The 2022 Toyota GR86 Automatic Is Still a Good Time Says Car and Driver

The Toyota 86 first debuted in the U.S. in 2012 under the Scion badge as the Scion FR-S. Since 2017, it’s been the Toyota 86, ultimately rebranded as the Toyota GR86 for the 2022 model year. It’s a 2+2 sports coupe that offers drivers an affordable sports car and thrilling performance.

For the 2022 model year, drivers can enjoy a manual or an automatic transmission. Car and Driver says the company expects to sell more with the latter. Even though it may mean less driver involvement and slightly less straight-line speed, Car and Driver says the automatic option is still a good time behind the wheel.

The 2022 Toyota GR86 specifications

A red 2022 Toyota GR86 sports car parked on a country highway road near dirt paths dug into grass hills
2022 Toyota GR86 | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The 2022 Toyota GR86’s redesign brought updated styling and a bump in power. All models offer a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that pushes out 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’s up 23 horsepower and 33 lb-ft of torque from the previous generation’s 2.0-liter engine. The 2.4-liter engine gets a combined 25 mpg.

Car and Driver notes an improvement with the bigger engine, specifically with torque output. The peak is at 3,700 rpm instead of 5,400, meaning throttle response is better. With an automatic transmission, 0 to 60 mph takes 6.1 seconds. That’s 0.7 seconds slower than the manual model but still faster than competitors like the Mazda Miata

The automatic GR86 comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Car and Driver says the model provides quick ratio swaps for something closer to the manual setup.

What’s the GR86 like to drive?

Behind the wheel, the Toyota GR86 comes alive on curvy roads. Reviewers say steering feedback is terrific, making it easy to tackle corners at speed. But it’s not just when the power’s down; the brakes provide solid stopping power from speed. Though, when you get up to 100 mph, reviewers note the Toyota GR86’s brake fade does step in. 

Edmunds reviewers agree that it’s a fun drive, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice. The handling is sublime and when in track mode, the shifts are quicker. The upgraded suspension also keeps the ride solid and responsive.

A downside to the GR86 comes at higher speeds. When you reach 70 mph, reviewers say the interior noise is 76 decibels. That’s louder than many of its competitors and close to the level that can cause damage after extended exposure (80 db). The interior noise and small rear seats are the main drawbacks Car and Driver can name.

What features are included in the Toyota GR86?

There are two trim levels for the 2022 Toyota GR86: the Base and Premium. You get a lot of features on the base model. In the cabin, there’s an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. With the automatic transmission, the GR86 also provides adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. 

An upgrade to the premium trim means the 17-inch wheels are now 18 inches with high-performance tires. Inside, there are heated front seats, aluminum pedals, and an audio system with eight speakers. There’s also a blind-spot monitoring system and adaptive headlights included with the GR86 Premium. You can also pay a subscription for a telematics system that gives you diagnostic alerts and a vehicle locator system. 

How much does the 2022 GR86 cost?

Toyota puts the starting MSRP for the 2022 Toyota GR86 at $27,700, but Car and Driver puts the starting price at $32,825. With the automatic transmission and packages added for the test, the Premium model costs $33,507. 

Reviewers say the automatic gearbox gives you an added benefit as well: an extra cubby in the center console. With all of those perks at that price, Car and Driver say it’s a solid value for a stellar car. TrueCar agrees, as the 2022 Toyota GR86 is second on its list of best coupes for the money. 

RELATED: Should You Wait for the 2022 Nissan 400Z or Get a Toyota GR 86?