Car: Toyota GT86
Owned since: July 2013
Previously owned: Mazda MX-5 1.8 RC (Mk3)
"I'd had my MX-5 for around 18 months and despite enjoying the open top experience two miserable winters and a wet spring got me thinking I wanted a change. I actually started my search at the hot hatch end of the market and quite fancied a Clio RS200 EDC or a Mini hatchback JCW. But popped into Toyota the day after my fiancé snapped a GT86 in a car park. When I sat in the showroom car I felt right at home and booked a test drive. The test drive settled for me, confirming it ticked all my boxes and even has a fair size boot."
What I wish I'd known:
"I hadn't done a huge amount of research on the car before looking at one. After getting home after buying one I thought I'd better just flick through some reviews and videos which confirmed what I thought really."
Things I love:
"One word: handling. From the moment you drive off it feels agile. When you start to push it you realise how sweet the chassis is. It feels so alive in the bends at speed, you feel the car yaw around you a little bit which feels fantastic. This coupled with well judged stability control and traction control means you feel it is you the driver making the car quick, but you still have the comfort knowing it will catch you if get it a bit wrong. Yes there are quicker things on the road but unless you're in something serious like an Atom or Caterham 7 I doubt you could have as much fun."
"The lack stereo controls on the steering wheel really bugs me, I get that while on a back road and just want to focus on the driving. But on a motorway at speed in traffic the last thing you want to be doing is messing around with a touch screen entertainment system. Please Toyota on the facelift put a remote on a stick like the cruise control. Also how on earth does the sat-nav cost £700? It uses the same head unit with an extra little box that gets plugged in."
"The car was one year old; when I bought it had 9,000 odd miles on it and cost me £19,995 from Lancaster Toyota St Ives. The dealer actually sold three GT86s that weekend including this black GT86 that Mr Harris tested. On the fuel front I'm averaging 36mpg on my daily 90-mile commute on A-roads and dual carriageways with lots of roundabouts... Servicing is a little more expensive than your standard Toyota with the first year service costing £170 and the second year a bit more again. The running costs are comparable with the MX-5 I had, with the '86 being slightly better on the fuel."
"We took it to North Wales along with a friend and his 2005 Civic Type R - in terms of out and out pace the Civic would take some beating. The GT86 will keep up in the mid-range but as soon as that wonderful VTEC comes on song it will surge away from you. The highlight of the trip was an afternoon drive around the pass of Llanberis with its exciting roads and wonderful scenery. Would recommend it with mates who love cars."
"Possibly a BMW M135i or a Cayman S but at this moment in time I'm very happy to have a GT86. It may be a keeper."