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The 2022 Toyota GR 86 is one of the best first sports cars you can buy. However, it’s also a platform that even experienced drivers can learn from like the Toyota 86 before it. Unlike some of Toyota’s models, there’s only two trim choices available as of right now. Each has some benefits and drawbacks, much like the small sports car itself.

The 2022 Toyota GR 86 improves massively on the old model | ThrottleHouse

Now, it’s time to take a look at which of the two trim levels are the best value in this new cheap sports car.

A base model GR 86 isn’t necessarily a bad thing

A dark blue 2022 Toyota GR 86 rolls down a forest road, shot from the front 3/4
The new GR 86 fixed a lot of complaints consumers had about the previous model | Toyota

Let’s start at the literal base of the 2022 Toyota GR 86 totem pole. First, price. Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t officially come out with pricing yet, but Car and Driver expects things to kick off right around $29,000 for the base trim. To be clear, the base trim isn’t very base. The biggest difference between the two is the wheel and tire package.

The bog-standard GR 86 will come on 17-inch wheels with some notably less sticky all-season tires. The same can be said for the car’s Subaru BRZ twin. Frankly, these are way more fun to slide about on, but some may want that extra grip afforded by the Premium trim. However, it’s a good choice for those planning on buying dedicated summer wheels and tires as you’ve already got your set of winter wheels and tires.

The 2022 Toyota GR 86 Premium commands a premium

The alcantara clad interior of the Toyota GR 86 Premium shot from the driver's side window
The GR 86 Premium gets you a much nicer interior among other things | Toyota

The Premium trim is where things get interesting. The base model comes with a cloth interior, and those with the Premium model won’t have to bother with touching that peasant-tier fabric. Instead, the more bourgeois 86 owners are treated to much nicer leather and Alcantara seats.

Of course, there’s also that wheel and tire package we discussed earlier. Wrapped around those aforementioned 18-inch wheels are some excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. They’re just about the grippiest tire you can put on anything with four wheels. However, it is possible the Premium GR 86 could edge above $30,000 with options.

Is the Toyota 86 worth it?

A silver Subaru BRZ seen under a studio light at a warehouse, shot from the low front 3/4 angle
The new 86 and BRZ pick up where the old versions left off | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

That said, the 2022 Toyota GR 86 is a massive improvement over the last generation. The infamous torque hole is all but nonexistent, and the interior is a massive step up even if you do find yourself in a base 86. The base isn’t even a bad thing, it just depends on your goals for yourself and the vehicle. No matter which trim level you choose, you’re ending up in one of the great cheap performance cars, and that cannot possibly be a bad thing.


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