Toyota 86 GTS 2014 Review

30 December 2014
 by 
, CarsGuide

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?

The 86 needs no introduction. The rear wheel drive, two-door sports car has been a runaway success for the company since its introduction two years ago. It’s been upgraded, but still looks the same - with reworked suspension but no engine tweaks.

How much?

The entry price for the GT remains unchanged at $29,990, while an auto adds $2800 to that figure. The better equipped GTS goes for $36,490 or $39,290 for the auto.

What are competitors?

Nothing really, apart that this from its kissing cousin the Subaru BRZ with which it shares just about everything. Having said that buyers will shop the 86 against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mini Cooper S, Renault RS Megane and probably even the Mazda MX-5.

What's under the bonnet?

Same 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine with 147kW and 205Nm, the latter available in a narrow band between 6400 and 6600 revs. It’s available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifts - we had the auto.

How does it go?

Good, but every man and his dog has been crying out for a turbocharged version. The 2.0-litre engine provides just enough punch to make things interesting, but not enough to really light up the car.

Is it economical?

Claimed fuel consumption is 7.8L/100km for the manual and 7.1L/100km for the auto and note it takes the good stuff - 98RON premium unleaded. We were getting 8.3L/100km after 400km.

Is it green?

Gets 4 out of 5 stars from the Government’s Green Vehicle Guide, with CO2 emissions of 164g/km (benchmark Prius gets 5).

Is it safe?

Gets a full five stars for safety from ANCAP, with seven airbags and a full suite of safety systems including a knee bag (very important in a car like this). The updated GTS now gets a reversing camera.

Is it comfortable?

Yes and no. Getting in and out can be tricky but once you’re installed its reasonably comfortable. The tiny rear seat is useless.

What's it like to drive?

Good fun and goes round corners nicely, but the auto has some issues. We caught it actually hunting for the right gear at one stage and it became choppy at other times. It feels better in sport mode but the artificially enhanced exhaust note sounds fake, like its a car in a Playstation game.

Is it value for money?

Yes. Looks great, fun to drive and cheaper than just about any other sports car you can name - pretty well equipped too. Our test car came with climate control, heated seats, a splash of what looks like carbon fibre and satnav with speed camera warnings.

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Verdict 

Would we buy one?

You can actually pick the new one by the shark fin antenna. We’d probably go the GT with a manual and make some cosmetic changes including a new set of wheels. However, it does not require a rear spoiler.

Specifications

  • Price From $36,490
  • Fuel consumption 7.8L/100km (combined), 181g/km CO2 Tank 50L
  • Safety 5-star ANCAP
  • Engine 2.0-litre 4-cyl boxer petrol, 147kW/205Nm
  • Transmission 6-spd manual; RWD
  • Spare tyre repair kit

Toyota 86 GTS 2014 Review

What we like

  • Fun to drive
  • Good value

What we don't

  • Clumsy automatic transmission
  • Artificial exhaust note

Key Features

  • 5 Star Safety

Rivals

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