If you’ve already read my Subaru BRZ review, well, you probably know what to expect out of this one. The 2022 Toyota GR86, apart from a few modest styling tweaks, is virtually identical to the BRZ. They share an engine, transmission, and even infotainment systems – but depending on what options you want, it could determine which coupe is actually worth buying.
In this case, I'm driving the GR86 with the six-speed manual transmission, which yields points to the automatic BRZ I tested previously because it lacks active safety features in this configuration, and loses a few MPGs. But on the other hand, the slick six-speed shifter is far superior to the automatic, the Neptune Blue paint job is pretty awesome, and the GR86 has a more tapered look, which gives it a nod in the design department.
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|2022 Toyota GR86 Premium MT
|228 Horsepower / 184 Pound-Feet
Gallery: 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Review
Between the BRZ and the GR86, I prefer the Toyota's sharper styling. The grille is larger and cleaner, while the corner vents give the GR86 a more aggressive look. The Neptune Blue exterior paint on this tester is a no-cost color option that won't be to everyone's liking, but it helps the GR86 stand out in a crowd.
The interior is no-nonsense but nice. A combo of black leather and Ultrasuede covers the sport bucket seats, with the former making its way to the steering wheel and shift knob. As a driver-focused sports car, the cabin envelops the driver, while doing away with unnecessary buttons and dials. The center console is clean, with three big dials and only a few new buttons on the steering wheel for things like audio controls. The previous model had no buttons on the steering wheel at all.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Toyota 86
The sport bucket seats are the best part of the interior. They contour perfectly to the driver and front passenger, providing ample lateral support in corners and decent back support. These aren't the softest thrones in the world, admittedly, and even on the Premium model, there is no power adjustability; six-way manual adjustability is the only option.
Even with stiffer rear springs and harder seats, the GR86 feels more compliant over broken pavement. Still, it remains a no-nonsense sports car that finds more value in sharing road info – good or bad – with the driver's backside rather than hiding it from them. And it's loud, too, with wind, tire, and road noise entering the cabin at anything more than city speeds. But that’s not uncommon for the class.
The second row is still completely useless for average adults with a barely usable 29.9 inches of legroom. And the trunk is relatively tiny, too, with just 6.3 cubic feet of cargo space. That's about half of what the noticeably larger, less focused Ford Mustang can carry.
|37.0 / 33.5 Inches
|41.5 / 29.9 Inches
|6.3 Cubic Feet
|38.5 / 33.5 Inches
|43.9 / 29.9 Inches
|9.1 Cubic Feet
|37.6 / 34.8 Inches
|44.5 / 30.6 Inches
|13.5 Cubic Feet
- Center Display: 8.0-Inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 7.0-Inch Productivity Screen
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: No
One area where Toyota could have really differentiated the GR86 from the BRZ would have been with the infotainment. But instead, Toyota ported over Subaru's less-than-stellar Starlink system, tweaked the graphics, and called it a day. You'll find the same 8.0-inch touchscreen display with relatively slow response times and outdated graphics here, as well as the same 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster.
Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections come standard – no wireless available – with satellite radio also standard across the board. The Premium model tested here ups the speaker count from six to eight.
- Engine: 2.0-Liter H4
- Combined Output: 228 Horsepower / 184 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Six-Speed Automatic
Gone is last year's lethargic 2.0-liter and in its place is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's more robust. With 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the GR86 has no trouble getting off the line, delivering generous amounts of torque from idle on up to the dramatically more accessible 3,700-rpm peak, as opposed to the 6,400 RPM of the previous model. With that, it takes the 86 just 6.1 seconds to get to 60 miles per hour with the six-speed manual equipped.
And the manual transmission is the one to get. This six-speed is short and snappy, and it snickers into gear with a satisfying click. The short throws rival the iconically good gearboxes of the Mazda Miata and Honda Civic Si, even though the GR86's clutch catches in a much tighter window than either of those two.
Dynamically, torsional rigidity improves by about 50 percent over the previous model, meaning the already awesome cornering abilities of this car are even better. The GR86 offers unrivaled agility in the segment and near-perfect balance, and the addition of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires (215/40) on the Premium model adds some much-needed grip.
If you want the latest and greatest Toyota active safety equipment – sorry, you’ll have to get the automatic. Toyota does not offer things like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, or lane keep assist on the GR86 with the manual equipped. The good news is, that even the base GR86 with the automatic offers these features at no extra cost.
Compared to last year’s model, the GR86 takes a pretty significant hit in the fuel economy department. It drops from 27 combined with the automatic and 24 combined with the manual to 25 combined with the automatic and 22 combined with the manual. Those are among the worst figures in the class for comparable four-cylinder manual models.
The GR86 starts at $28,710 with the $1,010 destination fee included, while the Premium model tested here costs $31,310. Adding the automatic to the base model is a $1,500 option, while opting for the two-pedal option on the Premium is an extra $1,075. Fortunately, the gearbox is one of the only choices a GR86 customer needs to make. Aside from manual or automatic, and a few premium color options like the Neptune Blue featured here, there are no standalone options on the GR86 line.
Between the GR86, the Mustang, and the Camaro, Toyota’s sports car is admittedly the least powerful. And the starting price is more than the Camaro and almost as much as a base Mustang. But the GR86 is also the most agile of the trio, and arguably the most fun. On top of that, the packaging of the Premium model offers virtually no options, making it a competitive buy compared to the Ford and Chevy.
|$31,310 (Premium 6MT)
|$32,845 (3LT 6MT)
|$33,890 (Premium 6MT)
- Chevrolet Camaro Turbo: Not Rated
- Ford Mustang EcoBoost: Not Rated
Is The Toyota GR86 Fuel Efficient?
The Toyota GR86 is actually one of the least fuel-efficient cars in the class, returning 20 miles per gallon city, 27 highway, and 22 combined with the six-speed manual transmission equipped. The automatic is slightly thriftier, returning up to 25 mpg combined.
Does The Toyota GR86 Have A Turbo?
No, the Toyota GR86 does not get a turbo for the 2022 model year. The engine underhood is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder that produces 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
Does The Toyota GR86 Have Power Seats?
No, even on the top-of-the-line Premium model, the GR86 only has a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat.
2022 Toyota GR86 Premium MT