2022 Toyota GR86
The Toyota 86/Scion FR-S was a sports car made for those who prefer the concept of power-to-weight ratio. It was a light 2+2 sports coupe created by both Toyota and Subaru to provide drivers maximum fun on the curves and on the track.
One complaint about the 86 was the lack of performance from Subaru’s Boxer engine. Rather, the need for either more horsepower or turbocharging from this engine.
This time around, both Toyota and Subaru put in some extra effort to not only give enthusiasts more horsepower in the new generation GR 86 coupe. They maintained everything else about it.
This new version now becomes part of Toyota’s Gazoo Racing sub-brand of performance cars. Does the new badge help this coupe’s cause beyond just a horsepower bump?
The payoff starts from a revised design that evolved from the last generation 86. The overall look looks cleaner with some sculpted details making the GR86 more aggressive than its predecessor. A simpler front end has a sizeable grille with two LED headlamp units that also include daytime running lights and turn signals.
The long hood leads to a fastback roofline, meeting down to the rear deck area. Two LED taillight clusters set off a very clean rear end design finishing with a diffuser, a backup light/lower lighting cluster, and two exhaust ports.
Our Premium model gets a set of black 18-inch alloy wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4 performance tires.
The driver-focused interior is a mix of Toyota and Subaru components. You geta. Fully digital instrument cluster with a center dial for a tachometer and speedometer. Other key readouts and information are available on the left screen. The center stack offers an eight-inch infotainment screen that offers wired smartphone integration from the USB ports inside the center console storage area.
The GR86 is a 2+2 sports coupe. The front seats are heavily bolstered and will fit most bodies. They are manually adjustable for height, rake, and recline, along with an adjustable headrest. The rear seats are more for children and some adults. Even though Toyota states that the trunk capacity is only 6.26 cubic feet, it looks it can take two 22-inch roller bags with plenty of space to spare.
Underneath the hood is a naturally aspirated 228-horsepower 2.4-liter BOXER four-cylinder engine. The basics of this engine is from Subaru; however Toyota added several items make it more robust than its predecessor. Our tester was connected to a six-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.
While it is an improvement from the last generation cars, the driveline will need some coaxing on occasion. A bit more accelerator work to keep it going, especially out on the highway. Once it gets going, it does very nicely to keep up with traffic and manage slower curves.
Switching on to Sport mode only changes the transmission’s shift points, which prioritizes the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Of course, one would argue that the performance of the driveline is also relative to its 2,868-pound curb weight.
It did turn in some good fuel economy, averaging 31.6 MPG.
The GR86’s ride is firm. You do feel the bumps and expansion joints through your seat. However, it takes corners like a dream. It has a higher limit tolerance that enthusiasts love to experience.
Braking is very good with a solid pedal feel and response to the wheels. In turn, the stops feel short in normal and panic situations. We wished the steering was a bit tighter. On-center feel was fine and wheel response was pretty good, but a tighter radius would make this a more enjoyable drive.
Pricing for the 2022 GR86 starts from $27,900. Our Premium tester came with a sticker price of $33,507.
As with most of the automotive industry, this segment has also shrunk to a couple of competitors: The GR86 and its twin, the Subaru BRZ. The Hyundai Veloster N will run out at the end of the 2022 model year, leaving the Toyota and Subaru in the sub-$40,000 sports coupe segment. That is, if you also throw in the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger into this segment, based on price alone.
Nonetheless, if you want an affordable 2+2 sports coupe that does not break the bank – this is it. The Toyota GR86 continues to add more fun to the lineup, while wearing the global Gazoo Racing badge. This is truly an enthusiast’s delight.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors