About the Toyota 86
The entry-level 2023 Toyota GR86 sports car will be more expensive than the equivalent Subaru BRZ when it touches down in Australia – and pack less safety kit to boot.
Pricing for the base GR86 GT kicks off at $43,240 before on-roads regardless of which transmission you choose. That makes the cheapest manual 86 a not insignificant $2950 more expensive than the base Subaru BRZ manual, which costs $40,290.
The equation changes with the automatic however, because Subaru charges a premium. The base BRZ automatic ($44,090) is $850 more expensive than the 86 GT automatic – but unlike the Toyota it features blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The BRZ and GR86 are built at the same factory by Fuji Heavy Industries, and are almost identical mechanically.
Toyota Australia has secured around 1100 units of the new GR86 coupe for the first 12 months of sales – which is unlikely to come close to matching demand if history is any kind of guide.
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Toyota 86 Range Guide
Standard equipment in the GR86 GT includes:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- LED headlights
- Black fabric front seats
- Leather steering wheel and shift knob
- Dual-zone climate control
- 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- DAB+ digital radio
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Six-speaker sound system
- Keyless entry and start
- Autonomous emergency braking (auto only)
- Lane-departure warning (auto only)
- Seven airbags
- Tyre-pressure monitoring
- Cruise control
Stepping to the GR86 GTS gets you:
- Matte black 18-inch alloy wheels
- Adaptive headlights (turn with steering wheel)
- Ultrasuede interior trim
- Heated front seats
- Aluminium pedals and scuff plates
- Lights for sun visors
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Blind-spot monitor
It’ll be familiar to owners of the first-generation car, but the new 86 has taken a step forward in a couple of key areas.
The seats here are trimmed in what feels like quality cloth, and offer the right blend of bolstering and long-haul comfort for a car that’ll be driven daily… and in anger. They’re set slightly lower in the cabin than before to free up a bit more space.
Combined with a redesigned dashboard, slimmer door pockets, and smarter door grabs, the lower seats genuinely do open up slightly more space for leggy drivers.
he small steering wheel has been lifted directly from the facelifted previous-generation car, and feels just right in a car like this. There’s no flat-bottom or paddles to distract, although the little button pods on the two spokes are easy to accidentally hit if you have big hands.
It’s still a tight fit up front, but you can live with this comfortably in a way you can’t a Mazda MX-5. Not only does it have more space, it has two cupholders under the folding central armrest, usable door pockets, and a glovebox.
Toyota 86 Colours
- Storm Black
- White Liquid
- Magnetic Grey
- Ice Silver Metallic
- Apollo Blue
- Rapid Blue
- Spark Red
Cost of Ownership
Maintenance is required every 15,000km or 12 months, and Toyota caps the price of the first five services. They’ll each set you back $280 regardless of which transmission you opt for, significantly undercutting the BRZ.
How it Drives
Power in the Toyota GR 86 comes from a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, driving the rear wheels. Peak power is 174kW and peak torque is 250Nm, up 22kW and 38Nm on the old car.
Buyers are able to choose between a six-speed manual or six-speed torque converter automatic. Our tester was fitted with the enthusiast’s choice, the manual.
The 100km/h sprint takes a claimed 6.3 seconds.
The GR86 has a 50-litre fuel tank, and drinks 98 RON premium unleaded. Claimed fuel economy is 9.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, which we perfectly matched on our week behind the wheel.
he first 86 had a distinctive feeling from behind the wheel, and the new one doesn’t deviate too far from the formula. It just feels a touch more grown up, and a touch more refined in a few key areas than before.
Slot the stubby shifter into first and the light, short action will instantly feel familiar to previous owners, as will the slightly springy clutch. The second you ease off the clutch, however, it’s clear the bigger new engine has torque in all the places the first-generation car was missing it.
It pulls more happily from the bottom of second or third gear around town, and when the road opens up that horrid torque valley in the mid-range of the last car has been flattened out. It’s not going to crush your chest and make you beg for mercy with its sheer pace, but getting the best out of it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.
The 2.4-litre engine has the same slightly offbeat bark as before, piped into the cabin for a bit more drama behind the wheel, but it’s not coarse or buzzy like before at the top end.
Toyota 86 Safety Rating
he 2023 GR86 GT manual won’t feature any active driver-assist equipment.
Opting for the GT automatic gets you a more generous safety suite, including:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-departure warning
- High-beam assist
- Reverse autonomous emergency braking
Opting for the GR86 GTS adds the following to the existing list of standard inclusions:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-change assist
- Rear cross-traffic alert
The Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ haven’t been crash tested by ANCAP or Euro NCAP.
Toyota 86 Warranty
Like the wider Toyota range, the GR 86 will be backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Toyota 86 Infotainment
The digital instrument binnacle is simple but effective, and has been laid out to loosely look like a boxer engine. You get speed and revs prominently in the centre, flanked by fuel and temperature gauges on the right, and a customisable pod on the right-hand side.
Like the BRZ, the 86 runs a version of Subaru’s infotainment software on an 8.0-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. It’s been pared back relative to the version used in the Subaru Outback, but operates quickly and logically.
With no satellite navigation, you’ll need to plug in for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto if you want mapping.
The inclusion of a clear reversing camera is a win, while the USB ports are now hidden away beneath the armrest so cables don’t get tangled up in the gearstick when you’re in a hurry.
Toyota 86 Boot Space
Boot space is a claimed 237 litres.
2013 Toyota 86 GTS owner review
2013 Toyota 86 GT owner review
2019 Toyota 86 GTS owner review
2017 Toyota 86 GTS owner review
Should you buy the Toyota 86
The Toyota GR86 has taken a meaningful step forward in this second generation. It’s more powerful, more composed, and more usable day-to-day, but hasn’t lost the spirit of the original.
Toyota has made some strange decisions on the specification front, though.
The fact the base GR misses out on kit that’s standard across the related Subaru BRZ range is hard to defend, especially when the range of safety options on manual models is so skint to begin with.
With both in stock, the fact the base manual Subaru BRZ is better equipped and cheaper than the 86 means it’s the twin we’d be taking home. If you have an affinity with Toyota, or can’t get a BRZ, the base GR86 isn’t a bad backup plan.