Toyota GT 86

The entertaining GT 86 outguns a host of big-name sports cars to take Performance Car of the Year

Toyota GT 86 performance car of the year

This year’s performance car hero proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to have huge fun behind the wheel.

Toyota news and reviews

With its beautifully balanced handling, characterful flat-four engine and eye-catchingly low list price, the GT 86 emerged as surprise champion of our annual fast car shoot-out.

This victory was made sweeter by the fact that the compact coupé beat a whole host of thoroughbred sports cars, including the Porsche Boxster, Lotus Exige and Mercedes SL63 AMG – all of which cost two or three times as much.

On paper, the GT 86’s modest 197bhp power output and average 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds look inadequate. Yet this car adds up to a lot more than the sum of its parts.

At the heart of its appeal is the superbly entertaining and engaging handling. A traditional rear-driven layout and controls that fizz with feedback make the Toyota incredible fun on a twisting back road, while the use of skinny tyres from the Prius hybrid allows you to enjoy the car’s poise and balance at any speed.

Better still, it has an uncanny ability to match your mood, allowing you to drive either neat and tidily on the road, or indulge in flamboyant,
yet progressive, tail slides at a track day.

And while the engine struggles to match the average hot hatch’s pace, it loves to be worked hard and emits an aggressive growl at high revs.

Smooth brakes, a precise gearshift and a nicely supple ride complete the picture.

The GT 86 is more than a one-trick pony, though. For instance, it has a roomy and well specced cabin, as well as rock-solid reliability and a five-year warranty. Factor in the £24,995 price, and it’s not hard to see why this brilliant car is our winner.

Design Award 

Continue Reading

Recommended

Best used coupes 2024
Best used coupes - header image
Best cars & vans

Best used coupes 2024

If you want an appealing car that mixes performance with style, the best used coupes will tick a lot of boxes
15 Jan 2024

Most Popular

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details
Renault 4 - front (watermarked)
News

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details

Renault’s retro revolution will continue with a new version of the iconic Renault 4 as a small electric car. Here’s everything we know about it
2 Mar 2024
New Kia EV9 Air 2024 review: entry-level model is appealing in almost every way
Kia EV9 Air - front
Road tests

New Kia EV9 Air 2024 review: entry-level model is appealing in almost every way

The all-electric Kia EV9 SUV has a new entry-point, and it just might be the pick of the range
1 Mar 2024
Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid GR Sport front corner static shot
News

Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month

The recently-launched second generation of Toyota’s funky hybrid SUV is our Deal of the Day for 29th February
29 Feb 2024