Toyota GR86 vs. Subaru BRZ: The People Have Spoken

Toyota is not usually known for its sports cars, but as enthusiasts know, Toyota actually can build a competent sports car or race car. The GR86 is one of Toyota’s newer sports cars, and it has a lot in common with the Subaru BRZ. Despite their similarities though, one model has been much more popular with consumers. Here’s a look at how the Toyota GR86 compares to the Subaru BRZ in terms of sales.

A blue redesigned 2022 Subaru BRZ driving down a highway.
The 2022 Subaru BRZ | Subaru

The people have chosen the Toyota GR86

According to GoodCarBadCar, the sales data is in, and it’s clear that car shoppers are choosing the Toyota GR86 over the Subaru BRZ. The Toyota sports car beat out its Subaru cousin by a massive margin, too. From January to November 2022, Subaru sold a total of 3,020 units of the BRZ. Since the Subie is a sports car, that relatively low sales number isn’t too surprising.

The GR86, meanwhile, has sold a total of 11,136 units in that same time span. That means that Toyota sold over 8,000 more units of the GR86 than Subaru sold of the BRZ. It equals to almost four times as many cars. While it’s clear that the GR86 is vastly more popular than the BRZ, the Subaru isn’t slumping by any means.

Both sports cars received a complete redesign in the 2022 model year. Since that redesign, their sales have grown a lot. For example, Subaru saw a 141% increase in sales compared to last year. However, Toyota only recently started selling the GR86, so its sales growth data isn’t very useful.

How the Toyota GR86 compares to the Subaru BRZ

This difference in sales is surprising as the GR86 and the BRZ are very similar to one another. This is especially true under the hood and inside the cabin.

For example, both sports cars have the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the same transmission, and the same tire options. Their interior designs are also practically identical, and both automakers used the same materials to build their cars.

Overall, one of their main differences is simply aesthetic, as their grilles are different, and their front designs are different. There are also minor differences in the cars’ suspension and steering systems.

For example, the Toyota has a larger sway bar, while the Subie has stiffer front springs. The Subie also has aluminum steering knuckles, while the Toyota has steel ones. Plus, the BRZ is slightly heavier.

The two Japanese automakers also claim that their cars’ engines are tuned differently, but it’s not very apparent on paper. Both 2.4-liter engines get the same output of 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, and their acceleration times are similar.

Their starting price tags are similar, but there’s a small difference here too. The GR86 starts at about $28,000, while the BRZ starts at about $28,500. 

Here are some potential reasons why the Toyota GR86 sells better than the Subaru BRZ

Related

2023 Subaru BRZ: The Little Sports Car Bargain for Under $30,000

Since both sports cars are so similar to one another, it’s interesting that shoppers have flocked to the GR86 over the BRZ. One reason may simply be pricing. Since the two cars are so similar to one another, the $500 price difference may be enough to sway folks toward the Toyota.

Another possible explanation may simply be reputation. Toyota and Subaru are both well-regarded automakers, but they’re not in the same league. Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world. Subaru sells fewer cars than Toyota does overall, and this means there are fewer Subaru fans than Toyota fans. As such, Toyota fans may choose the GR86 over the BRZ simply because they love Toyota.