2012 Toyota GT86 review
By Ian Lynas, 27th November 2012
Toyota has been in the wilderness for fat too long - missing a sportscar. Thankfully the drought has ended with the arrival of the GT86.
This is a sports coupe that will bring back memories of cars like the Datsun 2000GT, which featured in an early Bond film. Although the GT86 may never be a volume seller, it is cars such as this raise brand awareness.
In many ways, the newcomer conforms to sports car tradition with a front engine, rear wheel drive layout and many still prefer this.
The car started as a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru and its arrival has been welcomed by customers and dealers alike.
Powered by a two-litre Boxer engine with 197bhp on tap, it's enough to take the GT86 from rest to 62mph in 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph.
There are a number of hatchbacks which can achieve these figures, so why choose the GT86? This new model from Toyota has performance and of course the looks and there are many in our midst put these as priorities.
Some are critical of the six speed automatic but I am not in their number. With the paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel you can switch to manual if you need to..
With a low stance and the Boxer engine allied to great braking, courtesy of ventilated discs all round, not only is driving satisfaction high but it is also safe.
There are a number of safety items as standard - in addition to the usual airbag arrangement, there is a driver‘s knee airbag, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Vehicle stability control with steering assist and traction control are all part of he package.
The interior theme definitely says "sports": hip hugging seats, dual zone climate control, cruise control and smart entry with a push button start. Rear seat room is pretty restricted and the seats fold in one piece.
Headlights are of the high intensity discharge bi-xenon variety and a set of smart seventeen inch alloy wheels add the finishing touch.
Like so many car manufacturers today, there are a number of options you can select from but this does elevate the standard price of £26,495 somewhat. The final bill depends on just how much you want to personalise the car.
My test car had a number of options, bringing the final bill to £29,295. The extras fitted included, Toyota Touch & Go, leather upholstery and heated front seats. A plus point for me was the ease of pairing my iPhone - it took seconds.
This Toyota model is well appointed but above all, simply great fun to drive.