Toyota 86 GT review

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5 November 2012

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

Toyota's attention getting 86 sports car. This one is the GT entry model with a manual transmission. It will be the preferred choice of many punters, bearing in mind that less is often more when it comes to sports cars.

How much?

Prices start at $29,990. The big problem is getting hold of one. The waiting list has blown out to more than a year we're told - the good news is that this week Toyota announced it had managed to get hold of another 1500.

What are competitors?

Excellent question, especially for someone who wants the car now and is not prepared to wait. For the price nothing else really comes within cooee  but a Veloster Turbo might tide you over at $31,990.

What's under the bonnet?

A 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat four Subaru engine (shared with the BRZ). Produces 147kW of power at 7000 revs and 205Nm of torque between 6400 and 6600 revs. That makes it a high revving engine with a narrow band of torque.

How does it go?

Fantastic. Once you get the hang of it that is. This is not a car that you can dawdle around in, leaving it in top gear. You need to change and change often to keep in the zone. With no revs on the dial you will be left high and dry on the other side of a corner.

Is it economical?

The manual is rated at 7.8 litres/100km and interestingly that's exactly what we were getting after just over 400km of driving. Bear in mind that this engine requires 98 RON fuel or higher according to the book. Neither the GT or GTS provide distance to empty which is kind of wierd.

Is it green?

Both the manual and automatic get 4 out of 5 stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide (Prius gets 5). The manual produces 181g/km of CO2.

Is it safe?

Hasn't been tested by ANCAP yet but has been designed to get 5 stars, with seven airbags as standard and a pedestrian-friendly front structure.

Is it comfortable?

It's a long way down but once you're there it's all good. No back seat to speak of but the sports bucket will accommodate a range of frames.

What's it like to drive?

Sounds more like a boxer engine than the auto. As the Beach Boys sang - Fun! Fun! Fun! Toyota has really ripped one out with this model, the complete antithesis of the very boring Camry?

Is it value for money?

Add in a digital speedo and distance to empty and we'd be happy as a pig in mud.

Would we buy one?

Where do we sign?

Toyota 86

Price: from $29,990
Engine: 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder, 147kW/205Nm
Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed auto, RWD
Fuel economy:  7.8L/100km (7.1L auto) 98RON
0-100km/h: 7.6 secs (8.2 auto)

Written by

Chris Riley

Published 5 November 2012

Published In

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