Susan Frissell, editor,

The 2022 Toyota GR86 won’t be called ‘practical’ but then who cares? I have for one, never owned a ‘practical’ car, not counting the Dodge Minivan…The GR86 iS fun though, once you get used to its touchy clutch. Motored by a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated flat-4 engine, the 228 horsepower seems enough. To enthusiasts, that might not seem like enough, but believe us, it satisfies, in these days of SUV’s.

It’s so nice to see that someone is still crafting and selling a small coupe that one can purchase ‘just for fun.’ With its 18” alloy wheels, the 86 grabs the pavement and promises to make you feel like you’re driving a ‘sports car.’ The GR86 Audio-8-speaker with amp is lots of fun and sails you along with that sport coupe ride. We turned some heads…if not only for the reason that one sees few coupes, racy looking cars on the road.

One need not worry about outrunning or passing those lingering on the road. The GR86 requires no unnecessary shifting as it pulls out when needed, and often without the need to shift again.

The Toyota GR86 is also a little easier to live with than its primary competitor, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The door panels have storage pockets, albeit small ones. But they pair well with a surprisingly cubby under the center armrest’s clamshell door, which has cup holders wide enough for medium-size drinks. The trunk is solid, too, offering 6.3 cubic feet of space: That may not seem like much, but it’s far better than the Miata’s 4.6-cubic-foot boot.Those driving a coupe don’t often fill up their trunks, or need to, as a good many probably have a daily drive.

The 2022 edition of the GR86 feels better than the first. Crafted and more use of upgraded materials. Those who favor the Mazda MX-5 Miata may see similarities yet still choose the MX-5. After all, the Mazda has no ‘back seat’ while the GR86 can claim it is a ‘coupe, with room for four. Looking at and driving the 2022 GR86 reminded this reviewer of the Dodge Stealth. While a great looking car, the Stealth apparently had a hard sell as those who wanted to admire it believed it was aimed toward women! Ha! It’s cousin, the Mitsubishi 3000GT sold much better. The trunk in the GR86 isn’t as generous as the one in the Chrysler/dodge twins. Both cars still look good today.

If you are shying away from a full-time stick, buyers can opt for the six-speed automatic transmission. As some have done in the Miata. If you’re a real driver, you don’t want to miss the feel of hugging the ground as you make those turns. Riding is a little stiff in the GR86 but that’s to be expected. The Michelin Pilot 4 summer tires that were provided have enough grip. With any sport car, you’ll have some road noise.

Upgrades for 2022 in tech are a plus, and improvement, from the first generation GR86. Toyota has replaced the original infotainment system with a new 8-inch touchscreen, and a version of Subaru’s Starlink software. While not going overkill on features, Toyota does provide Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with 2.1-amp USB-A ports. In addition, there is a 7-inch digital gauge cluster; not high grade, necessarily, but it is easy to read, and feels a little old style!

The automatic trans provides extras you can’t find when opting for the stick. For instance, if you want the latest features such as the package that includes automatic energy braking, adaptive cruise and lane departure warning, you’ll need to go automatic.

For some, the rear seating may appeal if they have a small dog or young ones, the ride won’t feel too cramped. For adults, well, maybe not.

A fun coupe, this 6-speed m/t is a fun, yet not a daily driver-at least for this reviewer. In fact, a reminder was needed for just a few seconds to recall the principals of a stick. It’s an easy shift but requires some paying attention to legwork when shifting into the next gear. If one can master (and I remember this form the ‘old’ days), the clutch and make it a smooth transition to the next gear, then it’s fun.

The GR86 is considered ‘track-bred’ and in fact, buyers will receive a complimentary 1-yr. NASA membership including one free high-performance driving experience! With affordable tracks in many areas now, owners can take advantage of this experience.

Our test GR86 came equipped with a fair amount of optional equipment, including the special color ($425), GR Shift Knob ($149); GR Airfilter ($75), Preferred accessary package #2 ($364), Auto Dimming Mirror with Homelink ($230), Rear Bumper Applique-Black ($69)-courtesy deliver Vveh/TMS/NFS; Door Edge Guards ($89), and Carpet floor mats /carpet cargo mat ($249). Given this is the Premium (there are two options) level GR86, one would hope some of these goodies might have been thrown in.

Still at $32,975 one is getting a premium package of goodies and a one-of-a-kind coupe-well, at least these days. It’s priced right, and offers quite a few upgrades from the last iteration, and it is still an affordable coupe. Toyota has added some important features to please its audience and still remains not only one of the few, but the best little sports car on the market.

How can you miss?


Starting MSRP: $30.300; (vehicle driven, total $32,975. Delivery $1025))
Engine: 2.4L-4 cyl. 6 sp. Manual, boxer engine with 228 hp. 184 lbs.-ft. of torque
Fuel Economy, est. 20/27 msrp.
0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds
Length: 4,265
Width: 1,776
Height: 1,310
Wheelbase: 2,575
Gas: premium
Wheels: 18-inch matte-black-painted alloy wheels with Michelien Pilot sport 4 tires, colored ked rear spoiler, complimentary. The Dual-Cat-back exhaust ads a nice touch.
Warranty: 3 years, 36,000 miles

Highlighted Features
• 18-in. matte-black-painted alloy wheels with Michelin® Pilot® Sport 4 tires *
• Color-keyed duckbill rear spoiler
• Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) * with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) *
• Complimentary 1-year NASA membership, * including one free High-Performance Driving Experience (HPDE) *
• Two-stage heated sport seats with leather-trimmed bolsters and Ultrasuede® * inserts
• 7-in. Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) GR digital gauge cluster with LCD Multi-Information Display (MID)
• GR86 Active Safety Suite * (automatic transmission only)
• GR86 Audio—includes eight speakers, 8-in. touchscreen, Android Auto™ * & Apple CarPlay® * compatibility
• 228-hp 2.4L 4-Cylinder Boxer Engine
• Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)

• 6-speed manual or automatic transmission with Dynamic Rev Management and paddle shifters
• Vehicle Stability Control * Track Mode
• Peak torque @ 3700 rpm
• 0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds (MT); 6.6 seconds (AT)