It has been my dream car from the day I saw it in 2012 when I was 18, to the day I bought it in 2016 when I was 22. I have tried to be as unbiased as possible, but I do apologise if I get emotion involved in this piece.
The first question that would pop into your mind would be why I chose this over the GTS86 – well, I didn’t. While buying first hand, the GTS would definitely be cheaper than the BRZ with the exact same features. However, once you decide to sell it on the second-hand market, they fetch the same market value.
Being a Toyaburu, reliability would be a given and expected. I drive this car at least five days a week to the gym after peak hours and do the occasional one-hour drive a week. The gearbox is great, it handles well and I’m starting to get 600–650km per tank (it’s my first manual car, I’m slowly lowering my revs). Being the second owner, the car was in good condition, wasn’t thrashed, and the timing chain still sounded good after 27,000km.
Many potential buyers always laugh at how small the interior seating is. Yes, it’s true, the back seats are honestly a waste of space, but the front Recaro seats are super comfortable. I’m 177cm and 80kg and I sit very comfortably in the car, however exiting and entering the vehicle is annoying at times as I have to bend my head. The boot is small, as you expect from a coupe, and can’t fit your golf clubs.
I rated the tech/connectivity as the lowest due to the slap in the face of the standard head unit. It’s not touchscreen and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you were in a 1999 Honda Civic. The previous owner installed an aftermarket unit and I installed a reverse camera. For a car of that shape, it’s just stupid they didn’t offer a reverse camera as standard in the 2013 model. Maybe I can’t park, but it’s about 30cm off the ground and I’ve scraped reverse-parking in high-pressure situations.
I’ve also driven my mate’s base VW Golf from the same year and his hill-start assist is such a gift! I rarely drive in traffic, but I was basically not impressed hill-starting nine times over a course of a 3km stretch of road today.
However, the biggest selling point for this vehicle is the price. These cars can be picked up second hand for $23K, and they are just bang for your buck. The amount you’re paying versus how much you’ll actually enjoy it, is like finding your favourite brand discounted 50 per cent with an additional discount for loyalty.
It handles well and the manual transmission is just so raw and enjoyable. The realistic cars that compete with the 86/BRZ in terms of experience would be the MX-5 and 370Z, both of which are $45K and $55K respectively. I’m telling you, this car is bang for your buck and you will not be disappointed.
This car is definitely a head-turner and just a pure joy to drive as a weekend car. If you want to daily this car and you live in Sydney, I suggest you think somewhere else.
PS: Please do not buy the 86/BRZ in automatic. You’re just wasting your hard-earned money and won’t experience what this car can really do.