Toyota GT86 2012-2021 review

Open gallery Close by Matt Prior 26 July 2012 Follow @matty_prior Share

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There’s no overstatement in suggesting that we were waiting years for the Toyota GT86.

By that we don’t just mean enduring the interminable period of delays and introductions as journalists before finally getting our hands on a UK-spec Toyota GT86 (although we have had to do just that).

The Toyota GT86 feels light and compact, a bit like a Mazda MX-5Matt PriorEditor-at-large

We mean ‘we’ in a broader sense, as in the wait that every car enthusiast with modest resources has had to tolerate before a manufacturer summoned up the necessary gumption to build an authentic, low-weight, low-cost, compact sports car.

The front-engined, rear-drive 2+2 is powered by a 2.0-litre flat-four engine that churns out 197bhp and 151lb ft. A six-speed manual is standard; there’s also a six-speed automatic on offer as well.

Despite boasting a heritage that contains the Celica, the Supra and the MR2, Toyota has passed through a period of recent history that has been so mundane that the GT86’s potential place close to our hearts seems almost to be a novelty. 

However, the manufacturer’s three stated criteria for the GT86 (which has been developed in conjunction with the Subaru BRZ) read like a purist’s manifesto: rear-wheel drive, no turbocharging, ordinary tyres – much like the Mazda MX-5.

The objective, it gloriously affirms, was driver-focused fun. No further introduction is necessary.

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Verdict Model tested: Rating: 10

Toyota GT86 2012-2021

GoodBalletic balanceDriver-focused and comfortable cabinCharacterful engineBadLack of low-rev torqueCabin noisePerceived quality of some of the cabin trim

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