Toyota GT 86 coupe

Price  £22,700 - £28,650

Toyota GT 86 coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Huge fun to drive
  • Great value for money
  • Good standard equipment
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Dated interior design
  • Engine sluggish at low revs

At a glance

The greenest
2.0 Boxer D-4S GT86 Auto 2dr £25,995
The cheapest
2.0 Boxer D-4S GT86 Primo 2dr £22,700
The fastest
2.0 Boxer D-4S GT86 2dr £25,000
Top of the range
2.0 Boxer D-4S GT86 Blanco 2dr £28,650

"The Toyota GT 86 is a stylish, back-to-basics coupe that overcomes most of its shortcomings by being brilliant to drive."

The Toyota GT 86 won Carbuyer's Best Coupe award in 2014 thanks to its precise handling, responsive brakes and traditional coupe appeal. Its sleek styling makes you want to drive it rather than look at it and it doesn’t disappoint once you get behind the wheel.

The GT 86 was developed in collaboration with Subaru in an attempt to add excitement to the Toyota range and improve the brand's 'dependable but dull' image. It offers great driving fun as well as excellent value for money.

Priced from around £22,000, it's targeted squarely at buyers who in the past would have chosen the Audi TT. It may not match the TT for style, out-and-out pace or fuel economy, and it's not as muscular as the Nissan 370Z, but the GT 86 still turns plenty of heads. And what its interior lacks in quality and cutting-edge design, it more than makes up for with good standard kit and accessories.

The GT 86 is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox (go for the manual), but there's also its near-identical sister car, the Subaru BRZ, to consider. The BRZ is actually better equipped for the same price, so buyers have the option of choosing which dealer they’d prefer to buy from and which badge they’d like on the bonnet.

The Toyota's interior isn’t the best on the coupe market, with the inside of a Volkswagen Scirocco and Audi TT easily bettering it when it comes to design and material quality. It's not as practical as these cars, either, while its only available engine (a 2.0-litre petrol) is less efficient than those in rivals.

However, the Toyota GT 86 is still a very attractive proposition to a buyer looking for a car that's lots of fun to drive and a little different to more common coupes.

Our recommendation would be the mid-range GT 86 trim, as it comes with almost all the standard equipment you could ever want. The car is quicker and more fun to drive with the manual gearbox, so we’d go for that rather than the automatic.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

The Toyota GT 86 is not as fuel-efficient as its rivals

Engines, drive & performance

4.8 / 5

The Toyota GT 86 is most at home on a twisty back road

Interior & comfort

3 / 5

The Toyota GT 86 is quite well suited to everyday use, but the Audi TT is more refined

Practicality & boot space

2 / 5

The Toyota GT 86 is not ideal for carrying larger items, and the rear seats are almost useless

Reliability & safety

4.5 / 5

Toyota is well known for making very reliable cars

What the others say

4.7 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"Get the revs above 4,000rpm, however, and the Toyota pulls strongly all the way to its 7,400rpm red line – although this relatively narrow powerband means that you will have to make plenty of use of the precise, but slightly clunky, six-speed manual gearbox. The star of the show is the Toyota's chassis. Engineers have worked hard to achieve near-perfect weight distribution, with the result that the GT 86 is beautifully poised when threaded through a series of bends."
5 / 5
"The GT 86 is that now-rare concoction, a simple, affordable, rear-drive coupé designed for pure driving amusement without being burdened by excessive technology – a sort of faster, sharper MX-5 with a coupe body. It uses Subaru-flavoured componentry, specifically a 1998cc flat-four engine and a platform derived from that of the just-launched new Impreza, but the idea of a front engine and rear-wheel drive is a welcome return to what used to work so well."
5 / 5
"See it in the pictures and the GT-86 looks a long way from epochal. You'd be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. The style is sports-coupé ubiquity, nice nose, but derivative tail treatment, although the front wing bulges are a nice touch. It also looks bigger than it is, although in reality, the GT 86 is quite a small car at just 14ft long and weighing just over a ton (1,188kg)."
What owners say 
4.8 /5 based on 10 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

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Last updated 
25 Jun 2015
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