The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 are two of the most exciting new cars to be launched during 2012 - but which one should you go for?
These two sporty Japanese coupes were co-developed by Subaru and Toyota and share most parts. Differences are limited to bumper, grille and alloy wheel designs, and some different cabin trim.
The mechanical parts are the same, but each brand has tuned the steering and suspension of their car for a slightly different feel. They cost the same, so choosing between them is a tough job. Here's our guide.
Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86: On the road
The BRZ and GT86 use the same naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine, which needs a lot of revs to get the best from it. Even then, performance isn't exactly sparkling, for cars that are meant to be so sporty.
Splitting them is impossible and in tests both cars did the 0-60mph dash in 7.5 seconds.
Subaru BRZ is fun to drive, with slightly sharper handling than GT86.
Both cars have rear-wheel drive and use rather skinny, low-friction tyres that make it easy to get the rear of the car to slide through corners. Quick and accurate steering makes you feel involved with what's going on and both are well balanced through bends.
There are some differences between the two cars, though. The Subaru's suspension is slightly stiffer at the front, which helps the car stay flatter through bends. The downside is a slightly firmer ride.
Both cars are rather noisy at speed; they're not as refined as an Audi TT.
Toyota GT86 has a longer warranty than the BRZ
Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86: In the cabin
There's very little to separate the cabins of these cars. Apart from some different plastic dashboard trim and the logos on each steering wheel, they're identical.
Neither feels especially classy, but they're solidly built. There's decent space in the front seats, but the rear seats of each are pretty cramped.
Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86: Ownership
The entry-level Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 models cost the same and, so far, discounts aren't available on the list price.
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions for these cars are identical, as are insurance groupings and tax liability.
In the long run, we think the GT86 will hold its value slightly better - after three years it's expected to be worth 47% of its list price, while the BRZ will retain 1% less.
The GT86 offers a longer warranty, too – it's covered for five years or 100,000 miles, whereas the BRZ has a three-year/60,000-mile warranty.
Like all of its models, the BRZ comes with Subaru’s ‘Everything Taken Care of’ (ETCo) package as standard, however. It includes free minor bodywork and alloy wheel repairs, a monthly wash, and winter wheel and tyre storage.
Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86: What Car? verdict
Our money would go on the Subaru.
The GT86 has slightly better residuals and longer warranty cover, but the BRZ's firmer suspension gives a slight handling edge, which is what these cars are all about.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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