Pros: Superb handling that rewards good driving skills; true sports-car personality; relatively affordable pricing
Cons: Low-slung body and long doors make for tricky entry and exit; barely usable back seat; driver-assistance features available only with automatic transmission
CG Says: Toyota’s spritely sports car skips the 2021 model year and gets an extensive revamp for 2022. Along with the makeover, it undergoes a name alteration, from “86” to “GR86.” (The “GR” stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s European in-house motorsports arm.) Included in the changes are an extensively revised suspension, significant restyling, and a larger engine with more power.
Like its predecessor, the 2022 GR86 has rear-wheel drive and shares its horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine with its near twin, the Subaru BRZ. For 2022, both get a 228-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, gaining 23 horsepower over the previous 2.0-liter. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the GR86, with a six-speed automatic optional.
Base and Premium trim levels are offered. The Premium version includes a rear-deck spoiler, heated leather seats, aluminum pedals, and 18-inch wheels instead of 17s. In keeping with the GR86’s motorsports vibe, Toyota includes a free one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), with a session of high-performance-driving instruction.
The interior of the 2022 GR86 is sized about the same as the previous version, which means a “2+2” seating layout—the cramped back seat is best suited for small children. However, the rear seat backs fold down for extra flexibility in carrying larger items. The GR86 has a new dashboard design, with a 7.0-inch digital gauge display and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity is standard.
The GR86 can be equipped with new driver-assistance features that were unavailable on the previous model, including automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. However, these features are offered only on automatic-transmission models.
Toyota’s lively little sports car has a solid reputation for putting smiles on the faces of driving enthusiasts. This new revamp further sharpens its abilities in that regard, bringing welcome additional power and subtle chassis refinements to an already exceptional driving machine. Of course, the GR86’s tiny back seat limits its day-to-day practicality, and its rear-wheel-drive-only layout isn’t ideal for adverse weather. But those are mere quibbles for those who can fully appreciate the GR86’s intensely sporty personality. Adding further luster are relatively affordable prices, which Toyota says will start below $30,000.
|Body Style(s)||2-door coupe|
|Drive Wheels||rear-wheel drive|
|Nation of Manufacture||Japan|
|Base Prices||GR86 6-speed MT: $27,700
GR86 6-speed AT: $29,200
GR86 Premium 6-speed MT: $30,300
GR86 Premium 6-speed AT: $31,800
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