Five months ago I picked up my very own Toyota 86 GT. It’s my everyday drive and a car that I really enjoy, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s perfect. It needs a few additions.
Despite that fact that it has taken home car of the year in most automotive media awards this year, I still believe the Toyota 86 is lacking somewhat. Just small things – things that could make a great car and bloody fantastic car. But perhaps I’m being pedantic…
1: Better tyres
Those Yokohama Prius tyres they stick on the Toyota 86 are rubbish of the highest order. And Toyota all but admits that. They are meant to make the car more fun to drive, easier to give you that feeling of being on the edge and cheaper to run thanks to their durability. But I managed to almost lose the backend in the rain yesterday going just 45kph. Thankfully I’ve done a few defensive driving courses and have a tiny bit of track experience. It was no big deal. But for a young driver who may be able to afford this car but doesn’t have experience… it could be a very different story. It’s still a sports car, it still requires skill to drive it, it may be cheap but stick better tyres on it.
2. Boot lip spoiler
You see it in the promo material for the overseas models, and Subaru already offers it as an option on the BRZ. So come on Toyota, give 86 owners a chance. It adds a serious bit of style to the car. After all, this is a sports car, it needs a spoiler of some sort.
3. Sound system
The system currently inside the Toyota 86 is… shit. It redefines shit, actually. At the price of $29,990 that’s fine, but how about the option for a factory upgrade? That would be nice. A bit more bass, clearer treble… actually, just a whole new system. I love the engine note at 5,000rpm plus. With that constantly, you wouldn’t need a sound system. But most Toyota 86 drivers will be hearing 3,000rpm largely, and that sounds a little bit flat. Like the sound system, sadly.
4. Adjustable seats
Sports bucket seats: they look so cool but they are so uncomfortable – even more so when you have broad shoulders like me. The Toyota 86 bucket seats are actually quite good for the averaged sized person, but any variation on that will not enjoy them. I can quite comfortably fit in a Volkswagen Golf GTi bucket seat, or a Renault Megane RS250, but the Toyota 86 is just too narrow around the shoulders. If only you could adjust the wings, that would be grand. I’ll keep dreaming with hunched shoulders.
5. Arm rest
The good news is that you can find an insertable arm rest on Amazon which you can import for around $75. It uses the cup holder to lock into position but rids you of any centre console storage, but that’s not too big a deal. The bad news is that as is, the Toyota 86 has no comfortable place to rest your arm when driving. That’s fine if you’re driving it on the edge, but for around town drives, it might be worth that $75 investment.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.