2022 Toyota GR86 review: price, specs and release date

We’ve been testing out Toyota’s new lightweight sports Coupé, the GR86! How good has the extra power and sharper handling made it? Our verdict is in -

5/26/2022 6:50:00 PM

We’ve been testing out Toyota’s new lightweight sports Coupé, the GR86! How good has the extra power and sharper handling made it? Our verdict is in -

Lightweight sports coupe makes a return with the promise of more power and sharper handling, under a slightly different name. Is the Toyota GR86 any good?

What’s it like to drive?There’s only one engine available, with the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox – both with six speeds. The biggest difference is that the four-cylinder petrol engine has grown from a 2.0-litre to a 2.4-litre. Power is up by 17% over the old model, producing 231bhp and giving a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.3sec. That’s 1.3sec quicker than the GT86 and beats the most powerful

Mazda MX-5 RF2.0-litre by 0.5sec.The engine still isn’t that quick to rev and needs working hard to get the best out of it, but it’s now far more rewarding when doing so. It pulls strongly from the middle of the rev range up to the red line, accompanied by a suitably loud and pleasant engine sound piped through the speakers for added theatre.

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View all deals What’s it like to drive? There’s only one engine available, with the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox – both with six speeds. The biggest difference is that the four-cylinder petrol engine has grown from a 2.0-litre to a 2.4-litre. Power is up by 17% over the old model, producing 231bhp and giving a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.3sec. That’s 1.3sec quicker than the GT86 and beats the most powerful Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0-litre by 0.5sec. The engine still isn’t that quick to rev and needs working hard to get the best out of it, but it’s now far more rewarding when doing so. It pulls strongly from the middle of the rev range up to the red line, accompanied by a suitably loud and pleasant engine sound piped through the speakers for added theatre. The six-speed manual slots into gear nicely, requiring just enough effort to be involving for the driver. It doesn't have the same short-throw, flick-of-the-wrist action as the Mazda MX-5 but it’s still pleasant to use as you work your way through the gears. The most noticeable benefit of all that added muscle is found during calmer driving – when you settle down to cover a commute and deal with traffic, for example. You can stay in gear for longer when the revs drop and you no longer feel out of depth when you need to pick up the pace again. The obligation to shift down a gear just to get going has effectively been eradicated (except for when you attempt uphill driving in top gear), and that makes the GR86 far more relaxing to drive every day. Don’t go thinking the GR86 is a comfortable cruiser, though. The ride is firmer than the MX-5's, and although it rounds off bumps well enough around town, it becomes a little choppy at higher speeds. And while the engine quietens down into the background, there’s plenty of road and wind noise when you're cruising at speed. That makes it a noisy companion over long journeys, although it is considerably quieter than the inside of the