Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2014 Toyota 86 GTS.
How time flies! It’s been nearly two years since the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins arrived in Australia and right from the get-go they’ve been a sales success.
Another major highlight is the handling, superb!
After driving the base model GT in manual form and upper-spec Toyota 86 GTS with an automatic transmission back in 2012, it was nice to have a drive of the GTS version with the six-speed manual.
Once again I walked away with the firm belief that the manual is the one you want.
With a real sports car like feel, the manual transmission allows you to really get the most out of the Subaru supplied 2.0 litre boxer engine.
Developing a respectable 147kW and 205Nm, the engine provides enough power and acceleration to match the sporty look and feel – but only just.
More powerful versions, including a turbo-charged option, have been mooted and would really complete what is otherwise a very good offering.
As already mentioned, the handling is great, the ride is remarkably good even with the GTS’s low-profile 215/45 series tyres and the brakes are good without being great.
The cabin is small and could be a challenge for anyone on the tall or large size. The rear seat is really only an option for very small people travelling very short distances! The sporty seats though are comfortable enough and hold you quite well in the bends.
The boot is shallow but reasonably long and wide, a set of golf clubs though would stretch the cargo space to the limits!
Standard features in the GTS grade 86 include: dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, push-button start, satellite-navigation and leather gear knob and steering wheel.
Disappointingly, a reversing camera isn’t standard or an option!
Safety though is unquestioned – the Toyota 86 comes with a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up: Buy the manual version and, with the entry-level 86 GT starting at just $29,990, it offers the best value. If you are inclined there’s plenty of scope to modify your 86/BRZ and the results could give what is an impressive offering a little more life.
Overall though the 86/BRZ is a lot of fun, gets a lot of attention and is reasonably easy to live with, and won’t break the bank.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre boxer four-cylinder producing 147kW and 205Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Price: From $29,990 (GT), $35,990 (GTS)