Toyota GT86 meets the rivals
Welcome to part one of Top Gear Speed Week - can Toyota's new coupe live up to the hype?
Posted: 24 Aug 2012
The trouble is that part of the thrill of a hot hatch is the ‘can-it-really-cope?’ question, and the most amusing answers usually come from those that struggle. At Dunsfold, the Focus was more amusing, but I kept being drawn back to the Astra, suspecting it might be the better car for round two, then being immediately put off by the overwrought interior.
Vauxhall, those silver steering-wheel inserts and that mammoth gearknob? They’ve got to go. How are you meant to get to grips with a car when you can’t get a grip on its steering wheel and gearlever? Neither of our Japanese pair makes that mistake. I know, I know – you wouldn’t think that there are parallels between Toyota’s coupe and Suzuki’s tyke of a parboiled hot hatch, but there are. Think about it; think about the mindset that has created them. Both have plain, simple cabins; both are light and agile; both have naturally aspirated engines and are perceived as underpowered. Neither actually is.