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Building A Better Z: The 2023 Toyota GR86

2023 Toyota GR86 front 3/4 view

The category: Most fun you can have with your clothes on for under $35,000.

2023 Toyota GR86 rear 3/4 view

The answer: The 2023 Toyota GR86. Absolutely no contest.

2023 Toyota GR86 hood up

2023 Toyota GR86 engine

225 horsepower from a 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine (Subaru sells this car as the BRZ) in a light, compact coupe with near-perfect weight distribution (53% front/47% rear). You can get it with a six-speed manual (0-60 in 6.1 seconds, EPA fuel economy estimate 20 city/27 highway/23 combined) or a six-speed automatic (0-60 in 6.6, EPA 21 city/31 highway/26 combined).

2023 Toyota GR86 trunk

Yes, the trunk is tiny. The rear seat is so useless for people that I honestly forgot to take a picture (there's one in my review of the '22 model from a year ago).

2023 Toyota GR86 front seats

2023 Toyota GR 86 front seat detail

2023 Toyota GR86 instrument panel

And absolutely none of that matters because here is where it all comes together---behind the steering wheel. The sheer delight of a small, light, perfectly-balanced machine is something very few cars can deliver.

You can get a base manual GR86 for $29,495 including destination, so if you're aiming under 30K, welcome to your car. Our tester was a Premium automatic, which is $33,095 including destination.

That money gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, a Torsen limited-slip differential, Toyota's comprehensive active safety suite, heated power outside mirrors, LED lighting, chrome-tipped exhaust, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, heated ultra suede front seats with leather bolsters, and an eight-inch touchscreen with an eight-speaker audio system.

2023 Toyota GR86 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Toyota GR86 center console

2023 Toyota GR86 center stack

And the extra-cost options? $295 for black lug nuts and wheel locks, $289 for carpeted floor mats and a carpet cargo mat and $69 for a clear rear bumper appliqué, bringing the total price to $33,748.

2023 Toyota GR86 front view

2023 Toyota GR86 side view

2023 Toyota GR86 rear view

I hate to bring arch-rival Nissan up in a Toyota review, but, adjusted for inflation, this is the kind of bargain the original 240Z was when it dropped in the fall of '69. And that car couldn't dream of 0-60 times in the sixes and an audio system like this one. In a just world, this would be the car everyone's gotta have. And now you know.


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