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Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86

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Toyota GT86

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Toyota GT86

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Toyota GT86

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Toyota GT86

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Toyota GT86

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  • Launched in 2012
  • Coupe
  • Petrol
  • Launch year
    2012
  • Body type
    Coupe
  • Fuel type
    Petrol

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Purist, joyous, Toyota sports car

Best bits

  • Singular driver focus not at the expense of usability, or specification
  • Hugely entertaining chassis and crisp manual transmission
  • Light weight aids not just performance and handling, but delivers decent economy too

Not so great

  • The interior is pretty rudimentary
  • Choosing the auto blunts the performance
  • Those rear seats are seats in name only

Read by

Toyota GT86 Front Side View

Overall verdict

Toyota GT86 Driver's Seat

On the inside

Toyota GT86 Front Side View

Driving

Toyota GT86 Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Toyota GT86 Left Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"We’re not going to deny that we’re big fans of the GT86 and what it represents, but realise, too, that it’s not a car that’ll appeal to everyone. If you love driving, then the GT86 is an absolute joy, if you like the idea of a coupe, but aren’t so fussed on driving then you’ll be better served elsewhere. Back to basics fun, which in today’s digital, numbing and electronic driver aid interfering age is an absolute joy."

Toyota GT86 Front Side View

Fun and Toyota might not be obvious bedfellows but in 2012 the reliable automotive giant revealed its party spirit, serving up a light, compact and affordable sports car, the Toyota GT86. 


Toyota has made enjoyable driver-focussed cars previously, the MR2, Celica and Supra spring to mind, but it had been years since the brand had had anything to tease an enthusiastic driver to visit a Toyota showroom, but that changed with the GT86.


Toyota’s volume might be humdrum hatchbacks and virtue signalling hybrids, but the GT86 also exhibits the company’s core engineering expertise, and obsession.


Indeed, the GT86’s name not actually derived from the AE86 Corolla that was, and remains, an icon among Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) fans, but actually a hat tip to the cylinder bore diameter – and that of the Celica GT4 and MR2 before it.


Try mentioning that to even your most car-obsessed friends though and you’ll be the bore in the discussion. Focus then on Toyota’s attention to detail on keeping the weight low, the power sensible and the grip modest, all in the pursuit of exploitable, enjoyable driving dynamics. 


The GT86 isn’t a car that’s all about power, indeed, the GT86’s 200PS output is the same as you’ll find in something like a Ford Fiesta ST, while the 7.6 second 0-62mph is beaten by something as crushingly sober-suited as a rep-spec BMW 320d. The fun is in the GT86’s chassis, with rear-wheel drive, the handling is sharp and enjoyable, its a car that you can wring out on the road without fear for your licence, it’s performance, and limits such that it’s enjoyable at sensible speeds. 


The GT86’s conception is the result of a flirtation with Subaru, Toyota having bought a share in Subaru’s parent company, and thus partly owns it. That explains the specification of the GT86’s engine, it a flat-four, or boxer unit, which Subaru is famed for building. It also explains why Subaru builds the GT86 at one of its factories, and also sells its own BRZ, which is a GT86 wearing Subaru badges. 


That unusual engine configuration fits perfectly with Toyota’s goals with the GT86, it sitting low in the chassis, allowing for excellent weight distribution, and a low centre of gravity, all of which is to the benefit of how the GT86 responds to your inputs behind the wheel. 


Lauded collectively by the automotive world when it arrived, its sales haven’t exactly been stellar, but Toyota lightly face-lifted it in 2017. 


There’s still talk of a replacement, though with the Supra now back in Toyota showrooms that might have been canned. Fingers crossed it’s not, as while sales might not be huge, Toyota’s commitment to offering a purist, light, affordable and enjoyable driver’s car is to be applauded, and it really is a hugely fun car to drive, and, being a Toyota, certain to be reliable, too.

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Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
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Toyota GT86

2.0 D-4S 2dr

  • 2014
  • 53,394 miles
  • Carz Dalgety Bay
  • Fife, KY119HH
Price:£14,800
HP: £402.84/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £402.84, Customer Deposit: £2,220.00, Total Deposit: £2,220.00, Total Charge For Credit: £1,922.24, Total Amount Payable: £16,722.24, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.42%

Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86

2.0 D-4S 2dr

  • 2020
  • 2,959 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Steven Eagell Toyota Peterborough
  • Peterborough, PE15AU
Price:£27,299
PCP: £402.29/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £402.29, Customer Deposit: £4,094.00, Total Deposit: £4,094.85, Optional Final Payment: £11,645.00, Total Charge For Credit: £2,521.00, Total Amount Payable: £29,820.00, Representative APR: 4.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 3.62%, Excess Mileage Charge: 12ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Toyota GT86 right for you?

We’re not going to lie, the GT86’s audience is limited, but if you’ve read through the above paragraphs, typed GT86 into your preferred search engine and browsed a brochure then carry on. It’s a driver’s car, and one that appeals to those out there who really appreciate proper driving. 


There’s no big hitting power to wow your friends with, the comparatively low output of the 2.0-litre flat-four engine needing working hard to produce its performance, but that’s kind of the point. 


The focus really is on its handling, the purity of its responses and the ability to exploit its fine balance, and if that appeals, then the GT86 should be at the top of your list for consideration.


If you want more pace spend your money on a decent hot hatch, you’ll find more comfort in something like an Audi TT, too, but if a rear-wheel drive, light, fun car appeals, with a modicum of practicality – it being a 2+2, with tiny rear seats – then, yes, the GT86 is right for you.

What’s the best Toyota GT86 model/engine to choose?

There are currently three models, in 2020, the GT86, GT86 Pro and the GT86 Club Series. All are powered by that naturally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. We’d recommend that manual, as it’s absolutely central to the driving experience, the automatic, while slick shifting enough, robbing the GT86 of its core enthusiast appeal as well as blunting the performance – adding a not insignificant 0.6 seconds to the 0-62mph time. 


A basic GT86 loses nothing significant in relation to specification over its GT86 Pro alternative, save a few finer interior finishes and heated front seats, so it’s really down to your budget. Even then there’s not a huge leap in price, we’re talking around £1000, so we’d suggest a GT86 Pro manual if we were buying one.

What other cars are similar to the Toyota GT86?

There are very few cars which we’d consider direct rivals, particularly at the GT86’s price point, but it’d be remiss not to mention the Mazda MX-5 here, it too being Japanese, compact, light, rear-wheel drive and driver focussed.


It’s also a roadster, the GT86 being coupe only. Alpine’s A110 sings off the same hymn sheet as the GT86, but it’s at least £20,000 more. The GT86 likely to tempt some drivers out of hot hatches, or older, used sports cars. 


You could also buy something like and Audi TT, but it’s a different proposition on the road, insomuch as it looks good, but the GT86 is significantly more fun to drive. Oh, and of course, the Subaru BRZ, which is the GT86’s near identical twin.

Learn more

Toyota GT86 Driver's Seat

On the inside

Toyota GT86 Front Side View

Driving

Toyota GT86 Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Toyota GT86 Left Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Interested in buying a Toyota GT86?

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