First Drive: The 2022 Toyota GR86 Sports Car Thrills

Redesigned, renamed car delivers more power and sublime handling

2022 Toyota GR86 Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

Toyota has again partnered with Subaru on an entry-level sports car. The automakers partnered on the Scion FR-S (now known as the Toyota 86) and the Subaru BRZ, which were both launched for the 2013 model year. Those low-slung, four-cylinder coupes were almost identical, with little beyond badges distinguishing them. Both rear-drive cars shined for agility, creating an entertaining driving experience rivaled only by the Mazda MX-5 Miata in that price range.

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For 2022, the two companies have teamed up again to create the second-generation sports coupes. The formula, and indeed the physical dimensions, remain the same as before. However, this time, each company pledges to have a more distinct personality to represent its brands. Toyota officials describe their version as being targeted more to hardcore driving enthusiasts, with the Subaru coupe supposedly being tuned as a more gentle grand tourer.

Having driven the GR86, this updated car is clearly crafted for drivers who prize razor-sharp handling and either have great, winding roads to explore or engage in autocross racing on the weekends. The GR86 doesn’t stray from the previous Scion and Toyota iteration. In fact, it looks much like those cars with a mild body kit. But there are notable updates that do make a difference.

We recently rented a Toyota GR86 from the automaker to gain early impressions, ahead of us buying one to test. (And we rented a couple Subaru BRZs. Read that first drive.)

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