The automatic’s biggest benefit is adaptive cruise control — which I use a lot in cop magnets like GR86 to keep my speeds at the posted limit. But I’d still opt for the manual — especially since Toyota equips it with a handbrake. Oh, joy.
The tandem are nicely paired in the center console of a redrawn interior. It’s spartan, but everything is in its place — except the curious decision to locate the cupholders inside the butterfly console bin. This is also where the USB is located for wired, Android Auto navigation.
Happily, door cupholders are within easy reach so I could navigate and slurp Snapple at the same time. Aft of the front seats, Toyobaru offers a rear bench too small for adults, but — like the 911’s 2+2 arrangement — they make welcome cargo space. Picking up Mrs. Payne at the airport, I stuffed her full-size bag and a second carry-on in the boot — then threw my carry-on and briefcase in the rear seats. Try that in an MX-5 Miata.
Miata is the class icon, but now that Gazoo has fixed the 86, it is the better all-around car with storage, room and looks to match its performance. Toyota offers a complimentary one-year track membership to the National Auto Sport Association so you can test the limits.
Preferably with a manual.
2022 Toyota GR86
Vehicle type: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, four-passenger sports car
Price: $28,725, including $1,025 destination fee ($33,250 as tested)
Powerplant: 2.4-liter Boxer-4 cylinder
Power: 228 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque