What is it like on the inside?
If you’re sold on GR86 life so far, then hold tight: this is the bit you have to put up with, the sacrifice you must make in order to get an anachronistically analogue sports car onto your driveway in 2022 for a fiver under thirty grand. The interior is okay, but not the GR’s strong suit.
Let’s rattle through the good stuff. The seats are – like the GT86 chairs – supremely supportive around your shoulders and love handles, but long-distance comfy and heated as standard. We’d like to sit a smidge lower, but the same niggle never put us off this car’s GR Yaris cousin. We’re fans of the gimmick-free steering wheel: round, slender and entrusted with a sensible number of buttons.
But this is far from a welcoming cabin: dour in black and fashioned from several grades of hard plastic. Don’t settle in hoping for fillets of aluminium brightwork or lashings of carbon fibre. In fairness to Toyota, well done for not trying to dupe us with nasty plasti-metal and faux weave. But the small panels of ‘suede’ do little to lift a cabin that’s functional, ergonomically literate but never titillating. Think of it like a budget hotel room: it does the job, but isn’t much to show off about.
The fully digital instrument graphics are low rent, but reasonably clear – it’s worth scrolling past the temperature gauges, voltage meter and G-sensor to view the real-time power and torque graphs, if only to sample the moment where the GR86 doesn’t appear to run out of puff halfway through its charge. Sorry, GT86 owners – that’s a real win for the new GR.
Is it practical?
All-round visibility is decent for a coupe, and there’s a reversing camera to aid with oblique manoeuvres. Stowage has been improved: the doors will now take a bottle, the glovebox has expanded and you’ll get a couple of smartphones in the centre console, both suckling separate USB chargers.
Either can be mirrored via Android Auto or Apple Carplay in the eight-inch touchscreen, so you needn’t bother much with Toyota’s Fisher-Price interface. The connections are a heck of a lot more stable than any current VW Group system, though the phone reception doesn’t appear to be great. Tell your caller you’ll ring them back and enjoy the drive, eh?
The 226-litre boot will swallow a couple of suitcases, and Toyota’s at pains to point out with the back seats folded you can carry a full set of spare tyres in the load bay. Pop the backrests up and your offspring will be on the blower to Childline complaining of cruel and unusual punishment – there’s no legroom back there if the driver is approaching six feet tall. Still, it’s a more commodious cabin than a Supra…