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Toyota 86 GT v Hyundai Veloster Turbo

CarsGuide's 2012 Car of the Year takes on it's Korean rival.

VALUE from $29,990

VALUE from $31,990

The most talked-about car of 2012 is the most difficult to buy with months-long delivery dates. It's desirable because it's new, inexpensive and so much fun to drive. The base model's basic equipment suits the austere appeal of a sports car. The 86 gets capped-price service and standard three-year warranty.

The Korean ticks the price and quality boxes. Now it gets performance too. At $2000 more than the 86, it is still far better value for money. Add a five-year warranty, capped price servicing and roadside assist and it's a hard deal to overlook.


The 86 (and BRZ) share a unique platform and even the dual-injected Soob-sourced engine tweaked 147kW/205Nm for a claimed 7.8 litres/100km. The six-speed manual gearbox is shared with the Mazda MX-5. Steering is electric assist and it works like a charm.

It's as simple as whacking a turbocharger on a 1.6-litre engine. Hyundai gets 150kW/265Nm by adding the blower yet claims 6.8 litres/100km in the manual model driven. The electric-assist steering and the suspension is tuned in Australia.



Simple: long-nose, short-tail sports as befits a front-engine, rear-drive machine. The cockpit suits two adults while the boot and rear ``seat'' are for a small amount of luggage. Subaru, which makes the car, stamps exposed metal with its own name. The base model's standard wheels look ordinary.

The long wheelbase and blunted body make it appear beetle-like in profile. The big, fat, vertical Audi-like grille is as magnetic as a zit. You get a relatively spacious interior for four and flexible cargo space. Three doors is odd but it works. The 18-inch alloys look great.


There are seven airbags and a five-star crash rating. The chassis has electronic stability and traction control, nice big ventilated brakes but no spare wheel. Driver's vision is average and there are no park sensors or rear camera.

Five star with six airbags, electronic stability and traction control and a host of extra goodies including tyre pressure monitoring, rear camera, park sensors and automatic door locking. Brakes are bigger than the standard car. The spare is a space-saver.

3.5 starsDRIVING 3 starsDRIVING

One of those rare cars that become an extension of your body. It has excellent response, holds a near-perfect line, hugs the road and brakes hard and fast. Though the engine is weak down low, it winds out nicely with adequate mid-range punch.

For the purist driver, it doesn't quite satisfy. Yes, there is a nice, even and pleasantly warming rush of power, but it can't match the 86's sense that there are seemingly no limits. Yet it is more comfortable than the 86, is quieter and generally easier to live with.

3.5 star image
4 stars image


You'll love the 86's drive but may tire of its basic features and firm ride. In the everyday grind, the Veloster is simply easier to live with. Your call.



Pricing guides

Based on 169 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

GT 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $11,300 – 16,610 2013 Toyota 86 2013 GT Pricing and Specs
GTS 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $12,500 – 18,040 2013 Toyota 86 2013 GTS Pricing and Specs
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist


Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 168 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.