Toyota GT 86
This year's CarBuyer Best Coupe award goes to the stunning new Toyota GT 86. Developed in partnership with Subaru, the GT 86 turns the modern-day Toyota stereotype on its head – ditching the sensible hybrid hatchbacks in favour of a compact, lightweight, rear-wheel drive coupe.
With only 197bhp, it's not the most powerful car, and, at a smidgen under £25,000, nor is it the most expensive. But its beautiful balance between power and weight means the GT 86 is one of the most entertaining cars money can buy. There's only one specification level, so the entry-level car with the six-speed manual gearbox is the one to go for. The lively 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine has plenty of character, while strong brakes and precise steering mean it's a hoot to drive.
Standard equipment is good when compared to the likes of the Audi TT and Nissan 370Z, too. Touchscreen sat-nav, Bluetooth phone connectivity and heated seats are all standard, as are xenon headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. A five-year/100,000-mile warranty is simply the icing on the cake. What's more, if you think a focused rear-wheel-drive sportscar can’t be comfortable, think again. Considering the firm suspension, the GT 86 does a great job of soaking up lumps and bumps in the road. It never feels crashy, and the well-bolstered seats are remarkably supportive over long motorway journeys.
With the focus on a great driving experience, it’ll be no surprise to learn that getting snug in the front of a Toyota GT 86 is a doddle. There's plenty of adjustment in both steering wheel and seat, while headroom won’t be an issue even for the tallest drivers. Back seats are reserved for small children, but they do fold to reveal a useful extended load area.
Not a lot comes close when you consider bang for your buck. Toyota has gone back to basics with its brand-new GT 86 – and the low-weight, modest power equation works perfectly in this well-rounded, well-equipped sports coupe.