2022 Toyota GR86
Toyota’s compact sports car receives its first major update since debuting in 2013 as the Scion FR-S, and continues into 2022 as the Toyota GR86 with revised styling and a more powerful engine. Although slightly larger than the previous model, the 2022 Toyota GR86 remains true to its original formula of a lightweight, responsive rear-wheel-drive coupe built to satisfy driving enthusiasts while remaining practical and affordable.
Scion FR-S to Toyota GR86
Developed as a joint venture with Subaru, the Toyota GR86 shares chassis, drivetrain and mechanical components with the Subaru BRZ. Both companies create unique exterior designs and tune the suspension for their individual models. Toyota sold this sports car from 2013 to 2016 as the FR-S under its youth-oriented Scion brand; in 2017 the car became the Toyota 86 following the demise of Scion. Toyota renamed the 2022 model the GR86 in a nod to GAZOO Racing, Toyota’s global racing program. With that rename, the GR86 becomes the second GR model for the U.S. market alongside the GR Supra.
The 2022 Toyota GR86 comes in two trim levels, with the base version starting at $27,700 and the GR86 Premium at $30,300; the car has an additional delivery, processing and handling fee of $1,025. Toyota provided us with a GR86 Premium to test drive, finished in Pavement Grey and equipped with an automatic transmission for a total price as tested of $32,825.
The fresh exterior design of the 2022 Toyota GR86 features a black G-mesh-shaped grille and LED headlights with the same internal L-shape as the GR Supra. The wide front fenders have aerodynamic vents and aggressive rocker panels sweep up into the rear fenders. At the rear, the GR86 Premium adds a ducktail spoiler. The GR86 features standard 17-inch machined-finished, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with Michelin Primacy HP tires; the GR86 Premium upgrades to 18-inch black 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
Strong Yet Lightweight
The new-generation GR86 chassis adds high strength steel, new bracing and a full-ring frame at the rear for a more rigid platform. Toyota builds the GR86 with an aluminum roof and front fenders to keep the car’s overall weight down. The 2022 Toyota GR86 base trim weighs a svelte 2,811 pounds when equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, and 2,851 pounds with the automatic.
Under the Hood
The rear-wheel-drive 2022 Toyota GR 86 has a new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque — an increase of 23 horsepower and 33 lb-ft of torque over the 2.0-liters outgoing model. Peak horsepower comes at 7000 rpm and peak torque starts at 3700 rpm — a significant change versus the 6600 rpm peak of the previous model. The new engine gets paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic that has paddle shifters. A new Sport mode improves downshifts with automatic rev matching.
Designed as an affordable car for driving enthusiasts, the GR86 features MacPherson strut front suspension with new shocks and new rebound springs for improved handling. The rear suspension is a double-wishbone multi-link design with sport tuned shocks and stiffer springs than the previous model. A Torsen limited-slip rear differential is standard equipment, and the rear axle gets reinforced to accommodate the more powerful engine. The strut stabilizer bar now connects directly to the rear subframe.
The 2022 Toyota GR86 receives new seats and a standard 7.0-inch TFT instrument display that changes depending on the selected drive mode. Sport mode adds a red ring around the tachometer, and Track mode adds an RPM band in the center with readouts for oil and coolant temperature as well as a lap timer. An 8-inch center touchscreen is standard for the infotainment system; dual-zone climate control and pushbutton start are also standard.
2022 Toyota GR86 Premium
The 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium features 6-way adjustable heated front seats in Alcantara with leather side bolsters. The interior has black and silver accents for the seats, steering wheel, shifter boot and brake handle. The split-opening center console includes two cupholders. The GR86 Premium also features an aluminum footrest and sport pedals, as well as an upgraded 8-speaker audio system.
On the Road
The all-new 2022 Toyota GR86 stays true to the original formula of a lightweight, fun-driving, rear-wheel-drive coupe with superb overall balance. The additional horsepower gives the car even more brio, but most noticeable is the additional torque in mid-range rpm where the previous model seemed a bit flat. The ride is fairly firm for a street car, especially on rough roads, although enthusiasts will consider it a fair tradeoff for the control and precision of the steering and suspension.
The 2022 Toyota GR86 telegraphs fun the moment a driver slides behind the wheel. Balanced and responsive, the GR86 delivers pure driving enjoyment. Add in the back seat and a reasonable amount of trunk space and the GR86 even becomes practical — for a small, 2-door coupe. Folding the rear seatback creates enough room to carry a few bags of groceries, a couple small pieces of luggage or a second set of wheels and tires for a track or autocross course.
The test car arrived equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Although we would have preferred the 6-speed manual, the GR86 still delivers as an engaging everyday driver. In Sport or Track mode the transmission mapping gets much more aggressive and holds lower gears longer to keep the engine in the right rpm range for what’s next. The new engine’s maximum torque — available at a much lower rpm — adds to the driving experience. The GR86 no longer feels underpowered and can claim space as a fun, sporty car that is a joy to drive on road and track.
The new GR86 is highly balanced and predictable — a car that instills confidence for an average driver. Although the suspension might be considered a little stiff for everyday use, the responsiveness and precise steering make this a car that any driving enthusiast would enjoy. With a high level of performance for the price, the Toyota GR86 offers everyday approachability for less experienced drivers, making it a great choice as an entry sports car. Overall the new GR86 feels well balanced, particularly in side-to-side transitions between corners, and the car remains incredibly stable under hard braking. The GR86 inspires driver confidence and will continue to be an engaging experience as a driver’s skills improve.
Driving enthusiasts can surely spend more money on a car that is faster, more powerful and more prestigious than the 2022 Toyota GR86 — but not more fun. The small, sporty GR86 offers a measure of practicality thanks to a rear seat and reasonable trunk room. We like the updated design, which distinguishes it from the first generation but retains the original look without overdoing additional flair. The 2022 Toyota GR86 is a great choice for enthusiast drivers seeking a sports car that will be easy to live with every day.