Toyota GT86 (2012 – 2021) Review

Toyota GT86 (2012 – 2021) At A Glance


+Hugely enjoyable and involving to drive. Great amounts of grip and superb handling. Free-revving 2.0-litre non-turbo engine produces 200PS. Low rev torque improves for 2017 MY.

-Cabin lacking in quality. Not suited to sitting in busy traffic. Poor torque up to 2016.

Insurance Groups are between 29–35
On average it achieves 100% of the official MPG figure

Since the demise of the Celica and the MR2, Toyota hasn't had a sports car. Which has been a real shame for a brand with a strong past in driver-focussed cars. In recent years Toyota has become better known for reliable and worthy cars like the Avensis and Auris.

But there's not been much to get excited about. Now that's changed with the GT86 - a sports coupe in the best traditions of Toyota.

It's actually been co-developed with Subaru which has its own version, the BRZ. Aside from the badge on the bonnet both are pretty much identical. The big surprise is that despite the current trend for turbocharged engines, the GT86 and BRZ use the same naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine developing 200PS.

It's an engine which does need to be worked hard to get the best out of it, but that only adds to the old-school sports car feel.

That's not to say it's gutless at low revs but with only a moderate 205Nm of torque which peaks at the top of the rev range it's clear that this is designed as proper driver's car. The light weight helps with performance - 0-62mph takes 7.6 seconds - and the lovely short shifting six-speed manual is a delight to use.

It handles superbly, helped by the rear-wheel drive set-up, with responsive and direct steering, great body control and huge amounts of grip. It's a car that really inspires confidence but more importantly is huge fun to drive. So while there may be other coupes that are quicker, nothing feels as enjoyable as the GT86. True it doesn't feel the most modern of sports cars, especially inside, but that only adds to its appeal.

Toyota GT86 2012 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Toyota GT86 (2012 – 2021)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–43 mpg

MPGs submitted


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Ask Honest John

What tyres would you recommend for my Toyota GT86?

"I'm buying a used Toyota GT86, can you tell me what the correct type and size tyre that should be fitted? Low road noise is important to me, so what brand would you recommend?"
When first launched the Toyota GT86 was specified with 215/45 R17 Michelin Primary HP tyres, the same specification as less performance-oriented Toyotas such as the Toyota Auris and Prius. The thinking behind this was to keep a close balance between performance and grip, allowing the driver to enjoy the rear-wheel-drive handling balance. However, many owners wanted more grip, especially if they chose to modify their cars and add more performance. Because this is quite a common tyre size there is a wealth of choice, so you can go for something close to the original specification or a higher performance tyre for additional grip. If low road noise is a priority, then we would suggest the Continental Ultra Contact, which is rated A for wet-weather grip but also has the one of the lowest noise ratings at 69 dB.
Answered by David Ross

Is there a two-seater sports car that has room behind for a small dog?

"Many years ago I drove an MGB GT which was basically two seats plus a shelf, but handy for a small dog. I now am looking for a more up to date sporty soft top car with similar features. What do you recommend? I'm keen on the Mazda MX-5, but there is no room and certainly no space behind the seats."
Unfortunately, I think you might have to look at something slightly bigger, like a BMW 2 Series Convertible, to have the space you require. Alternatively, consider a Toyota GT86 - it's more practical yet as fun to drive as an MX-5, but isn't available as a convertible.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best car with a naturally aspirated engine?

"I am looking for a car with a naturally aspirated engine as I dislike all turbo ones. My favourite is a Toyota GT86 - are there any other ones for under £15k"
Mazda takes the naturally-aspirated route with its petrol engines. The Mazda MX-5 is a good alternative to the GT86 and has the bonus of a convertible roof.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What can you recommend to replace my Toyota MR2?

"I have a much loved Toyota MR2 which has just been written off. As I am now in my mid-60s I feel a higher car with power steering is probably the way to go. My MR2 is automatic and I would like another automatic with with good rear visibility. I have up to £10,000 to spend - what would you recommend that might by fun?"
It depends how important the 'fun to drive' aspect is. I want to recommend a Toyota GT86 as it's a lot of fun, but there aren't many about for £10,000 and it's not particularly high up, even compared to an MR2. A MINI Hatch might be a good choice. They're great to drive and your budget will get you a sporty Cooper S from around 2012. You might also like a Volkswagen Golf GTI with the DSG automatic gearbox. If you're after something a bit more sensible, the Honda Jazz is surprisingly good to drive and offers excellent practicality.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Toyota GT86 (2012 – 2021) cost?