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Discussion Starter #1
Browsing through ebay motors, autotrader, and craigslist (because I'll be getting back into a Spyder at some point), I've noticed the majority of 03-05 Spyders for sale have the SMT. Consensus seems to be that more traditional 5-speed manuals were built than 6-speed SMTs. Is this just a coincidence, then?

I'm not opposed to driving an SMT Spyder, far from it, but the stories of expensive repairs and hard-to-pinpoint issues make me more than a little nervous.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Reading through the SMT sub-forum, which I should have done earlier :blush:, I am a bit more at ease with their reliability. I still find it odd that so many are for sale, though.
 

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That's strange... When I was looking for a SMT (which is what I bought) it was easier to find the 2000 & 2001 5-speed MR2 Spyders for sale. But all the stealerships had SMTs which they couldn't sell for two reasons:

1) They had alot of them overpriced (some were higher than KBB's retail value)
2) Most advertise them as AUTO Transmission. Which they are not.
 

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The issue with SMT seems not to be the likelihood of failure, but rather than unlikelihood of getting it repaired without a 2nd mortgage on your house:) It seems there is not one competent mechanic on the planet who can accurately troubleshoot SMT troubles and get the car back on the road for less than three grand. The MT on the other hand can be diagnosed and repaired or replaced by a trained monkey... and it's faster... and it's more fun...

Of course, that is just my opinion, I could be wrong:)...
 

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I brought my trained monkey out to my car and asked it to fix my transmission, and what did I get!! nothing, absolutly nothing!! Whats up with that??! Eddy
 

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I've been looking for about a month now, for an 03+, and I agree, there are mainly SMT on the market. All the low mileage, lower priced, and best looking (body/interior wise) are SMT. It's very frustrating because most auto trader listings don't tell you if it's SMT or not, you have to look at all the pretty pictures and fall in love before seeing that last interior picture of the shifted. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"Most advertise them as AUTO Transmission. Which they are not." Oh yeah, that's how most of them are still advertised. I always check the pictures, just to be sure.

Anergyne, I've started looking for the interior shots first, for that very reason.
 

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I've been looking for about a month now, for an 03+, and I agree, there are mainly SMT on the market. All the low mileage, lower priced, and best looking (body/interior wise) are SMT. It's very frustrating because most auto trader listings don't tell you if it's SMT or not, you have to look at all the pretty pictures and fall in love before seeing that last interior picture of the shifted. :(
I think the highlighted part is key there. The SMT's were probably more commonly bought as a 2nd and 3rd vehicle and driven in the <50 miles a week club. I'm sure now that they have lost their 'newness' to these part time drivers you're going to see alot more of them up for sale as their owners hunt for new toys.

BTW, my son's was one of those 'automatics.' Knowing more than the seller knows about the car is a great bargaining tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ah, that sounds like one good explanation. I can see where the novelty of an SMT would attract the weekend toy crowd, who tend to always be on the lookout for the next toy. Thanks for the input.
 

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I see where a few members are commenting, correctly so, that the SMT is NOT an automatic. Wow!
However, this is not a realistic attitude to take when looking for any warranty extension coverage.

I'm in the process of finalising an extended warranty for my SMT Spyder, but the only two choices on the Pre printed form is 'Manual, or ' Automatic'. Which of these two choices do I put my checkmark in the box to cover any failure on my ( ??? ) transmission ?

No reply necessary, I already know what to do, just cut out the childish comments and call it an Automatic, which will fit into the system and allow the coverage.

Harryco.
 

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When I bought my '00 Solar Yellow all those years ago, when the SMT debuted, I thought the idea was preposterous. "Who would buy a sportscar they can't gate shift?"

Fast forward a decade later and I absolutely love it. Credit to Toyota for bringing it out long before "paddle shifters" became the "next big thing." It sure makes the city driving less of a hassle and the downshifts are perfect....each and every time. I like my paddles...it makes me feel "closer" to my avatar. :p
 

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It's odd there are so many SMTs for sale. It's probably just a curious anomaly in the Spyder market and not really a sign of anything. Keep in mind there weren't many Spyders built period. If you have patience you can find the exact combination you want.
 

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Mid-engined sportscars are, without doubt, impulse purchases. They are impractical, make for poor daily drivers for all but the most die-hard enthusiasts (me) and aren't the safest cars on the road when it's raining sideways. After a year or two of the wife insisting on something in the driveway that actually can store six bags of groceries, Spyders find themselves on the market...often with very little mileage and/or conditions that show well for the age of the vehicle. SMT's were unique when they debuted because only the Tiptronic and Ferrari Modena had sequentials in 2003 (if memory serves me) so many Toyota dealers bought them since there were plenty of manuals roving around the country at that juncture.

When these cars are sold and subsequently purchased by the newbie owner, the process described above starts all over again. Sportscars are toys and I'm 50 in October. Let's hope I never grow up. If I could fit into a Lotus, I'd probably have one. If I ever win the lottery, you'll find a split window Vette in my driveway as well.....and quite possibly a 190 'Benz, circa 1960.
:p
 

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Mid-engined sportscars are, without doubt, impulse purchases. They are impractical, make for poor daily drivers for all but the most die-hard enthusiasts (me) and aren't the safest cars on the road when it's raining sideways. After a year or two of the wife insisting on something in the driveway that actually can store six bags of groceries, Spyders find themselves on the market...often with very little mileage and/or conditions that show well for the age of the vehicle. SMT's were unique when they debuted because only the Tiptronic and Ferrari Modena had sequentials in 2003 (if memory serves me) so many Toyota dealers bought them since there were plenty of manuals roving around the country at that juncture.

When these cars are sold and subsequently purchased by the newbie owner, the process described above starts all over again. Sportscars are toys and I'm 50 in October. Let's hope I never grow up. If I could fit into a Lotus, I'd probably have one. If I ever win the lottery, you'll find a split window Vette in my driveway as well.....and quite possibly a 190 'Benz, circa 1960.
:p
Pretty accurate analysis. I bought my wife's Spyder from a retired owner of a Toyota dealership. He tucked away an '03 SMT thinking it would double in value. It had about 6k miles on it when I bought it a year ago. He got tired of just letting it sit in his garage so he dumped it when it didn't go up in value. We are getting close to 60 and enjoy a mid-engine rear wheel drive roadster that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. And yes the SMT is a novelty but we have had many MT cars over the years and this one is just plain fun.
 

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I think sequential manuals were actually fairly common in high end cars in 2003. At least the Gallardo had egear and the BMW M3 had SMG II. I believe Porsche's tiptronic was a traditional automatic box with a torque converter.

The MR2 was far and away the cheapest car in 2003 that offered it by a long shot.
 

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The SMT is a cool concept, and I'd love to have this set-up in my spyder if it was as quick and reliable as the traditional MT.

The question I have is are the SMT Spyders in later years (03+) less worrisome? My son is now looking for a Spyder (he's about one year away from being able to make a purchase with my help) and I'd hate to miss a bargain for fear of the SMT.
 

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I think the 6 speed in the 03+ is a better model. It shifts faster and has that nice 6th gear for highway cruising. If it's all the same definitely pick up an 03+.
 

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In all fairness to the SMT for 03, this also " has that nice 6th gear for highway cruising." In addition to the 6th gear in the 03 SMT, it also has cruise control.

I feel that there are too many people that have no knowledge or driving experience of the SMT, that are willing to bad mouth it as unreliable. Take a poll on how many SMTs are still running without any problems, and get a mileage reading of the trouble free ones. I have seen them advertised with more than 100,000 miles on many occasions.
I have an 03 SMT, and love it.

Harryco.
 

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I wrote in another thread, only the squashed bug complains. Problematic SMT's get press because people come here with very little knowledge of how they work, how they are fixed, how they are maintained. Hell, even most Toyota dealers only have one fella per shop who knows anything about them and chances are, that will be one tenth what Cap knows. If you typed "SMT" in the search engine and read every single thread about them, you would probably have as much knowledge as most of the Toyota mechanics who...unless they check their computer...will toss tranny fluid in your HPU tank.
Think about it....if the car was that unreliable, most Toyota shops would have several mechanics who know the systems inside and out based singularly on frequency of work. It's because[/i] the SMT's are reliable that the typical response from the people who will greet you at your local cowboy hat drive-in will be "I haven't seen one of these in awhile."

And because most of the dealers don't see SMT's in for transmission-related repairs as often as forum scuttlebutt suggests, the Pavlovian response from the service manager is usually "you'll have to replace the entire ____________ unit." It's their go-to reply to put a torniquiet on what often times is a paper cut problem.
 
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