Great fun, but pretty uncultured
Simple dash and a good driving position
Nothing left to chance on safety
Should be reliable and comes with a generous warranty
Decent boot but useless back seats
Generous standard kit
The 2.0-litre petrol engine is capable of moving the car extremely quickly, but because it is strongest high up in the rev range, you have to work it hard to see its best performance. It feels very lazy below 4000rpm, so it's just as well the engine sounds good when you rev it. However, the engine is also audible when cruising on the motorway, and you have to put up with a cacophony of wind and road noise, too. The car's light weight and classic sports-car layout (engine at the front, driven wheels at the back) gives the GT86 real agility, while the quick, weighty steering and fast responses also add to its impressive handling. The rear-wheel drive is also great fun if you venture onto a track, but the low-grip tyres mean that, on a public road, the GT86 won't keep up with an Audi TT. However, the Toyota's ride is surprisingly comfortable.
The interior design feels a bit dated (which means you'll either love it or hate it) and the materials are rather hard and unappealing. However, there's lots of adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel, so anyone should be able to get comfortable. Most of the switchgear on the dash is simple, but the touch-screen infotainment system is too tricky to use because the menus are confusing and the icons are too small. There's plenty of space up front in the GT86 but the back seats are next to useless; head- and legroom are too tight for adult passengers and the foot space is even tighter. It's best to use this area as extra storage on top of the decent 243-litre boot. The single high-specced version of the GT86 includes alloys, climate controls, keyless entry, cruise control, electric front windows and Bluetooth as standard. Sat-nav is an affordable option and you can also specify leather seats and metallic paint.
Toyota's reliability record is the envy of the motor industry, so there's little to worry about there. The interior feels very well put together, even if isn't very plush. What's more, you get a five-year warranty for extra peace of mind. The GT86 comes with an exceptional amount of safety equipment, including seven airbags and active anti-whiplash headrests. Security kit is pretty good, too, including an engine immobiliser and an alarm.
The GT86 is priced to compete with coupes such as the Audi TT and Peugeot RCZ but these rivals are more sophisticated and the Toyota is unlikely to hold its value as well as the Audi. What's more, claimed fuel consumption of 36.2mpg means it will cost more to run than these rivals, too.