Toyota GT86 Road Test (2012)

Toyota GT86 (Rear Side View) (2012)

Toyota GT86 Review

Toyota GT86 ReviewToyota GT86 Review  | Part Two

Quirkiness and novelty value give the GT86 a bit of special cachet for those who like the way it looks. Don’t consider one of these if you are a keen driver looking for a dynamically accomplished car.

Comfort and Refinement

The front seats are firmly upholstered as you would expect of a sports car, but are supportive and perfectly comfortable. The car has a well-built feel and cabin quality is pretty good, but rather old-fashioned in design – or ‘traditional’ if you are feeling generous. The instrument dials are stylish with red needles, but the dull colouring makes them quite hard to read at a glance in dull weather.

General refinement is pretty good, especially for a sports car. The engine makes a pleasingly sporty sound, but it is not at all raucous and noise levels are reasonably subdued under normal driving conditions, only becoming more excessive when you make very liberal use of the car’s performance.

Safety and Security

The GT86 has not been tested for a Euro NCAP safety rating. There are  airbags for the driver and front passenger. The car is fitted with a limited slip differential to optimise traction and grip, but there is a tendency for the rear wheels to scrabble when you put the power down hard. It has anti-lock brakes and a switchable skid control safety system to maintain dynamic stability under extreme driving, but with the option to disengage it for track driving.


A colour touch-screen satnav is set into the centre dash, and it is well-featured including speed limit notification that lets you know if you exceed a given limit, but some of the controls are a bit confusing and it is not particularly intuitive to use. The radio-CD player audio system is standard and MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity are included.

  • Audi TT
  • Nissan 370Z
  • Porsche Cayman
  • Subaru BRZ
What We Liked
  • It’s fun to drive, with great rear-wheel-drive handling
  • The way the tail hangs out
  • The rorty engine note
  • It looks good, and makes you feel good behind the wheel
  • Reasonable fuel economy for the level of performance
What We Disliked
  • Lack of legroom in the back, rear seats are a joke
  • The prospect of driving one on slippery winter roads
  • Tail-happy handling could catch you out
  • Not quite enough aural charm, engine note could be even sportier
What We Would Like To See
  • More of them on the road, and the big smiles on their drivers’ faces.

Good job Toyota, and partner Subaru. The GT86 puts a smile on your face behind the wheel because it is a fun car to drive in the best tradition of classic rear-wheel-drive sports cars. It has good performance and is not outrageously priced. We like it a lot.

1 October 2012 Sue Baker
Toyota GT86 ReviewToyota GT86 Review  | Part Two
Toyota GT86 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedToyota GT86 Auto
Body Type2-door Coupe
ColourOrange Metallic
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph7.6 Seconds
Top Speed 140 mph
Transmission6-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban29.4 mpg
Extra Urban49.6 mpg
Combined39.8 mpg
Insurance Group29
Euro NCAP Rating
Warranty5 Years / 100,000 miles
Price (when tested on the 01/10/12)£26,495

The information contained within this Toyota GT86 review may have changed since publication on the 1 October 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Toyota dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018