Review - Toyota GR86

By Alexi Falson on 14 Nov 2023
image for Review - Toyota GR86
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Fabulous engine with power & torque updates
  • Charming nature, extremely impressive handling
  • Will make any purist smile when pushed
  • Curious safety equipment packaging
  • No ANCAP safety rating
  • Minute legroom in rear seats
  • Firm ride on some surfaces
    • 50L
    • 201
    • 7000 / 3700
    • Unrated
    • Automatic
Now in its second generation, the Toyota GR86 looks to be one of the best on-paper options for those shopping for an affordable, exciting sports car package.

The first-gen 86 took the world by surprise, offering a simple yet effective sports car package that driving purists celebrated, though it was still a little rough around the edges in some places.

Just how well has Toyota done with the driving experience on offer in the latest Toyota GR86? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Toyota GR86 Competition

Toyota GR86

Subaru BRZ
Mazda MX-5
Hyundai i30 N
Subaru WRX

Starting Price: $43,240

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for the Toyota GR86 range kick off from $43,240 for both the GR86 GT Manual and the Automatic, with prices rising to $45,390 for the range-topping GR86 GTS Automatic & Manual.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

2023 toyota gr86 gts doors

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service in Australia, you could save by using one of our car experts to help you find the best new car for you.

Toyota GR86 (GTS) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Model GR86
Series ZN8
Variant GTS
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive RWD
Engine PDFI
Engine capacity 2387
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 7000 / 3700
Cylinders F4
Torque 250
KW 174
Fuel tank size 50.0
Fuel usage specs 8.8 / 0
CO2 201
ANCAP security rating Unrated

What Features Does the Toyota GR86 Have?

Toyota’s entry-level GR86 comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights, cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Step up to the GR86 GTS and you’ll pick up a set of 18-inch alloys, adaptive headlights, Ultrasuede upholstery with heated seats, aluminium pedals and door sills and some added safety tech that we’ll cover later in this review.

2023 toyota gr86 gts interior

2023 toyota gr86 gts touchscreen

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • LED headlights 

  • Cloth upholstery with leather steering wheel & gear lever

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Dual-zone climate control

  • Keyless entry & start 

  • 7.0-inch instrument cluster 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • 18-inch alloys (GTS)

  • Adaptive headlights (GTS)

  • Ultrasuede upholstery with heated seats (GTS)

  • Aluminium pedals & door sills (GTS)

Is the Toyota GR86 Fun to Drive?

Toyota absolutely knocked it out of the park when it came to the fun-loving nature of the first generation 86 (known originally as the GT86), and in its latest form, the GR86 upholds its charming, impressively sporty nature.

Power for the GR86 range comes supplied by a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine pushing out 174kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

That’s a decent 22kW of power and 38Nm of torque over its predecessor, which is thrown to the rear wheels via your choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

2023 toyota gr86 gts wheels

Simplicity was a key ingredient of the original 86, which Toyota has maintained in the design of the GR86, with the light kerb weight, agile handling and rear-wheel drive platform allowing drivers to experience a slice of performance motoring at their discretion.

Off the line, the GR86 feels far more lively than its predecessor thanks to the power & torque premium, while sticking with the lightweight construction and lively steering that offers a tonne of feedback.

In the corners, the GR86 offers a generous amount of mechanical grip and is eager to change direction seemingly on the spot, which results in one of the purest driving experiences you can have for the money.

2023 toyota gr86 gts rear

What makes it most impressive is just how easy it is for new drivers to get acquainted with the basics of performance motoring, while allowing more advanced drivers to stretch their limits in a far more approachable way than a faster car.

Around town, the sporting nature of the GR86 means that it rides firmly on the road, though its compact footprint and user-friendly nature has been transformed to its urban driving experience, making for an impressively versatile package.

As a complete package, the GR86 is sublime - offering something truly charming for all levels of drivers with some more refined on-road manners, too.

2023 toyota gr86 gts underbody

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Toyota’s 2.4-litre four-cylinder is rated between 8.8L - 9.5L/100km on a combined cycle, which means that fuel efficiency isn’t a particularly strong suit of the GR86.

2023 toyota gr86 gts engine

Entry-level GT manual and automatic variants are rated at 9.4L and 8.7L/100km, respectively, while the GTS manual and automatic return fuel economy figures of 9.5L and 8.8L/100km, respectively, making the flagship GTS automatic the fuel efficiency king of the range.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Designed first and foremost as a driver’s car, the GR86 sticks with a familiar layout that treats those seated in the front pretty nicely, while the rear seats are more suited to transporting bulky items, rather than people.

Up front, the driver and front passenger pick up a small space premium over the outgoing 86, thanks to a tweaked version of the platform that has made it slightly larger than its replacement.

2023 toyota gr86 gts seats

Thanks to a pair of low-slung sports seats, the GR86 can accommodate tall adults without much in the way of neck pain, which adds nicely to the driving experience overall without sacrificing anything in the way of comfort.

The layout is super similar to the first-gen 86, though the revised steering wheel, digital instrument cluster and larger infotainment display make things feel like a more modern affair that retains its user-friendly inputs for the climate settings.

Move to the rear and yes, technically, the GR86 is a four-seater, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone that can comfortably sit behind even a small driver, meaning it’s better utilised with the fixed ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats.

2023 toyota gr86 gts rear seats

Finally, the GR86 has boot space figures totalling 237L, with rear seats that fold flat to help accommodate bulkier cargo.

2023 toyota gr86 gts boot

Is it Safe?

The GR86 is yet to be officially tested by ANCAP, and unfortunately, reserves some important safety tech for automatic variants, with manual GR86’s making do without any active driving assistant features.

Opt for the GR86 automatic, though, and you’ll receive forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alerts and high-beam assist, while rear-cross traffic alerts, lane-change assistance and blind-spot monitoring are reserved for the range-topping GTS automatic variant.

Our Verdict: Is the Toyota GR86 Worth it?

The latest Toyota GR86 has proved itself as one of the best-in-class affordable sports car packages thanks to a substantial upgrade from Toyota.

The end result makes for one of the most impressive and fun-loving packages you can get for the money, with the core driving experience the same in the entry-level GR86 as the range-topper, which is great news for price-conscious buyers.

2023 toyota gr86 gts

If you’re tossing up your best options in the world of affordable sports cars, be sure to reach out to one of our Car Buying Specialists who can help find you a great price.

2023 Toyota GR86 GTS video review from PerformanceDrive

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated boxer four-cylinder (174kW/250Nm) 

  3. Fuel economy figures between 8.8L - 9.5L/100km 

  4. 12-month/15,000km service intervals 

  5. 237L boot space figures


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

car icon
close sticky hub button


Maximum of 3 vehicles