The amount of car reviews online is mushrooming and from what I’ve read, seemingly every single internet review of the Toyota GT86 has been blind praise. TopGear car of the year. Even Clarkson loves it. But I think they’re wrong. That’s why I’m writing this review.

You know the background already. Toyota binned the plain but excellent Celica and MR2 some years ago and Subaru’s sporty decline has been as dramatic as it’s original rise. The two companies got their heads together to create something sporty and came up with the GT86. For those of a playstation generation, it is supposed to evoke memories of the classic but obscure AE86. Anyway, good, bad or ugly, here’s the car review…


We’ll start with the good; It rides, steers and brakes nicely. I’m sure it won’t break down. Then the bad; At less than 6000rpm, the engine sounds like a fishtank pump. It is slow.

Then the ugly; It is ugly. I’ll elaborate- it’s designed to be entertaining at low speeds, and in that respect, it succeeds. You have to absolutely thrash the knackers off it to get any momentum up but to me that makes it as engaging as a good MX-5. High praise. So, the mechanical bits are excellent, I can feel the appeal. The packaging, though, is dreadful. Leather with less cow content then a Findus burger, cack plastics, and the styling! The basic proportions are OK but look closely at the detail; The fussy spoiler, the fog lamps at awkward angles, the chunky twin exhaust that hides two weedy pipes, the lofty ride height, the nasty alloys, the daft rear lights, fake plastic vents, even the high-level rear brake light obscures the view out of the rear screen. Look closely at the details. The front valance looks as resolved as Clarkson’s teeth. Maybe that’s why he loves it. It seems like Toyota have tried to apply every possible cosmetic aftermarket modification all in one go when a plain Jane finish would have done the trick. Dr Octane loves this car and I too expected to love this car, it is entertaining to drive – but the juvenile styling overshadows everything, for me.

Clarkson’s classic formula is to use a whole review to complain about a car like the GT86, then wrap it up with “but you know what – I love it”. But you know what – I don’t. Sorry, internet.

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