Used Toyota GT86 2012-2021 review

Category: Coupé

Section: What is it like?

Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Toyota GT86
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Toyota GT86
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86
  • Used Toyota GT86 2012-present
  • Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

What's the used Toyota GT86 coupe like?

Sports cars are nice in principle, but buying them used can be hard to justify. There’s the fear that they’ll cost too much to run, be difficult to drive in day-to-day traffic and have a stiff, uncouth ride.

Fortunately, Toyota has a history of making fun, inexpensive and reliable performance cars, so when they teamed up with Subaru to produce a new car, the result was a great modern take on the classic sports car.

The GT86 is still quite comfortable as sports cars go, with a ride that manages to soak up large shocks from speed bumps, potholes and even motorway expansion joints, yet isn’t so soft that it allows the car to roll a great deal in the bends.

In 2018, as part of a series of club sport special editions to celebrate Toyota's motorsport team, a Blue Edition was added to the GT86 range. If you can find one with the optional performance pack (it'll have unique 17in alloy wheels that are painted black), then you'll get uprated Sachs dampers for sharper handling and bigger Brembo brakes for increased braking performance and better pedal feel. Road noise can be a bit of an issue on long drives, so if you want the ultimate long-distance cruiser, then the Audi TT is a better choice.

Another issue is interior quality. Most of the plastics are rather hard and hollow sounding, with plenty of the switches feeling like they come from a car built 30 years ago, especially the orange backlit digital clock. You do get plenty of equipment to try to make up for this because every GT86 gets alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and xenon headlights as standard. Later Pro, Orange and Blue Edition models were added to the range and these versions got heated Alcantara seats along with Alcantara inserts on the dash and door cards to make the interior feel a bit more premium.

Space up front is fine, with seats that are very low on the floor. The front seats are very comfortable and well shaped to allow you to tackle long drives without suffering backache, but rear seat space is very limited and should only be used to transport people for short trips.