Yearnings of an MR2 owner

I drive a Toyota MR2, a genuine Mark I built in 1988. I got it in 1994 with 30,000 miles on it and since then I have added another 107,000 miles. The car is a beauty. It is small, low to the ground, light in weight and an overmatched engine that delivers 145 horses (108 kW). It has a pair of cute pop-up headlights and exactly 2 seats, one for the driver and one for the passenger. I love my car. It is fun to drive, easy to park (okay, not easy to locate because it is lower, slimmer and shorter than just about anything else) and it gives great gas mileage (30 miles to the US gallon or 12.75 km/l or 7.84 litres per 100 km).

But, after 18 years of constant use (and a little misuse), it needs to be replaced. No, not right away but soon. I have been on the lookout for a new car for some time. My requirements are simple -- a two seater, simple, not too many frills, with an extra oomph for the engine and easy on the gas. But it seems that Toyota overdid themselves all those years ago and there still isn't anything that can be considered an heir to the MR2. I am hoping to find something that gives 40 - 50mpg, has about 140hp and weighs less than 2500 pounds.

In 1998, gasoline was about $1.20 per gallon, now it is roughly $3.30 per gallon. So, you would think that the American public would be clamouring for such a vehicle. But, it seems that everyone is looking for a "house on wheels". These SUVs on the road are basically small houses! You can watch movies, play video games, have 20 cupholders to keep your coffee, seats that adjust in myriad ways, heating and cooling to go from Alaska in January to Death Valley in June and an engine powerful enough to tow two horses, a boat and a mobile home!

Please, Toyota, give me a car that is thrifty to buy, thrifty to operate and has a pep to it. Oh and please make it a two-seater so that I can pretend that I am still single...

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