Coupe of the Year 2023: Toyota GR86

The Toyota GR86 is the 2023 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the BMW 2 Series and Porsche 718 Cayman commended

When order books for the Toyota GR86 opened back in April 2022, Britain’s limited allocation sold out within just 90 minutes. Since then, Toyota UK has been working tirelessly to grab a greater share of the production – and it has succeeded. With cars now on sale again – priced from £32,495 – the GR86 is eligible for our Coupé of the Year award. And it jumps straight into the top spot.

That price is £2,500 more than the first time around, but the GR86 is still an absolute bargain. At a time when cars are growing ever larger, more complex and less engaging to drive, it seems that nobody told Toyota’s engineers. This is a model that delivers some of the purest driving thrills of any car you can buy today.

That it does so at speeds that feel more appropriate on a twisty B-road than the high-speed environment of a race track just sweetens the appeal. Power comes from a 2.4-litre flat-four engine that makes 231bhp. At 6.3 seconds, the 0-62mph time is quick, but modest enough for you not to be risking your licence the second you brush the loud pedal.

But it’s in corners where the GR86 really shines. The balance is sublime, the steering sharp and loaded with feel, and the ride compliant enough to enjoy the car on any road. Yes, the Toyota has got smartphone integration and a decent hi-fi, but you won’t care about creature comforts, because you’ll just be focused on the pure enjoyment that comes from driving it. We’ll miss cars like this when they’re gone, so we need to celebrate them now.

Our choice

Toyota GR86 (£32,495)

There’s just the one GR86 to choose from, so all you have to do is pick the colour. If you do want one, our advice
is to register your interest with Toyota, so you can be informed as soon as the latest allocation becomes available.

Commended

BMW 2 Series

From the entry-level 220i to the thunderous M2, the 2 Series line-up has real appeal at every level. Like the GR86, the BMW is a size that feels well suited to our roads, although the 2 Series swaps the Toyota’s involvement for a little more refinement and tech.

Porsche 718 Cayman

The current 718 Cayman has been with us in one form or another for seven years, so the fact that it’s still worthy of a commended spot is evidence of just how right Porsche got things in the first place. Grab one of the phenomenal six-cylinder models if you can.

You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,787

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2023 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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