Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

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Ian Mc
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Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Ian Mc » 16/01/11 17:31

Hi all,

just signed up today. Having owned a Mk1 years ago (Sadly sold as a result of kids etc) am now looking to buy a Mk3 for weekend Summer fun.

Looking at the classifieds, there are some early 5 speed models going cheap, but a friend mentioned the 6-speed models are a lot better with improved and more durable engines.

But are they worth the extra money?

And I have seem some that have had a 6-speed gearbox added, thoughts on this too please?

Appreciate any advice.

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Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by » 16/01/11 17:39

I have just changed from a 5 speed MK3 to a later one with the 6 speed.
Makes for a slightly less buzzy motorway cruise - other than that, not much difference really.

Welcome to the club :th:

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Ian Mc » 16/01/11 17:40

Cheers for the quick response.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Protok » 16/01/11 17:43

Welcome to the club

5Speed vs 6 Speed all comes down to what you want from the car, a motorway cruiser would benefit from a 6speed whereas a b-road blaster is probably better with 5speed.

The better reason to buy the later mk3 is for the engines, the earlier ones suffered from oval bores which caused total engine failures.
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Ian Mc
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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Ian Mc » 16/01/11 17:47

Thanks -am not planning much motorway cruising, but this sounds like it would be worth the extra for the later model.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by ZZW30 » 16/01/11 18:09

Go for an 03> as not only do they have the 6 speed box, they have redisigned the piston ring set up which seems to have all but elimanated oval bore syndrome (wrongly refered to as pre-cat failure)... at least they aren't many (if any?) reports of engine failure of this type. So the 6 speed box in comparison to the 5 speed box doesn't make much of a difference, but the car with the 6 speed box has a better engine design.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by uktotty » 16/01/11 19:48

Also better bracing, revised bumpers, better lights front and rear, clear indicators, different seats, the list goes on

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Ian Mc » 17/01/11 17:16

Thanks all.

Am looking now.


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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Rob373 » 17/01/11 17:47

I assume 6th is an extra cog & the other 5 ratios are the same as the older box? If so, I wouldn't write the 5 speed off as the rev drop into 6th is not huge & 5th is still taller than plenty of modern 16v hatchbacks I've driven.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by catkins » 08/02/11 13:16


Could you please elaborate on your list, or perhaps point us to somewhere that can?

I am also interested in all the little differences offered by a facelift. I currently have an 01 Y plate but am already considering simply "upgrading" to a facelift when I come to replace it in a few years. I really like the light clusters, but I could do that on mine. Mine has been de-catted too.

Other than the fact its just newer... I'm not sure what I'd gain from it, and whether I'd be just as better off sticking with my current 01 plate and doing work and tweaks on it for appearance myself.


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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Toplesscouple » 08/02/11 17:59

We looked and drove a facelift car at the weekend to see what the difference was. We came to the conclusion that the extra £2,700 we'd have to pay on top of handing over our car wasn't worth it. It was slightly less miles than ours but had as many chips on the bonnet and the wheels were still starting to flake. Steering seemed tighter but the brakes were awful and I nearly went straight over at the first junction! Actually prefer the look of the earlier front lights even if they're not as effective. Even if a replacement motor costs 1500 quid fitted there is still a lot in the bin for suspension upgrades and suchlike.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by andyroo » 08/02/11 18:07

Hi mate and welcome to the club. :th:
Best of luck in finding your new car,mk3's are the future.
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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by FGRob » 08/02/11 19:59

Hi and Welcome.

If you can afford go for the later model, 04 and above will give you maximum benefit, here's an idea of how the car as developed and you will see 04 has the best up-grade (this was borrowed from another site)

I hope this helps

Rob. :)

2000 - Mk3 is launched in Europe, having previously been launched in Japanese and US markets. A small modification is made after the car has been rolling off the lines for a while, when Toyota add very small aerodynamic "spoilers" under the car ahead of each wheel. These were fitted to aid high speed stability.

2001 - As 2000.

2002 - Addition of improved Oil Control Rings fitted to the Pistons.

2003 - (Production actually from late 2002) Mid term revision. Essentially a cosmetic overhaul of the car, however some mechanical changes have been made:

New front bumper with integrated front fog lamps.
New headlights with seperate high/low beam units and chrome housings.
New redesigned taillight lenses.
Addition of new colour coded rear bumper inserts adjacent to number plate.
New colour coded side vents.
Interior gets new chrome detailing on vents, tweeter surrounds, heater controls, and door handles.
Redesigned seats fitted.
Instrument and ventilation control fascia's redesigned with new typeface.
New Toyota Branded CD/tuner replaces Double DIN Sony CD/Tape/tuner fitted to previous years.
16" rear wheels replace 15" wheels previously fitted. Rear tyre goes up to 215/45/16 to fit the new larger wheels, up from the previous 205/50/15 sizes fitted in previous years. Front tyres remain the same.
Updated suspension spring and damper setings.
Improved suspension member brace set up installed on front and rear suspension.
6 Speed gearbox fitted to both manual and SMT cars, replacing the 5 speed unit fitted to previous models.
SMT gets Electronic Traction and Stability Control.
Options list is expanded to include TTE accesories, which were previously unavailable in the UK.

2004 - Visually the same as the 2003 car but some major upgrades have been made under the skin. Essentially these have been made to improve safety although they do have the advantage of increasing chassis stifness as well:

New front under-members and momentum cancellers on the strut towers to help prevent the side members from rising in the event of a frontal impact, reducing dash panel intrusion into the cabin space.
Improved in-cabin passive safety package adopting an anti-intrusion mechanism on the brake pedal and cushioning material below the accelerator pedal – where the driver’s heel rests.
Reinforcements to the upper front members and the door beltlines help disperse collision energy forces applied to the front side members, minimising any cabin deformation.
New rear bumper brace, a new strut bracket brace and new floor-to-rocker brace panels attached to the main rear-cabin cross member.
Refinements to the kick panel reinforcements, floor-tunnel reinforcements and floor cross members help minimise intrusion of the dash panel in the event of a collision.
The centre pillar has been reinforced with additional gussets and reinforcement of the centre floor cross-member.
New pads in the doors and retuning the hardness of the trim padding to reduce the chance of crash impact injury to the torso area.
New Steering braces.
New suspension settings.
New design of heatshield fitted to Main Cat to revent the broken weld related rattle on the previous design.
Manifold Support Brackets are now cast steel items, bolted to four points on the engine block, replacing the previous pressed steel items that bolted at only 2 points.

2005 - No technical revisions occur, small small additions to available options packs:

Heated Seats offered as dealer fit option.
"Chrome Pack" option introduced
MR2 Withdrawn from US market

2006 - No technical revisions occur, MR2 Withdrawn from sale in UK and Europe.

TTE (Toyota Team Europe) Turbo kit becomes available for retrofit to all mk3 MR2's.
TF300 run-out model introduced, a "special edition" of 300 cars with various minor cosmetic mods, built to dispose of Toyota GB's remaining stock.
2007 - Toyota cease production of Mk3 MR2 in Japan.
Rob's Black 2004 car "which is quite possibly the finest normally aspirated MR2 Roadster in the country" as quoted by Japanese Performance Magazine Dec 2010.

Tatton Park Show Winner 5th June 2011- Best Toyota MR2.

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Re: Is a 6-speed Mk3 worth the extra?

Post by Conal » 08/02/11 20:25

Is the conversion to the 2ZZ-GE 190bhp celica engine, with 6 speed worth it? now thats a question?

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