Thursday, August 3, 2023

2023 Toyota GR86 Premium Manual Transmission: A More Affordable Alternative To The GR Supra

Highlight: Every new GSR86 owner receives one free high-performance driving experience.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $34,123 (Base Model: $29,495)

Seating Capacity: 2 + 2

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; LED daytime running lights; stability control system; a hillstart control system; a rear camera; a tire pressure monitoring system;

Standard Safety Features On Automatic Transmission Only: a pre collision braking system; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane departure warning system; a sway warning system; a lane departure warning system; lead vehicle start alert system and a high beam alert system

Standard Equipment (Base): 17-inch wheels; a 6-speed manual transmission; cloth seats; remote keyless entry; power exterior mirrors; chrome tip dual exhaust system; a dual zone automatic climate control system; a push button ignition system; a leather trimmed steering wheel; a manual operated tilt/telescopic leather trimmed steering wheel; a leather wrapped shift knob; an 8-inch infotainment screen; a multi-link rear suspension system; aggressive front fenders with functional air vents; and chrome tip dual exhaust system;  

Standard Equipment (Review Model): 18-inch wheels; an 8-speaker audio system; heated sport bucket seats with side bolsters; a duckbill rear spoiler; parking brake and leather cover with silver contrast stitching; ultra suede upper armrest; a leather gearshift; aluminum sport pedals and scuff plates

Options:  GR key gloves; black lug nuts and wheel locks; GR air filter; GR performance dual exhaust; GR shift knob; and carpeted floor mats/carpet cargo mat

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Apple - Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard IS350 Engine/Horsepower: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine/228-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/27-hwy (manual transmission)

What’s New:  A new 10-year anniversary edition is being added to the portfolio for the 2023 model year.

And a complimentary one-year membership is available for all GR86 owners to access the National Auto Sport Association. Membership will provide drivers featuring a high-performance driving event.


18-inch wheels available

Based on a rear-wheel-drive configuration


Heated seats available

Sporty design

Supportive seating for the back

Rear end resembles more expensive Toyota Supra

A High level of safety driver aids for an automatic transmission only

SiriusXM available in vehicle

Available in a manual and an automatic transmission

Great handling

A variety of driving modes

Adds more horsepower and torque than the outgoing model

17-inch and 18-inch wheels available

An active sound control system

New track mode designation with instrument displays for lap time and the like

An easy-to-use infotainment system


Designed for 2 occupants (not our complaint)

No sunroof

No heads-up display (HUD)

Not designed for long distance cruising

Subjective front-end styling

Requires premium fuel

Verdict: After the second-generation subcompact GR86 was reworked inside and out during the 2022 model year, the sporty two-seater returns this year with a new 10-year anniversary edition. 

The vibrant orange 10-year anniversary edition is extremely limited. In fact, less than a 1,000 will be available for consumers. To match the vibrant exterior color, the vehicle will be colored with orange parking brakes, black and orange trimmed heated seats and forge Black and orange timed heated seats with a sports bolster.

Outside of this, the sporty rear-wheel drive GR86 is available in two trims. Sports car enthusiasts will be glad to know its one of the few vehicles on the market available in a manual or an automatic transmission. 

In fact, for those who opt for the manual, they'll opt of such safety driving aids available on the automatic as a radar activated cruise control system to a lane departure warning system.

Moreover, the GR86 continues to share a platform with Subaru’s BRZ. So, for those seeking a spirited subcompact two-seater that offers a thrilling driving experience without breaking the bank, the GR86 is worth considering. Yes, we know this vehicle is impractical for most, but we're grateful to know, if the budget isn't quite right to step up to a $50,000 plus GR Supra, this subcompact is the perfect alternative. 

Competition: Mazda MX-5 Miata RF and Subaru BRZ



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