The new 86 GTS Dynamic Performance Pack boasts several enhancements including big brembo brake pads amongst other improvements. The 86, whilst down on power, boasts incredible cornering, smooth gearbox and an overall fun ride. The interior tech could definitely be enhanced, but the suede seats, heated seats, steering controls and other added features compared to the GT variant were much appreciated.
Engine & Drivetrain
Gadgets & Technology
Ride & Comfort
Behind the Wheel
Toyota’s entry into the 2010’s sports car market began with the 86. The 86 has become one of the best-selling cheap sports cars since its introduction in 2012. Arriving in GT and GTS variants, and now with a Dynamic Performance Pack. The advertised raw driving experience is definitely felt when driving this car. It’s as raw as it gets, something we can attest to having tested this car over a one month period.
As mentioned in our earlier review, Toyota writes the following in relation to the Dynamic Performance Pack:
“Driving enthusiasts can enhance the renowned dynamic capabilities of Toyota’s cult 86 sports car by choosing a new performance kit available on all four variants.
The optional kit comprises larger Brembo® performance brakes for supreme stopping power, specially tuned Sachs® performance dampers to boost handling stability and responsiveness, plus anthracite-coloured 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.
This combination – offered previously as part of a limited-edition run of just 60 cars released in June – is now available as an option on all four 86 model variants, GT and GTS grades with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
The recommended retail price for the performance kit is $2,200* on the GTS grade and $2,900* for the GT – taking into account the kit’s inclusion of bigger wheels than the standard GT 16-inch alloys.”
The GT86 is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that puts out 152kW of power and 212Nm of torque.
The low-end is nothing to get excited about. That’s not surprising given that 212Nm of torque is made from 6400rpm until 6800rpm, and 152kW of power is developed at a screaming 7000rpm – with a redline at 7450rpm.
The 86 is powered by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. We took out the auto version this time. Having now tested both the manual and the auto, we can happily compare the both now.
The auto transmission was considerably smooth. No dual clutch gearbox clunks, no lagginess that you would find in a CVT, just a stock standard gearbox that got the job done. We found when flooring it, it would take its time to drop down gears and speed up, but this was solved but hitting that “Sport Mode” button.
The manual gearbox was still great, but if you are an inner city driver, 100% go the auto. The paddle shifting is fairly quick (if you ever utilise them) and overall the feel of the auto was great with plenty of response in sport mode. No strange whining noise that we found in the manual too.
Weighing in at under 1200kg, the GT86 is able to throw itself into any corner. The lightness helps the car weave around bends but also helps with fuel economy and many other obvious gains from shedding weight.
The 86 GTS with Dynamic Performance Pack is genuinely a lot of fun to drive, particularly in Sport Mode. But as many people reading this will be aware: it isn’t made for the straight line speed. It’s around the bends where it really shines.
In terms of straight line speed, the rear-drive 86 can reach 100km/h in roughly 7.7-7.9 seconds after testing. It provides a minor kick, but nothing to get excited about. We noticed the car start to improve in performance as we hit over the 1000km mark – note: we received this car with 5km on the clock in total, so we had to drive it in, but after the 1000km mark it really picked up.
Around tight bends, the Brembo brakes and dampers kick in hard and provide maximal stopping ability. These are probably the best addition to the 86 as it already had great handling, but this addition makes this a true track warrior.
An issue with the GT is that it lacks a “Sport Mode” to tighten up gear changes, increase the throttle response and handling. There is a track mode button which loosens up the ESC, but the GTS gets a Sport Mode button that the GT does not.
Testing in Sport Mode was great in the GTS. It held the revs much higher and had power ready to go at any given moment – that is exactly what we are after in Sport Mode. In manual mode and sport mode, the car responded almost instantaneously if you knew how to handle the gears, which was great to see.
Now onto the exhaust. It’s average. A few little pops would make this car much more appealing. The boxer rumble is fed through the driver and passengers feet into the cabin to make it sound slightly better. Which is cool, but we need more grunt. I understand this car lacks power, but a more aggressive tone would certainly increase the appeal of this car.
Those brembo brakes and dampers in this pack are fantastic! Well worth the investment for those avid track day goers.
The combined cycle estimates fuel consumption of 7.8 litres/100km. Our testing returned around 9.7L/100km with mainly city driving, and 7.8L/100km combining highway and city driving.
We spent a bit of time driving about 60-70% on the highway and 30-40% in urban conditions and managed to return around 7.5-8.0L/100km. With these conditions, we could return about 500-550km on a tank.
With pure city driving, expect to get around 400km on a tank. And given the small size of the tank, fill ups are so cheap, but you MUST MUST MUST use Premium 98 RON. We have heard horror stories of these engines knocking from even Premium 95 RON fuel. Only use 95 as an absolute last alternative.
Interior & Technology
We are glad to see some enhancements on the inside on the GTS model, despite the dullness of the GT. The GTS gets the suede seats, steering whole controls and heated seats – all unavailable on the GT.
The interior was cosy and refined, with aesthetic improvements from the previous generation of the 86. The dash also get two digital screens, one small one for the digital speedo, and another for the fuel gauge and settings/performance displays and all that fancy jazz. The rev counter is still large and central (as it should be).
The head unit does definitely need updating though. It’s the same head unit from almost a decade ago, has a terrible touch screen, sub par GPS and not many features. Definitely future upgrade worthy on this front.
The bluetooth isn’t bad though, but oddly enough, we found that when you plug in your phone via USB, if you are connected to bluetooth as well (or vice versa, so connected via USB and then connect to bluetooth after), it will just cut out. You will then need to press mode 3 times to get back to bluetooth or USB mode.
It also lacks CarPlay and Android Auto! Something that should be standard in these modern times – although I do understand that the market for this car potentially isn’t fussed about gadgets like that.
The back seats are tight to say the least. We tested it with 4 people on a 1-hour drive and we survived, but barely. The back seats are there if needed, but not recommended for daily drives (as expected with a coupe).
The GT86 does not have an ANCAP safety rating.
However, safety features include: Dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags, ABS and three-stage ESC.
It would be good to see the ANCAP safety rating of this car as I am certain it is a car that is pushed a tad harder than a Corolla or Yaris.
Ride & Comfort
This handling of the 86 is potentially one of the best parts about it as it handles like a go kart. Yes, it is a tiny bit bumpy and impractical, but it is a sports car.
It handles beautifully and feels so tight when steering. The bumpiness, well you get used to it, but it isn’t all that bad. It can get a bit firm coming from an SUV or large sedan, but you will get used to it I assure you.
Given the lightweight form factor of this machine, its agility is really what makes this thing shine. It’s got the agility of an MX-5 but with a bit more size and practicality with those 2 rear seats and more space generally, as well as more power.
We used it as a daily for a while to see how we could cope. Ducking down into the car can get a bit difficult for those friendly giants out there. There isn’t enough space to store multiple things inside the car especially if you have one passenger. But again, you’re buying a sports car.
Warranty & Servicing
Warranty is for 3 years/100,000km.
Servicing is every 9 months or 15,000km with $180 cap for the first four services/36 months’ worth.
GT 2.0LPULP6 SP SEQ AUTO $33,740
GT 2.0LPULP6 SP MAN $31,440
GTS 2.0LPULP6 SP SEQ AUTO $38,940
GTS 2.0LPULP6 SP MAN $36,640
GTS PERFORMANCE (APOLLO BLUE)2.0LPULP6 SP SEQ AUTO $41,890
GTS PERFORMANCE (APOLLO BLUE)2.0LPULP6 SP MAN $39,590
GTS+2.0LPULP6 SP SEQ AUTO $41,890
GTS+2.0LPULP6 SP MAN $39,590
LIMITED EDITION (SOLAR ORANGE) 2.0LPULP6 SP MAN $41,490
Add $2200 for GT Models, or $2900 for GTS models to add the Dynamic Performance Pack (the model tested was a GTS Auto with Dynamic Performance Pack).
Overall, the 86 is a fun, agile coupe that turns heads no doubt, especially with this pack. The Dynamic Performance added better stopping power and tighter handling – tighter than the 86 was in the first place.
In terms of affordability, there is no competition – rear wheel, front engine coupe for this price is fantastic, with potential to tune and track should you choose.
We hope with the Supra on its way and potentially an MR2, that the sports car range will only continue to grow – and not only for Toyota.
86 Compilation Video: