential, is light, reliable, convertible, lot's of parts available, lot of aftermarket options

downside may be the engine power is a bit on the low side, but perfect to learn to drive, proven options are also available to raise the engine hp.

first thing you have to ask yourself, how much are you willing to spend?

If I wouldn't have had the 86 at this moment I would have bought an mx5.

Real men race downhill
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