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Toyota GR86 verdict

2022 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 24 November 2023 Updated: 5 December 2023

Should you buy one?

Absolutely. The Toyota GR86 is a fantastic sports car for the money. It costs a shade over £30,000, which passes for very affordable these days. It’s a refreshingly analogue blast from the past and a welcome change from the increasing number of electrified cars we now review.

It also serves as a reminder that, although manufacturers have a duty to trim their carbon emissions with hybrid and electric powertrains, there are still plenty of petrolheads out there that want a fun toy for the weekend. And the GR86 is the ideal tool for the job.

Toyota GR86 review: rear three quarter static, low angle, parked on gravel, blue paint
The GR86 is a fabulous sports car. If can get your hands on one, buy it.

The GR86 is so good because it’s so well rounded. It’s a low-slung sports car that can carve country lanes like a hill climb racer, scamper from 0–62mph in 6.3 seconds and a hit a top speed of 140mph, yet it can also return around 30mpg when driven sensibly. It isn’t even that uncomfortable for what it is, and it’s very well assembled.

The biggest problem with the GR86 is getting one. Toyota shot itself in the foot here by deciding to only bring a limited number of cars to Europe. Enthusiasts are clamouring to get their hands on one – and the fact that Toyota is planning to pull the car from Europe in 2024 means that, even if your name is on the waiting list, your car might never arrive.

What we like

The GR86 is easily the best-driving new car you can buy for the money. It feels deliciously old school. Its controls are just heavy enough to require a bit of muscle to operate them (which is great for driver engagement), but not so dense that you wear yourself out on your favourite stretch of road.

We also love that its 2.4-litre engine doesn’t have a turbocharger – and the extra 400cc of displacement over the old GT86’s powertrain has worked wonders for the car’s character. Now, it has loads of low-down grunt, which makes it far easier to drive quickly.

What we don’t like

It isn’t quite as eager to oversteer as the old Toyota GT86, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how confident you are as a driver. Keen drivers might find they can have a little more fun in its predecessor. The long waiting lists also mean it’s quite difficult to get your hands on one.