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GR Yaris.... Obvs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've been for my test drive.


First off, the driving position is just excellent. It feels lower than the AE86. With adjustment for rake and reach for the steering, it is really very easy to get a nice comfortable position in the car. The seats seem quite supportive, too. I would have liked adjustable lumbar support, but they are good and feel comfy. Perhaps it's the driving position that sets up how you feel about driving this car. The gearshift is short in throw and very precise. there is no notchiness to at all, it just clicks in and out of gear, it feels very positive.


So, so far so good then. The instrument cluster is clear and easy to read with a central rev counter and digital speedo incorporated at the end of the sweep. The speedo to the left seems completely superflous and I didn't look at it all during my test drive. On the move the car has a nice, if slightly unusual sound to the engine. It's a boxer alright, but not as we know it. This is good, because the car has a rorty sound to the engine which seems entirely in keeping with it's character. It's quiet when cruising, but comes alive when you point your right foot to the carpet. The engine is smooth and feels torquey enough from 3500rpm. It climbs the tacho needle with some eagerness and zings all the way round to the rev limiter, which I admit, I did find on a couple of occasions.


The car feels tight, lithe and shrinks around you. It is easy to place due to the bulges atop the front wings which help to guide you. Whilst the GT86 feels a little wider than it's forebear, this does not seem to hinder you.


I took a route up the A537, 'Cat & Fiddle', down the A54 to Bosley then along the A523 back to Macclesfield. Going up the Cat and Fiddle with stability and traction control on, the road was greasy and with not too much effort I could flick the tail out. I dare say with the stability and traction control off, I could have had some sideways fun with ease. The chassis felt playful with a well weighted front end that was always keen to turn in. Though the inevitable Sunday drivers on the ascent didn't let me play too much! The car was comfortable to cruise in and well resolved in it's damping to soak up the bumps and provide a compliant ride.


After the slow drive up the 'Cat' we got to the top and turned off to come back down the A54. This is a road full of bumps and crests and a mix of corners. This is where the car came alive. As I pointed my toe to the carpet in third, the car accelerated strongly, throttle response is good and there is a feeling of a nice balance to the chassis. The front end seems well connected to the road and even over the bumps and yumps of the A54, the front end remained well connected without bottoming out. Perhaps at this point it is the right time to talk about the steering. At first I felt that the steering seemed somewhat distant, but perhaps it was the lack of slack anywhere in the steering system that helped it feel nice and direct with a good amount of weight. It is electric, but it doesn't seem to suffer from the typical numbness of such a system. Maybe the feel is not as texturally rich as on an older hydraulic system or a system with no assistance, but it does a good job of connecting you to the road. You can feel something of the road surface through the steering, though it's not as rich as say an Elise. The brakes feel strong, but are slightly over servoed for my liking. Heel and toeing was fine when you were on the pace, but there was too much servo to do this when driving at a slower speed.


The car seems to settle nicely into higher speed bends with no wallowing and minimal body roll. This does bode well when it comes to direction changes as the car can dart from corner to corner and this is a car that can attack B roads with some aplomb. It doesn't get ruffled with bumpy surfaces or uncomprimising undulations, it holds true and has a lovely balance to the chassis. In respect of the alacrity of turn in, this car reminds me of my old Integra Type-R. It is very precise indeed and easy to place.


With regard to the interior, it's a nice place to be. The car I tested had JBL speakers. I'm not sure if this is the full upgraded sound system, but I tested it with a CD and it did seem lacking. It feels like it needs a subwoofer to deliver the goods. Otherwise the finish and fit is very good. It would have been nice if the 'nut' controls for the heating and climate control were made of brushed chrome or aluminium as the plastic feels cheap. It could be that the feel and quality of the rest of the controls serves to highlight this shortcoming though.


So, in summary, what did I think? I love it. I Iove my AE86, but this car is light years ahead in terms of dynamics and really feels like the whole experience is focused around the driver. I love the steering, the engine feels strong and sounds right. The chassis, is very, very good and communicative enough with good progression to provide a good amount of feedback and playfulness to the experience. I want one!







 

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Awesome write up dude! Just a quicky, did you check out the boot at all? If there was a full JBL system installed, then the sub should have been in the boot where the spare or tyre foam is. I've ordered the JBL system and without actually being able to hear or test them out, its a leap of faith for a 1k option.
 

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Good to hear you think the car performs :)

Review
 

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GR Yaris.... Obvs
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2,140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Keethos said:
Awesome write up dude! Just a quicky, did you check out the boot at all? If there was a full JBL system installed, then the sub should have been in the boot where the spare or tyre foam is. I've ordered the JBL system and without actually being able to hear or test them out, its a leap of faith for a 1k option.

If all the GT86's have JBL speakers then I would say this does not have the upgraded sound system. I did look in the boot when the car first came and there was no sub. We tried one of my CD's and the system was just rubbish. I really think it must have the stock system, because when we turned the bass up it just made the front door speakers distort. With a sub, it wouldn't have done that. I think that was the only area where my car was much better!


That being the case I think I'd have to check out a car with the full JBL system before I spent the money on it. Otherwise I'd just go aftermarket. I reckon for £500 I could get a good sub and probably a better head unit, though it would mean not speccing Nav/Touch and Go.


I liked the leather and heated seats, they warm your back nicely. :)


Oh and I'm not a dude btw.
 

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GR Yaris.... Obvs
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Keethos.

Just had someone on DW comment that they fitted a JBL sound system and that the sound really delivers, so don't worry! I'm going to conclude that the car I tested did not have it. The sales guy admitted he hadn't really looked at the stereo.


I do feel that I'd want to hear one with the full system before ticking that option. Only because for £1100 odd quid I reckon I could get a pretty good install!


Here's a pic of the wheel well (note no sub) of this car when it first came in:





Edited by: Lauren
 

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Lauren said:
Keethos said:
Awesome write up dude! Just a quicky, did you check out the boot at all? If there was a full JBL system installed, then the sub should have been in the boot where the spare or tyre foam is. I've ordered the JBL system and without actually being able to hear or test them out, its a leap of faith for a 1k option.

If all the GT86's have JBL speakers then I would say this does not have the upgraded sound system. I did look in the boot when the car first came and there was no sub. We tried one of my CD's and the system was just rubbish. I really think it must have the stock system, because when we turned the bass up it just made the front door speakers distort. With a sub, it wouldn't have done that. I think that was the only area where my car was much better!


That being the case I think I'd have to check out a car with the full JBL system before I spent the money on it. Otherwise I'd just go aftermarket. I reckon for £500 I could get a good sub and probably a better head unit, though it would mean not speccing Nav/Touch and Go.


I liked the leather and heated seats, they warm your back nicely. :)


Oh and I'm not a dude btw.

Apologies, I tend to refer anyone on forums as dude.....I typically use that word too much




I don't think that the stock sound system uses JBL speakers at all, think the JBL system swaps the 6 stock speakers out for 9 JBL speakers and a 440wat sub. I kinda like the JBL system for the fact that the sub is tucked away in area where the spare goes rather than sticking in my own sub and taking up precious room....but that does mean no emergency spare tyre for me



So how long have you had your AE86 for and will you be keeping it?
 

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GR Yaris.... Obvs
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2,140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought the upgraded system was JBL? That was why at first I thought it must be the upgraded system. I admit, I didn't count how many speakers were, other things were on my mind.

If I went aftermarket I'd just put the same sub I have in my AE86 in the spare wheel well. It works well.


I've had my AE86 since March 2011. I think it will have to go to pay the balloon payment on the finance. I love my AE86 and it's lots of fun to have driven it as a daily driver, but I can't do it forever, so the GT86 is a good upgrade I think. It's still lots of fun. :)


There is no spare anyway as you can see by the pic, so it doesn't make any difference really.

Edited by: Lauren
 

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The upgraded system are JBL speakers, so the car you test drove actually had JBL written on the speakers? Its weird for them to upgrade the speakers but not bother with the sub.....

 

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GR Yaris.... Obvs
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, the car I went in today definitely had JBL on the speakers as per your pic. However, this earlier pic of the car shows that it didn't back then:




Edited by: Lauren
 
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