This is my first sports car.
Coming from a Subaru Forester, it is a significant difference, so this is my reference point, okay, not other sports cars.
The 86 is a joy to drive every day. The ride is on the stiff side and the handling makes this car so much fun to drive. The driving position is very low and gives you a sensation of been protected, although I can now see under some SUVs.
The interior space is enough for two people although four are a very tight squeeze. With the rear folding seats in the down position, I can actually fit in my road bike.
Build quality is good to very good, styling is a personal preference and I like it. The material used are budget but still well finished. The stereo is a bit fiddly to work with but it works and sounds good.
Performance, I find it to be just enough. It could use more but just enough is entertaining and saves me keeping my licence. And it's a lot faster than the Forester.
I opted for the automatic with paddle-shifters. I did test drive the manual... and after a back-to-back comparison, decided the auto is more fun for me.
Its 0-100 is not as slow as people think. With new Dunlop tyres im getting 7.7 seconds... no, not hot hatch speed but still a good 0.5sec (yes, I know woohoo... lol!) faster than official figures. This car is engaing to drive and sounds okay, but I think a new exhaust and tune will be on the shopping list soon.
Reliable? Yep day in day out. It is, after all, a Toyota.
Parking at a shopping center is okay, just avoid tight spots as the doors need more space to swing open. Also it's easy to hide, so low to the ground that a Suzuki Alto is now a SUV (slight exaggeration).
It tackles speed bumps okay-ish , just don't fly over them as I used to with the Forester. And the view from the mirrors and back are okay but you do need to be aware of the C-pillar blind spot.
Driving at night can offer some problems in that, due to the car's low height, everyone's headlights are in your eyes... especially jacked up SUVs that drive very close to your bumper.
As a small sports car it's great. It's not a hot hatch or a muscle car but it is fun to drive, economical to run and I just love the looks. The 86 reminds me of the Datsun 240Z and a bit of Ferrari (yes, I'm dreaming but I love this little car).
The Toyota GTS 86 has reinvigorated motoring for me. As an automotive engineer (now redundant) I can finally enjoy cars again.
Note: Stock image used for illustration purposes