5 Reasons to Love the Toyota GR86

Whether on the road or on the screen, the budget-friendly Toyota GR86 delivers high octane amounts of fun in a sexy sportscar package.

Toyota Gr86 Is Bound To Put A Smile On Your Face
The Toyota GR86 is bound to put a smile on your face. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

Want to have a video game come to life? Driving the Toyota GR86 does just that.

The Toyota GR86 brings video game racing to real life. I’ve driven this sports car while playing Gran Turismo with my son, and it was even more exciting to drive in real life.

Named for its rich history of racing, the GR in the GR86 stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s motorsport division. This division engineers the technologies for the GR-designated vehicles in the lineup. The carmaker’s rich history with race competitions goes back a number of decades, and it’s pretty clear that their passion for motorsports carries over in this car’s vibe.

I may not be able to keep it on the road in the video game, but when I was behind the wheel, it drove like a dream. Maybe all those hours getting beaten by a 12-year-old are finally paying off.

Related: Toyota GR86: A Most Impressive Manual

Gorgeous Grill On The Toyota Gr86

The grille is gorgeous on the Toyota GR86. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

My 5 Favorite Things about the Toyota GR86

After immersing myself in a week’s worth of driving, these are the most noteworthy elements I discovered about the Toyota GR86.


A sports car starting at $32,000 is hard to beat. This coupe provides a thrilling drive without the hefty price tag. Even those wishing to add on the additional upgrade options are still under $40,000, making this a great option for the price.

Advanced Safety Features

What I really like about the Toyota GR8 is that it’s not just fun and games. It’s equipped with all the safety features that will help keep me safe on the road.

A much-needed feature that alerted me frequently was the backup warning. The GR86 sits extremely low to the ground, and when backing up in parking lots, it’s difficult to see other vehicles driving by. The camera angles made it a breeze to see around the cars I was parked next to and alerted me of any approaching cars.

A few other safety features that were helpful were the automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Quality Sound System

We had the radio blasting through the high-speaker system, and the music was bumpin’ with the 200-watt subwoofer.

It’s a good thing the sound system is so good because the inside of the cabin is loud. When driving at higher speeds on the highway, the road and wind noise make it difficult to hold a conversation.

Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth, and the base grade comes with a standard six-speaker audio system. The model I drove had eight speakers and had a powerful sound.

Driver-Centric Interior

Equipped with an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen and a 7-inch digital gauge display. I feel like this is a no-frills sports car with a few upgrades, like heated front seats, that help make the driver a little more comfortable.

The ultrasuede seats are heated and have leather bolsters for a more comfortable ride. And a dual zone A/C helps keep the cabin at the perfect temperature for everyone.

The front seats have six- and four-way manual adjustable driver and passenger seats as well as heated seats.

For a small interior, I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the cabin was. My 6’2” husband had both leg and head space while he was riding shotgun.

While the back seat is almost non-existent (it serves more as a holder of bags), the trunk has plenty of room for a large grocery haul or bags for a weekend getaway.

Automatic and Manual Transmission Option

Drivers can choose from a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The model I drove was the automatic transmission, but it was not lacking in fun. This is the part that really made me feel like the video game was coming to life.

One of the reasons that the GR86 is exciting to drive is that the automatic transmission comes standard with a steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifter. With a pull of the lever, drivers can change gears while keeping both hands on the steering wheel.

The car is equipped with Dynamic Rev Management, which allows the driver to have ultimate performance while driving.

Related: 9 Cars That Will Make You Grin

Toyota Gr86 Has A Driver-Centric Interior

The interior of the Toyota GR86 is centered around the driver’s experience. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

About the Drive

It has been over a year since I’ve driven a car, especially one that sits so low to the ground. One of my concerns was that I would be blinded by headlights while on the freeway. But the auto-dimming rearview mirror was a wonderful feature. It took care of those issues and had me concerned for no reason.

The car is smooth to handle and easy to maneuver. It has a powerful 2.4-liter engine that makes up 228 horsepower and 184lb.-ft torque which means that it can go from 0-60 in about 6 seconds.

I like that it’s easy to handle and fast but not powerful enough for you to feel out of control when driving at higher speeds on the freeway.

Although this is a fun car to drive, I wouldn’t say it’s smooth. You will feel every bump on the road, and the suspension is anything but soft with such a short wheelbase.

Related: 7 Sexy Sport Cars to Fulfill Your Need for Speed

Multimedia Display In The Toyota Gr86

The multimedia display in the Toyota GR86. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

Who is the Toyota GR86 For?

  • Singles or couples
  • Drivers who want a sporty driving experience
  • Those wanting a stylish ride
  • Those looking for great gas mileage
Toyota Gr86

2+2 Toyota GR86 Coupe. Photo Chastity Velasquez

What This Car Costs

  • The base model price starts at $32,000.
  • The price of the model we drove was $34,126.
  • The added equipment in my vehicle includes the auto-dimming mirror, gear shift knob, carpet floor mats, rear bumper appliqué, and eight-speaker audio system upgrade.
Plenty Of Trunk Space In This Sporty Ride

Plenty of trunk space in this sporty ride. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

What We Loved

  • Heated seats
  • Apple CarPlay
  • 184lb-ft torque
  • Large trunk space
  • Fuel efficient, boasting 21 MPG in the city and 31 highway MPG
Toyota Gr86

The Toyota GR86, my son and I are road trip ready. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

What You Need to Know

  • No back seat USB ports.
  • Seats 4 but comfortable for 2.
  • It’s technically a four-seater car, but I don’t know how it would be possible to fit more than an infant car seat.
  • If needed, the rear seats have lower anchors and tether for car seats.
  • The trunk has plenty of space to haul two suitcases for a road trip.

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Chastity is the creator of cowboyslifeblog.com, a guide for affordable family travel destinations, amazing recipes and fun outdoor adventures.... More about Chastity Velasquez