Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic

2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic

by  Anthony Fongaro  - Photos via Toyota- 08/31/2022 

Nowadays, you won’t see too many sports cars around. The automotive industry is going towards electric vehicles, and internal combustion engines and sports cars are slowly going away. Even though there are not too many available, Toyota still makes two different sports cars. These are the Toyota Supra and the Toyota GR86. When I first tested the Supra, I found out it was an incredible package that had a BMW interior but handled amazingly. This time, I tested the Toyota GR86, which was made in conjunction with Subaru. I wanted to find out if the GR86 is a good daily driver and is as fun as the previous generation.
Let’s get to the interior, and it is definitely the low point of the GR86. For a car that is about $35,000, the quality is quite low. I do like that the seats are quite supportive and there is plenty of adjustment for the seats, but the steering wheel could’ve just had a little more. That said, you do have adaptive cruise control along with some buttons for the infotainment system and a little box in the instrument binnacle. There are physical buttons and knobs for the climate control which are quite nice, and the shifter for this automatic is supposed to resemble what the manual looks like. 

2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic
The steering wheel also has paddle shifters and this vehicle has heated seats along with a few buttons for traction control, or track style traction control, along with a sport mode in a snow mode. Technically, there are backseats, but they’re essentially useless. They’re pretty much there just to say that this car is not a two-seater. One thing I don’t really understand is the center console, why are the cup holders inside it? I think that’s weird because you have to choose between having an armrest and having somewhere to put your drinks. There are inserts in the doors where you can put your drinks but they’re not that big. A nice little touch is that you have a manual handbrake. As I said, the interior isn’t exactly quality, but that’s not why you are driving this vehicle. You’re buying it because it is extremely fun and has a great little engine.
The Toyota GR86 is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-four engine producing 228-horsepower/170 kW and 184 lb-ft/249 Nm. Power goes to the rear wheels with a (gasp!) six-speed automatic. #savethemanuals? Don’t worry. This gets the car from 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds. The GR86 car wants to take corners rather than worry about outright acceleration. You can tell this because the automatic transition feels a little jerky at times but there is the option of utilizing those paddle shifters or using the shifter to change gears. When you’re in this mode, you can rev the engine all the way to the redline. 
Not surprising, this car corners completely flat. It doesn’t matter what kind of turn you need to do, you will be able to turn quicker and more precisely than many vehicles on the road currently. Getting on on-ramps and off-ramps actually becomes exciting. That said, daily driving was not such a bad experience. Yes, the seats are very low and the suspension is made more for taking corners than poorly cemented Chicago streets, but it is doable. The only real complaint I had from a few passengers was that the passenger seat isn’t height adjustable. While driving, I received over 30 miles per gallon with an estimated range of over 300 miles. Unsurprisingly, the trunk is quite small. 

2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic
Toyota is pretty proud of this being a GR model, so you have GR badges on the steering wheel, the stop-start button, floor mats, and the exterior. If you want a vehicle that handles this well, you would not be disappointed. What is a little disappointing is the infotainment system, just because it is extremely low quality. Thankfully, you do have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the USB ports are inside the center console so you either have an exposed wire and have the exposed center console where you don’t have an armrest, or you close the armrest and you’re pinching on the cord. The sound system is just ok. Not terrible, but nothing special. 
Compared to the majority of the vehicles on the road, the Toyota GR86 is very small and it looks like it is nimble. This particular model has Trueno blue paint along with black mirrors and black wheels. In the front, you’ll see that there is a GR badge, and looking up you’ll see that there is a sort of double bubble design on the top of the vehicle to help with taller passengers. I absolutely love that the GR86 has a duck fin spoiler along with another GR86 badge and real exhaust pipes. The lights themselves are a very simple design. It's a very sleek-looking sports car and one that you can tell is made to be driven hard but there are some sacrifices in the interior. 
2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic

So the big question is, is the Toyota GR86 something that you should look at if you’re looking for a sports coupe or sports car under $35,000? Absolutely. 100%. It gets good fuel economy, and great performance, and the handling is absolutely amazing. Yes, the interior is not very nice and the backseats are a joke. This isn’t something that you’re looking for in terms of being a practical daily driver. Instead, this is something that you can drive with a smile, even at low speeds. 
I think Toyota did a really good job with the GR86 and it is definitely something that sports car enthusiasts would thoroughly enjoy. Honestly, the manual may be more fun, but this is such a good sports car that the automatic is fine. For a fun and affordable sports coupe, take a look at the Toyota GR86.