Toyota GR86 Review 2024

Toyota GR86 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Toyota GR86 addresses the key faults of its predecessor, the Toyota GT86, and is among the most entertaining sports cars at any price.

+Brilliant handling. Improved performance. Good value for money.

-Not the most refined. Already sold out. Some cost-cutting inside.

When the Toyota GT86 was created in 2012, it combined a coupe body with a naturally aspirated engine, rear-wheel-drive chassis and a focus on handling and balance rather than outright performance. It was a big hit. The firm has now developed a successor. It addresses some flaws, but retains a focus on thrills rather than speed. Read our Toyota GR86 review to see why it’s a success.

Although there are coupe rivals such as the Audi TT and its German counterpart, the BMW 2 Series, both of these offer a more upscale experience with more weight, more performance and considerably more cost.

The closest rival in terms of approach is the Mazda MX-5 RF, which has a folding roof.

The Toyota GR86 comes with a single engine option, a 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer unit, where the cylinders are arranged horizontally rather than vertically.

It does without turbocharging or supercharging, but produces 234PS and 250Nm of torque, a substantial increase over the Toyota GT86, enough to give a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. There are quicker cars in the class, but performance is strong and usefully improved.

Buyers also have the choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, although there is a slight performance penalty that comes with the latter option.

The Toyota GR86 benefits from a stronger body structure, which is a plus from a handling perspective, but also offers a potential improvement in crash safety.

The roof, bonnet and front wings are now made from aluminium rather than steel, which as well as saving a little weight, moves the centre of gravity closer to the road to improve handling response.

A further change is a switch in tyre specification – the Toyota GT86 used Michelin Primacy tyres which had low rolling resistance, meaning the level of grip was similar to conventional road cars. But on the Toyota GR86, Michelin Pilot Sport tyres are fitted for even more grip.

Inside, the Toyota GR86 shares much of its cabin with the previous car, but with some useful additions such as a digital instrument display which can show different information depending on the drive mode.

It’s easy to find a good driving position thanks to plenty of seat adjustment and a good view out for a compact sports car. The quality of materials inside is decent, but not exceptional, and trails more prestigious rivals.

However, the Toyota GR86 is really a car for buyers who are most interested in the quality of the driving experience, and that is the area in which it is most successful.

All the controls have a good weight and respond well to inputs, the engine delivers strong performance but without needing to reach especially big speeds to feel exciting, while the handling balance is excellent.

Genuine driving enthusiasts will find few rivals at this price point, but anyone seeking more style than substance may want to consider alternatives.

What does a Toyota GR86 cost?