Toyota GR86 review | Car Monitor

It is not the first time that I have the opportunity to test the Toyota GR86. At the end of 2021, I tested this sports coupe in and around the Parcmotor Castelloli track in Spain. It was a prototype still in camouflage, but high expectations were met with effort. The philosophy of the GT86, but with a little more power and even more refinement. The type of car you prefer to get from point A to point B while behind the wheel.

But scoring was easy. Winding mountain roads, no traffic and no speed control. And closed circuit. Sports cars like the Toyota GR86 are always meant to excel. During this meeting, attention was paid not only to the driving pleasure, but also to the comfort of use in everyday life. After all, does a Japanese coupe still put a smile on your face when you use it for your daily commute?

To add to this commitment, I even used my Toyota GR86 to get around on weekends with my family. With her two youngest children. And our luggage. Let’s go.

I loved it

Kids love it. My son compares the Toyota GR86 to a big Hot Wheels because the body design really looks a bit like a toy car. The funny thing is, these looks only tell part of the story. The GR86 looks fun, but its ride is even better. Very entertaining and sometimes very enthusiastic. For my wife anyway. Although my son sometimes felt nauseous, he found the rear axle of the car fully awake and the rubber tracks left on the asphalt perfectly correct.

An analog car in the digital age, this is how the Japanese manufacturer describes the Toyota GR86. And it thrives. A naturally aspirated boxer engine that drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, but is not lost in hundreds of tuning options. You can turn off the electronic stability control and activate a dedicated Track mode (with a customized menu on the dashboard), but otherwise: what you see is what you get, no more, no less. And it works very well.

My eldest daughter, who is now 12 years old, did not come with me to Veluwe and that was actually a good thing. And not because his teenage antics spoil the atmosphere. But because there is simply no room for it. The Toyota GR86 has a rear seat, but it only has two seats. To create extra legroom, I placed my seat a little further forward than it was really comfortable. But family first, right? Nevertheless, the journey of more than two hours is not torture. Even when your knees tickle your ears. Convenience? Either way, it’s pretty good for a car that promotes pure and simple driving pleasure.

Toyota GR86 also does not have a large trunk (226 liters). Luckily, I’m pretty good at puzzles and managed to fit all the luggage in the trunk for a long weekend. There are additional storage compartments in the center console and doors, giving you extra space to store a bottle of water or similar items. It’s certainly not a monovolume, but the GR86 is more practical than you might think.

I didn’t like it

I’m a fan of its looks, compact dimensions and low seating position. But it bucks the trend toward bigger and bigger SUV models. Many other road users look down on the Toyota GR86, both literally and figuratively. “The Baraki family,” as someone described it. The Mazda MX-5 is less of a problem, as almost everyone enjoys it. Because it’s a roadster, maybe?

The Toyota GR86 lacks a bit of cachet, especially inside. The digital tachometer starts spinning when you press the Gazoo Racing start button, which I think is a good thing. Moreover, there is no sign of frivolity. The plastics are a bit hard, the dashboard design is mostly functional and the central media pod screen looks dated. The armrest inside the door is also uncomfortable; luckily, there are sports seats.

The Toyota GR86 is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 234 horsepower and 250 Nm. If you’re skilled enough with a fairly subtle clutch pedal, 0-100 km/h takes 6.3 seconds. . The naturally aspirated engine responds to the throttle and is mated to a close-ratio gearbox, forcing you to watch what you’re doing with your feet. But the reward is worth it, because the right pedal is a kind of stick with which you guide the GR86’s antics. The Boxer isn’t exactly snappy, and the sound could be better, especially since those fist-width exhausts promise a fat soundtrack. Reality does not live up to expectations.

Review 2022 Toyota GR86

So that

No, the Toyota GR86 is not a family car. However, we completed our project without a hitch, especially since the youngest children were still small, and the good weather did wonders for my wife’s mood. But it’s functional and comfortable enough for daily commuting that it’s still an accessible sports car. And spending the occasional weekend with the family.

But that would backfire because the Toyota GR86 is a lot of fun on back roads. The chassis constantly demands new challenges, even forcing you to attack circuitous tracks like a WRC event. It shouldn’t be the goal… Especially since these associative maneuvers quickly become commonplace to you, other road users make you feel uncomfortable. It can also be tiring, with those front wheels greedily clinging to the rope and the rear end always prone to slippage. But you’ll never hear me complain about it.

One tip: maybe they should provide the Toyota GR86 with protective rims for the sidewalls of the tires like they do in rally. After all, the tires on the test car, which I had been able to use for less than a week, had come off. Even if the GR86 surprises you at times, not everyone is Ken Block.

So, whether we feel it or not, this is the Toyota GR86. For my part, I feel very good.


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