Review: 2022 Toyota GR86 banner

Review: 2022 Toyota GR86

Posted in Vehicle Reviews

Review: 2022 Toyota GR86

In 2012, Toyota brought back the legendary Toyota 86, designed to provide the ultimate driving experience. 10 years later and the goal is still the same, however now Toyota’s Gazoo Racing is involved and has created the all-new Toyota GR86.

For this review, we put both the GR86 GT (pictured in Spark Red) and the GR86 GTS (pictured in Magnetic Grey) through their paces.

Initial Impressions

The first thing you will notice about the Toyota GR86 is the unmissable visual similarities to the Subaru BRZ. This is because both cars were built as a joint partnership between the two manufacturers. If you drove the previous generation you know this is not a bad thing as it is a great platform, but both the GR86 and BRZ are uniquely different in their own way.

The GR86 has had a styling overhaul, and while it maintains its sleek look, it now comes with more vents and grilles to give it that more aggressive presence on the road.  To make things even better, upon closer inspection, all of these vents and grilles have a purpose, whether that be for aerodynamics or cooling. That is not something you can say for many modern sports cars. Step inside the Toyota GR86 and the interior is minimalistic but built for purpose. Everything is positioned in such a way that you know this car was designed for the driving experience.


Under the bonnet of the Toyota GR86, you will find the new 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine making 174kW of power at 7000rpm, 22kW more than the previous model. As well as 250Nm of torque from 3700rpm, 38Nm torque more than the previous model. For years, the 86 has been criticised for being underpowered, but with this new power plant, the only people still saying this are those who don’t understand a true enthusiast driving experience. Not only does it deliver power quickly when you need it, which is fantastic for your weekend drive through the mountains, but it also has enough power to be playful with the rear while being completely manageable at the same time.

Whether you opt for the entry-level GT model or the top-of-the-range GTS, the powertrain is the same and both can be optioned with a 6-speed manual or automatic. To truly experience this car, the manual is the best option but it is worth noting that the automatic gearbox is no slouch. For a single clutch gearbox, it shifts quickly and smoothly and the paddle shifters are some of the nicest on the market with a great tactile feel. With this being said, the manual gearbox enhances the driving experience exponentially. It has a short throw between gears and has a great, notchy and direct feeling, further enhancing the purist sports car feeling.

When you add this new engine and engaging transmission into a car as light as the Toyota GR86, the result is a go-kart for grown-ups.  All modern cars, including modern sports cars, are getting bigger and heavier which allows the GR86 to shine as it darts and zips around the roads. Take it on a drive to some twisty roads and you will see where this car thrives. Track-tuned MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear suspension allows the GR86 to flow through medium and high-speed corners while accurately darting into the tight hairpins. In fear of sounding like a begrudging old man, it is very rare to find a new car that provides this go-kart driving experience enthusiasts crave. To say I enjoyed the GR86 would be an understatement, it was difficult to wipe the smile off my face.


Creating a lightweight car usually means stripping it of safety features and luxury items, however, Toyota has found the perfect balance of what to include and what to sacrifice. There are no heavy leather seats, only leather-accented seats in the GTS. The lack of leather is never missed as the seats provide the perfect seating position and have supportive bolstering whilst never feeling too harsh for daily driving. It must be said that there is very little legroom and headspace in the back seats, but this car is not bought to be a grand tourer for the whole family, it is a sports car. This is why Toyota proudly boasts that with the back seats folded down, 4 wheels can be stored in the GR86, perfect for those track days.

The GR86 interior has taken a massive leap forward in terms of technology, with both models coming standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is controlled through the 8'' Touchscreen display. Unfortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto still require the phone to be plugged in, however it is a big improvement from the previous generation. The analogue instrument cluster in the dash has also been updated and replaced with a digital dash. This digital dash can change between two different modes, sport or track mode. You can now monitor not only your revs and speed, but your oil and water temperatures, g-forces, and lap times through this clear and sharp display.


When purchasing a GR86 you have two different trim levels, the entry-level GT and the top-of-the-range GTS. Both are the same in terms of engine, suspension and transmission specifications and are offered in a range of colours. The GT model starts at just over $47,241 (inc. on road costs) while the GTS model starts at $49,454 drive away. This extra cost gets you 18-inch alloy wheels rather than the standard 17-inch, heated leather accented seats, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. Like all Toyota vehicles, the GR86 comes with capped price servicing and is backed by five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, which extends to seven years if for the engine and driveline if your GR86 is properly serviced and maintained.


Overall, the GR86 is a big improvement over the previous model and offers a driving experience that car enthusiasts have been begging for. That perfect balance of modern technology and lightweight agility. It is almost impossible to find another vehicle on the market which provides a true sports car experience at such an affordable price.

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