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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
</font>OK, here goes.... this follows on from my thread “Who’s a
lucky boy�</font>

</font>This is my report back from yesterday’s test drive of the
GT86 I did in France as part of the What Car? Reader Test Team. I drove a GT86 LHD manual (£24995) in
metallic Orange £450), with cloth interior and Sat Nav (£750) which gives it a total UK price £26195.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">GT86<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /></font></font>[/b]

</font>Oh what a breath of fresh air the GT86 is. Looks like nothing else currently being sold
and is an absolute hoot to drive! When I
first saw the car my initial impression from the outside was how compact the
car is especially at the rear. The
proportions are perfect and it looks great from any angle.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Looks &
design.</font></font>
[/b]

</font>Pictures in magazines don’t do justice to the various
styling details on the GT86. The
particular points I liked are the vertical crease line that drops down from the
outside edge of the rear lights to another horizontal line on the bumper and the
bulge in the front wings above the wheels which looks especially good from the
driver’s seat. Even the small sidelights/indicators
set in the front bumper have angular details in the glass that show effort has
been applied by Toyota. </font></font>

</font>Other people on the test liked the diffuser at the rear that
incorporates the reverse and fog lights and the two creases in the roof. The car oozes a performance focussed image
and not one of image over driving experience.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Performance</font></font>[/b]

</font>Firstly, the GT86 isn’t slow as some magazines have
written. Yes it may get beaten by your mundane
Mini Cooper S or Audi TT but that misses the
point of the car. At low revs the 2
litre boxer can cruise along sedately but put your foot down in a suitable gear
and the car gains immediate pace especially above (in my opinion) 4000rpm. If you put your foot down in a high gear at
low revs the low torque output does highlight the lack of forced induction urge
you’d get in the aforementioned cars but that’s the only negative. Keep the rev counter needle above 4000rpm and
lots of grin inducing fun can be had.
The brakes are strong and inspire confidence if you find yourself approaching
corners a tad too quickly.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Ride and Handling</font></font>[/b]

</font>The ride on the GT86 is firm as you’d expect given it’s a
sports car but not overly so. Some of
the French country roads we drove on were really bumpy which made the ride seem
worse than it would be in the UK. On a rare
stretch of dual carriageway the car drove lovely and smooth being a perfectly
comfortable and relaxing drive at 70mph with the cruise control on. The superb
front seats cosset and hold you in place yet didn’t give me any discomfort
during nearly 4 hours in the car. The
gear change was a tad notchy in the car I drove and I found it hard to select
the right gear but I’m not used to driving LHD which could explain the
difficulties I had.</font>

</font></font>

</font></font>

</font>The handling of the GT86 is what sets it apart. FUN is the only way to describe it. You feel part of the car and even the
slightest movement of the superbly sized steering wheel makes the car
immediately react. Through corners at
any speed you could feel what the car
was doing which inspires confidence. During
the day we tried the car at various stages of its traction control, these being
on, Sport or off. Even with it fully on
we managed a small amount of oversteer that was quickly corrected by the
electrics. In Sport mode (which the
Toyota boys called “Hero mode� as it makes you look like one) I managed a large
oversteer moment coming out of a roundabout but the car brought it all back
together nicely. With the system in off
mode (you have to press the button for 5 seconds) the car will happily wag and
squirm its tail if you give it full throttle from standstill ;-)</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Refinement</font></font>[/b]

</font>The engine can sound a little coarse at times but on a more
positive note you do hear the induction roar courtesy of Toyota using some form
of clever technology to bring the sound into the cockpit. When we drove along sedately the car was
perfectly happy and gave a smooth ride but bear in mind this is a sports car
not a luxury car.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Interior</font></font>[/b]

</font>Getting in and out of the car is not difficult given how low
it is. From the driver’s seat you can
put your hand on the road it’s that low.
If the car has a weak spot other than the low torque output it’s the
quality of the interior. Some of the
plastics are hard and feel cheap, especially the dash in front of the passenger
and the centre console, more of which later.
The keyless entry and start button are nice touches.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Seats: [/b]The seats are GREAT, they hold you in place and
didn’t give me any aches or pains. Our
car had cloth seats which I initially thought
were alcantara. The cloth finish is
really good and makes the £1600 leather option seem expensive.</font></font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Instruments: [/b]The instrument cluster is dominated by a
white backed rev counter with a digital speed display set within it. To the left is the speedo which is difficult
to read when driving and to the right is the temp and fuel gauges which are
easier to read. The digital speed display
is excellent! You have a trip computer
to check average mpg etc and this is controlled by a button on the dash.</font></font>

</font>The air con controls are shaped as nuts and are clear and
easy to use and the system works well.
There is a usb port. I discovered
that the sat-nav is fitted at the docks when they arrive in the UK. It worked well however every now and again it
would go quiet and make you wonder if it had stopped working but it clicked in
when a change of direction was required.
It re-calculated routes very quickly.</font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Space &
practicality: [/b]You can fit children in the back seats but anyone older would
be very cramped. We had two adults in
the back when we were being filmed and they were grateful to get out. The rear seat back folds down easily given
more storage space. You can get suitcases
in the boot which can also be opened by a button on the dash. There isn’t much storage in the cockpit, just
the glovebox, seat backs for maps and a bottle space in each door. The centre console between the seats is the
worst part of the whole car. It looks
like it’s not been finished. The
plastics are very cheap and the two cup holders really tacky. Toyota’s press manager did say that they aren’t
happy with the centre console and are looking to get it changed and improved
asap. An armrest covering the storage
space is what’s needed. </font></font>

</font><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Summary: [/b]If you want to drive a car that’s going to
make you grin and stand out from the usual image based coupes then the GT86 is
for you.</font></font>

</font>If you have any questions please ask........</font>

</font>

Edited by: en8wall
 

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Thank you for a very good report. It's great to get the opinion of a non-journo who's a prospective buyer.
As you favour an Auto for your own car, did you find that you were having to change gear more often than "comfortable" when just cruising on a decent road (although I expect very little of the route was not fun orientated) ?
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Sherlocksdad
The gearchanges did become a bit of a pain. I found it more difficult as I had to think what I was doing as it was LHD. The routes we used were lots of country roads so we did have to change a lot but saying that we weretrying topush the car. If you are cruising on a dual carraigeway it was fine, just got up to 70mph and put the cruise control on. You would need to change down to make overtaking manouvres as it doesnt have the surge of a turbo.

Edited by: en8wall
 

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Great write up! Nice to see an opinion from a "normal person" who resides in the UK for once.

You have confirmed most things I expected
 

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Excellent, thank you for a great write up. I'm really looking forward to seeing one in the flesh now.

A lot of what you wrote about how it drives being a high revver confirmed what I thought.


Having been in a fewToyota'sand German cars I know the plastics feel a whole lot harder in theToyota's. Be interesting to see what / if they make changes to the centre console and if early adopters can get them changed out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Toyota press guy said that they hoped to change the centre console for production and supply the change as an accessory.I've read a couple of reports of front speakers not being fitted properly and rear seat back rest falling forward under heavy brakng although I noticed neither when I drove the car.
One thing I forgot to mention is the rear view mirror is a single peice of glass with no plastic surround, looks really cool. European/UK spec cars don't come with a spare and get a tyre inflation kit.

Getting back to the high revving engine...it does necessitate a lot of gear changes hence my want for an auto.

Edited by: en8wall
 

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Good news on the mirror I was wondering if we would get it or get palmed off with the US spec ones.

No spare = lighter = good
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After waiting for ages to see and drive the GT86 and testing every other known coupe available i've come to the conclusion.........I want one!
Will be an auto but have dilemas about spec and the price getting out of control. Spoke to Toyota dealer's today and they said there are no discounts available at all. The following are the spec options.

1) Auto in red - £26495 - cheapest option but may affect resale? Cloth seats do look good in my opinion and I still have bluetooth, usb and Ipod connectivity with basic stereo. Add £450 for metallic.

2) Auto in red with Sat-Nav and cloth seats - £27245 - is the Touch & Go update worth £750 when I already have an after market sat-nav and wont use the internet option as it workslinked to amobile phone.

3) Auto in red with leather & black alcantara heated seats- £28095 - You'd expect leather in a car the price of a GT86 soa sensible option but £1600????

4) Auto in red with Sat -Nav & leather & black alcantara heated seats - £28845 - becoming dear now but resale appeal is there.

5) Auto with metallic, Sat Nav & leather, alcantara, heated seats - £29295 - £4300 dearer than a basic manual!

Opinions anyone?
 

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How long are you planning on keeping this car? I plan on keeping mine for the long term and as such will probably come to a point when I replace the seats for something else, so will go for the cheap option. Heated seats are nice though, when its freezing outside, especially with leather too.

Sat Nav in the dash is a nice thing to have as long as it can perform as well as a Tom Tom and map updates don't cost the earth.

Its really a personal decision that's affected by how much you want to spend and what your plans are with the car. Leather and Nav will obviously help resale values if thats what you will end up doing with it in three years. Either way you look at it you wont get back what you paid on the extras. You have to ask yourself do you want/need/afford them in your car?

Edit: And I'll just add that if I was speccing those options to my car it would be in this order:

Metallic
Nav
Leather
Heated Seats

Hope that helps








Edited by: Pablo
 

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It's interesting that you thought the cloth seats were particularly good. If so, I wouldn't opt for leather - they require more care,are liable to become too hot for comfort in hot weather, and add weight,especially with heaters.
Also, I'd never bother with a built in satnav because they're usually very expensive to update.
So,for what it's worth, I'd go cheap and cheerful, but with metallic paint - that orange is growing on me!
I agree with Pablo that you don't get a fair return on the cost of extras on resale, and I'd be confident that the 86 would be in demand whatever the spec, so I'd agree that you should get whatever you want for your own satisfaction rather than planning for resale appeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Want to keep the car. Just been chatting with my brother and after talking it through it'll be as follows:
GT86 Auto in Red with Leather &Black alcanatara with heated seats.

Iwanted red for my Hyundai coupe but couldn't find a good one so that decides the colour. Sat nav I don't need as I have an aftermarket one. Leather will make the interior look better. There is a direct comparison with leather & cloth on the attached link, scroll down and the cloth and leather are just above the first pics of the GT86's in a row. I've got leather at the mo and there's no maintenance, i just wipe it and the alcantara will keep the heat down in the summer.

http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2387

Off down the two local dealers Saturday with my Hyundai cleaned upfor part exchange pricing which is the only thing that'll affect cost to change price.



Edited by: en8wall
 

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Good choice En8wall.

The leather does look especially good, and I take your point about the alcantara being a 'cooler'.

Good luck on Saturday. I hope they offer you a reasonable amount for the
Hyundai, but I bet you won't sleep too well on Friday night!

It's surely significant that you're the only person on here who's had an extended test drive, and you're looking to place an order a week later.
 

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I'm liking the blue, need to really see it in the flesh ideally, won't bother with sat nav but would opt for leather.

The leather / alcantara seats do look good though on those pics



Edited by: Dan
 

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I've order a manual in Burnt Orange, with black leather & alcantara.


I might have gone for satnav, but at £750 its just to much for a built in unit - and me having areally goodTomTom, which I can move in and out and into my other car as required. After all I wouldn't be taking the GT86 on long family holidays, but my other car where I'd need the satnav.


My last car had full leather, and I found care was straightforward. Like fabric really. Keep it clean (hoovered) and a wipe over with a damp cloth on the very odd occassion. It had electric & heated seats which were "nice" in some days in winter. My current family car has actually leather & alcantara and is heated. Alcantara makes a huge difference to the comfort of the seats and to be honest I wouldn't miss heated if that was ever an option.
Dan - Surprised your going for the blue. I thought that would be the Subaru BRZ colour and look like a Subaru with a Toyota badge. Bearing in mind that I'm sure a large number of Subaru sales will be blue.



Passed experience has told me the value of the car, is the value of the car. Speccing a car at new with the view to having some higher resale value years later is folly, as unless you want the options personally, you will always lose money over them.



Back to satnav again! After three years, your £750 satnav outlay goes "free" to the second owner. Spending £250 on a decent TomTom (or equivalent), gets it used in any car and importantly in theory used in years three onwards by yourself.
 

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Speedymurr said:
Dan - Surprised your going for the blue. I thought that would be the Subaru BRZ colour and look like a Subaru with a Toyota badge. Bearing in mind that I'm sure a large number of Subaru sales will be blue.

It did cross my mind but didn't I read somewhere that the 86 blue is different to the BRZ one? Subaru wouldn't let Toyota use the same colour apparently. My second choice is black, in fact on nearly every car I've went for 2nd has been black, love it when it's polished up
 

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I found dealers were less than confident with showing me colours.
Burnt orange is a Toyota colour so I was shown the sample and so it on a couple of IQs and the like outdoors. However when it came to blue, I was pointed to a RAV4 in a showroom and told a bit like that. I do hope though the blue is a genuine Toyota colour and does differ from that "standard Subaru blue".

I swore 10 years ago that I'd never own another black car, after buying a pearlescent black which looked fantastic when cleaned and then the next day showed all the dirt like crazy. However last year I replaced the family car, and you guessed it, was seduced by the dark side again!
It's not so bad really I suppose, as I know better now that if it's prepared and waxed well, it genuinely stays a little cleaner longer and worh the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The blue on the GT86 is different to the Subariu metallic blue.
Don't wish to keep harking back to it but when I was driving the GT86 last week the Press Office Manager from Toyota GB said the blue is a darker blue but still a Toyota colour. Subaru and Toyota agreed to have at least one separate colour, Subaru keep their rally blue whilst Toyota have the burnt orange.
 
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