Today let me share my experience with one of the most anticipated cars, rather one of the cars that I would love to own. This car has different names at different places. Let me quickly copy paste from Wikipedia on the car name,
“The 86 is a series of grand tourer sports coupés jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and solely manufactured by the latter. It features a boxer engine, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and 2+2 seating. The 86 is sold under three different brands with respective model names:
- Toyota(Toyota 86 in Asia, South Africa, South America and Australia; Toyota GT86 in Europe; both of the preceding names in New Zealand; Toyota FT86 in Jamaica);
- Subaru(Subaru BRZ worldwide);
- Scion(Scion FR-S in the US and Canada). “ ——-Thanks wiki
So moving on, I wanted to drive to buy this car right away but you know again finances screwing up as usual, I just hold my horses and test drive the car. Hence the name quickie. The sad fact is that I couldn’t click any pictures of the car. Toyota offers this car with 6 speed manual and automatic versions. The good thing about automatic is that it has a paddle shifter. Unfortunate enough, our region gets manual transmission only in the base version. The other top end variant comes with auto box which is understandable for the people here are very lazy to use a stick shift. Grrr!!!
I park my VW Golf Gti Mk4 (5 speed manual) in the parking lot with a lot of pride and walk into the showroom. I ask the counter and they guide me to this guy who keeps me seated there. Long story short, they had only one GT86 lying in the backyard and and and it had a dead battery. Awww Daymmnnnn. They made me sit a bit more and tried to jump start the car. After a while, I am told that the car is alive and I walked to the GT86. A black top variant GT86 with a sat nav and stuff. I walk around, make the guy open the boot and look around. I love the car, I just love it. It looks so beautiful. I wonder why people here prefer cars with massive engines and massive size. Little do they appreciate the fun of driving?
I was allowed to drive for around 10 kms or a bit more after signing a paper that if I manage to smash the car in that short ride, I will be royally screwed. My take on the car quickly:
Styling, Interior and other aspects:
The car looks beautiful. Nothing more nothing less. I think this statement is repeated over and over but bear with it. The back tail lights and the back styling is really commendable. Other things like boot has adequate space, but the 2 seats behind the driver and passenger is very cramped (not complaining, just telling). The red stitching over the black leather looked very pleasing to my eyes. The stitching extends to the leather on the steering wheels, seats and also the handbrakes. I loved the driver’s seat, it very much tempts the driver to focus on driving and I am sure that will be his priority seated there, unlike other cars which is going to make you yawn. Apart from that the black colour goes well with this car, so does white and red (my opinion). I am a sucker for black colour, never mind. The three spoke steering wheel and the dials look classy just like the other parts of the car.
Ride and Handling:
The car sits very low on the ground and thanks to the flat four engine, the car handles amazing. The steering wheel feels good, the bucket seats holds you very well. Your back feels supported. The ride on the other hand was good, except for the bad roads. Since it was a quickie I was not sure if it’s the suspension or the tires but I most probably suspect the tires. It gets a 215 wide tires which is 17”. I have seen many upsized one on the roads but a bit more time with the car would have helped me gauge that.
The braking was confidence inspiring I believe but I think the Germans have spoiled me. I believe the brakes do their job and I wouldn’t call the braking a great phenomenon in this car. Again is it because of the stock tires? Not sure.
A 197 hp, flat four engine this car loves to be revved. If I remember correctly, the rev ranges till 9k rpm though the rev is limited to 7.5k. This is something I am not very sure, but something I am sure of is that I touched 7k rpm and the engine seems to be quite happy about it. The claimed top speed is 233 kmph which I don’t doubt at all. My gti would do a 210 kmph. Driving around in the city there was not much I could gauge about the performance but as and when I got a chance I did put my right foot down and I was really happy with the output. Don’t expect out of the world performance, but guarantee that you will love the fun.
Engine noise is ok, though not that great. The alloys looks good too, not great. I think they could have put in some more power and the chassis was perfect capable of taking it, though the point of this is not going fast but having fun. The aluminium pedals with rubber dots just appeals very much to your heart. Even the dead pedal looks lovely in metal. Did I miss out something?
I think Toyota and Subaru has done a very good job with the car. On the whole I think this car would be a great value for money buy for people who love driving. The point of this car is to redefine the focus from the car to the driver which they have succeeded in. They have completely nailed it with the drive and the feel. All this at a very reasonable price. If I have some more years in this country and I am planning to move on from gti, this is the one for sure.
So that is it from me. I hope I can drive more cars and motorbikes, write more about them. I think that is all I love to do in life 😉
Pic credit : Free Google search, credits to respective owners.