NOTE: CarAdvice editorial image used as none provided by the writer
After 3 years in an old, beat-up Lancer with no air con, I wanted what every teen wants: A fun, reliable and sporty car with good fuel consumption that won't cost me more than what my part-time job could afford.
Enter the Toyota GT86. Overall a great, sporty car with fantastic handling whilst still being tame enough to hit a good level of fuel consumption and not attract police attention on the roads. Having 140hp at the wheels leaves much to be desired in the way of power, however with the car's weight broaching only roughly 1000kg, it is enough power to get you out of sticky situations on the road. l found that a combination of rear-wheel drive and the factory stock tires are awful in wet weather conditions (on a normal commute), and after experiencing slight drifting extra caution is definitely required on rainy days - this got tiresome, and is dangerous. Without the rain, this is a car that handles beautifully, with a fast response. The manual transmission feels very smooth and sharp, and almost feels like a short shifter.
I love the sleek, sporty appearance which reminded me of a budget Lexus LFA (without all the cool techy/performance upgrades). The interior is nice - simple with comfortable bucket seats for driver and front passenger, however the back seats may as well not exist - they will barely fit a small adult passenger, let alone two.
The car itself has always been reliable for me, however the practicality... well, don't buy a sports car expecting it to be practical! Boot space is dismal and while the back seats do fold flat, don't expect to be able to take much more than about two medium-sized suitcases. There is some room to stack things in the back seat if you're able to shimmy it through the front two doors, but the opening is awkwardly shaped and therefore hard to reach the backseat. Having said that, I was able to stack in a few small boxes (with the seats folded flat).
Improvements that could be made.... add more power! Whether that be a turbo or supercharger, it would make the car 1000 times more fun and worthwhile owning.