When it comes to affordable rear-wheel-drive coupes, options are limited in a world dominated by crossovers and SUVs. However, the Toyota GR86 stands out as a beacon of driving excitement. With a 228-horsepower flat-four engine, this compact coupe offers more than just a means of transportation; it provides a thrilling driving experience.
One of the key features that driving enthusiasts will appreciate is the availability of a six-speed manual gearbox, offering a more engaging connection between the driver and the road. While the rear seats may not be suitable for carpooling, they do add extra cargo space to complement the already spacious trunk.
The driving dynamics of the GR86 are where this Toyota truly shines. With sharp steering and nimble handling, it's a joy to drive whether you're navigating city streets or taking on winding country roads. The best part? All of this excitement comes at a reasonable price.
For 2024, Toyota has introduced a special Trueno Edition, paying tribute to the iconic AE86 Corolla popularized by the anime Initial D. This edition boasts performance enhancements, including Sachs dampers and Brembo brakes. Toyota plans to produce just 860 Trueno Editions for the U.S. market, making it a rare gem for enthusiasts. Additionally, the GR86 lineup now includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking on the manual transmission models.
Pricing for the GR86 starts at an estimated $30,000, with the Premium trim at around $33,000 and the Trueno Edition, the pinnacle of performance, expected to be priced at approximately $38,000.
Under the hood, you'll find a naturally aspirated horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine courtesy of Subaru. This powerplant produces a peppy 228 horsepower, allowing the GR86 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds.
When it comes to transmission options, purists will undoubtedly prefer the six-speed manual, although a six-speed automatic is available for those who prefer an easier commute.
The GR86 offers a blend of performance and practicality, with forgiving suspension making it suitable for daily driving. Fuel efficiency is also commendable, with EPA estimates of 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway for the automatic version.
Inside, the GR86 retains its relative size and shape, offering seating for four, a rarity in the affordable sports car market. While the rear seats may not be the most spacious, they do add a layer of versatility. An 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard, complemented by a 7.0-inch digital gauge display that offers various modes to suit your driving style. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio all come standard, providing modern connectivity and entertainment options.
In conclusion, the Toyota GR86 is a compelling choice for driving enthusiasts seeking an affordable sports car experience. With its engaging manual transmission, impressive performance, and a touch of practicality, it's a vehicle that delivers pure driving pleasure without breaking the bank. Toyota's decision to pay homage to the AE86 Corolla with the Trueno Edition only adds to the appeal, making the GR86 a standout in its segment. So, if you're in search of thrilling drives, the GR86 might just be your perfect match on the road.