2022 Toyota GR86 Premium 6MT Review: In-depth Analysis for Drivers

Some other sports cars in the market that offer a similar exhilarating driving experience as the 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium 6MT include the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Subaru BRZ, and the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. These vehicles also boast powerful engines, precise transmissions, and sleek designs that appeal to driving enthusiasts.

The 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium 6MT offers an exhilarating driving experience with its powerful engine and precise manual transmission. Its sleek design and advanced features make it a standout in the sports car market. This comprehensive review will provide more information about its performance, handling, and interior.

Toyota GR86 Premium 6MT Specifications:

  • Model Name: 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium MT
  • Base Price: $34,400
  • Wheelbase(mm): 2,575
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,265 / 1,775 / 1,310
  • Curb weight (kg): 1,285
  • Engine: 2.4-litre flat-four
  • Horsepower: 228 hp @ 7,000 rpm
  • Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, RWD
  • Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km:11.9 / 8.7 / 10.5
  • Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 9.7
  • Tires: 215/40R18; Michelin Pilot Sport 4

Toyota GR86

Toyota’s affordable sports vehicle has been completely redesigned for 2022 to include increased power, reduced weight, and improved aerodynamics. Does this sound like a formula for success? Correct. The new GR86 is one of the most captivating and significantly enhanced automobiles we have driven this year. The starting price of $31,490 is enticing, leading us to consider its monthly installments. 

Increased power? Does that indicate that Toyota has finally incorporated a turbocharger? Forced induction remains unfeasible, but they have ingeniously discovered an alternate method to increase power and address a major flaw of the first-generation 86, which was its lackluster acceleration that left us feeling exposed on the road.

The vehicle is equipped with a larger engine sourced from Subaru, namely a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter flat-four producing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The new engine has an impressive increase of 23 horsepower and 28 pound-feet of torque compared to the previous 2.0-liter engine. The additional torque and its earlier onset at 3,700 rpm significantly impact the performance of the GR86. The vehicle now provides ample mid-range power and acceleration, making it feel effortless to gain speed. The acceleration from second to third gear is particularly gratifying. 

The GR86 does not reward sloth. Maintain the needle above 3,000 rpm for optimal thrust, as there is little benefit in revving over 7,000 rpm, where the GR86 performance drops. The engine is more distinctive and sturdy compared to the Mazda MX-5’s, but it lacks the same level of refinement and smoothness, and it doesn’t rev as eagerly while operating within its power range. The GR86 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds when driven aggressively, which is over a second faster than its previous time of 7.2 seconds. The cars equipped with automatic gearboxes will complete the run in 6.8 seconds, which is 1.4 seconds faster than the previous time. 

Premium 6MT

Providing the choice of three pedals is uncommon in the modern world – essential for some, a luxury for others, and unfamiliar to others. Toyota’s GR department has maintained the tradition of manual gearboxes for a longer period compared to others. They have designed the GR86 to be user-friendly, making it attractive to beginners. The shifter travel is accurate, brief, and devoid of the roughness that affects certain gearshift mechanisms.

The clutch engagement point is both steady and forgiving. The gear ratio could be higher, therefore it requires accurate shifting at the appropriate RPMs and with swift inputs. The pedals are well-placed for doing the heel-and-toe technique, and the footwell seems more spacious compared to the MX-5. The entire cabin feels roomy for my slim six-foot stature, and the driving position is superb – low but with outstanding sight. We desire that the steering wheel would extend more towards the driver. 

We have yet to test the automatic-equipped GR86. It has a $2,400 premium and a 16 kg weight penalty. Still, it includes Toyota’s advanced safety features such as pre-collision braking, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure warning, sway warning, and lead vehicle start alert. These are unavailable in the manual gearbox variants. 

The GR86’s exhaust noise could be more pleasing, increasing in volume rather than the character as the engine speed rises. The vocals are rough and coarse, as if particles of sand and boulders are obstructing the larynx. Many flat-four engines have more appealing sounds, but we anticipate that most GR86s will not retain their stock exhaust systems. Toyota does transmit some noise through the interior speakers, but we barely perceive it. 

Toyota Premium 6MT

The steering enhances the driving experience by creating an immediate and strong connection between the driver and the vehicle. Rotating the wheel provides a feeling of traction and velocity as vibrations travel through your fingertips. The steering is responsive and precise, offering a good balance between ease of control and agility. It is considered one of the top electric steering systems in its price range. A faster steering ratio would be preferred due to the significant amount of steering input needed at low speeds. However, the precise feel and responsiveness of the steering are ideal for a coupe of this size, allowing for a strong connection with the road. 

The improved ride quality of the GR86 is attributed to a 50% rise in torsional rigidity and significant weight reduction achieved by including an aluminum top, hood, and fenders. Furthermore, Toyota modified the chassis and suspension to optimize the performance of the high-traction Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. You can sense the weight shifting through your seat as the rear gradually loses traction during mid-corner acceleration. It provides the confidence to push the GR86 to the limit of adhesion, allowing the electronics to guide you around effortlessly. 

The handling could be more neutral, and the cornering behavior becomes less forgiving when stability and traction control are turned off. However, we enjoyed the new GR86 more than any other budget sports car in its class. That conveys a message. The Volkswagen Golf GTI offers a gripping feel and is enhanced by its torquey turbo-four engine. However, its infotainment system may need to be clarified, and its front-wheel-drive attitude may appeal to only some. We were unable to develop a positive connection with the aggressive and confrontational Hyundai Veloster N when driving on a back road. We have yet to have the opportunity to test drive the new Honda Civic Si. 

Toyota GR86 6MT

Driving at moderate speeds exposes a noticeable amount of noise from the road and tires. The GR86 has a harsher ride compared to the Golf GTI but has better handling than the Veloster N. The vehicle excels at hugging the road and navigating potholes, offering a balance between comfort and exceptional road-handling capabilities that we found engaging. 

Have we highlighted its aesthetic appeal? The new look is more subdued than the previous one, emphasizing restraint. Not all sports cars require a large rear wing and exaggeratedly flared fenders, like the Honda Civic Type R. The ducktail spoiler enhances the sculpted rear end. At the same time, the additional side air intakes add visual depth compared to the previous 86 models, which lacked them. 

Although not the primary emphasis of Toyota’s research and development department, the interior now has a more intentional design. The digital driver’s gauges are of good quality, and we find their information layout preferable to that of the GR Supra. The center console features an 8-inch touchscreen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for users who prefer a more familiar interface. Toyota has adopted the keyfob and gear shifter from Subaru. 

The ergonomics are well-designed, with strategically placed cupholders and a collapsible cover for the central armrest that does not obstruct the shifter or handbrake. However, some materials utilized could be of better quality, such as the plastic toggles for the HVAC, which feel as thin and delicate as a sheet of paper. Some mid-grade leather and soft suede are used for aesthetic enhancement. Do not anticipate Audi-level quality in the Golf. 

GR86 Premium 6MT

The seats offer good support but might benefit from additional padding. They pair well with the thin-rimmed steering wheel that is equipped with buttons to operate the infotainment system. We hoped for a simpler steering wheel design without any controls, similar to the previous generations. 

Some further minor complaints. The gear indicator on the instrument cluster has a delay of around one second after the gear shift, which might be disconcerting. The rear seats are not suitable for human passengers but are useful for storing groceries and driving accessories. What brings us happiness is knowing that our GR86 test vehicle is secure and protected from theft. We always suggest using a miTrail vehicle tracker in your vehicle.

The device easily connects to the car’s OBD11 connection, allowing you to monitor its live location using a computer or smartphone. Similar to dash cams or steering wheel locks, it provides an extra level of security for vehicles, and we consider it essential when leaving our garage. Visit miTrail’s gadgets here. 

The Gazoo Racing emblem establishes a benchmark for Toyota’s high-performance vehicles, exemplified by the GR Supra and the GR Yaris from overseas. The new GR86 represents a substantial advance over the initial model, offering a premium driving experience at an affordable price. Preserving the original design with three pedals, a naturally aspirated engine, and rear-wheel drive enhances its capacity to immerse and captivate the driver even more, now with increased power, reduced weight, and sustained value. The GR86 is the best performance option available this year. 

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