The Road Ahead : February March 2015
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 68 THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2015 MOTORING | USED CAR REVIEW IS THIS ONE FOR YOU? Those after an affordable, good- looking coupe offering real driver appeal should certainly consider the 86. The less- than-cosseting ride and a certain lack of practicality -- it's a sports car after all -- means it's not for all comers. Buy it for an entertaining and fun drive on the road or even for occasional track-day use. MAZDA MX5, 2012-2014 Revered by many. The classic sportscar -- lightweight, two-seater, rear-drive, convertible. Superb dynamics for real driving pleasure. 118kW 2.0-litre engine. VW GOLF GTI, 2012-2014 Highly popular hot hatch. Flexible, responsive performance from 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. Beautifully tuned chassis. Easy to live with, too. SUBARU BRZ, 2012-2014 Single spec only approximating 86 GTS. Joined by sports pack BRZ S from July 2013. A rose by another name smells just as sweet. WHEN IT WAS released in 2012, the much anticipated Toyota 86 quickly gained rave reviews, both for its considerable on-road abilities and better than expected affordability. New buyers were prepared to wait many months to get their car and the model has now developed something of a cult following. A joint development with Subaru, the 86 was also sold as the Subaru BRZ. The 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated boxer engine is derived from the Impreza, with high-tech direct petrol injection courtesy of Toyota. The purpose- designed rear-drive platform uses a modified WRX STi front suspension. Low centre of gravity and near ideal front/rear weight distribution are design features. The Toyota was sold in two specifications, the 86 GT and the better equipped 86 GTS. A manual or auto box, both six-speeds, could be had in either. The manual box's slick shift is a pleasure to use. Performance is certainly respectable despite relatively modest maximum outputs delivered at high RPM. But straight line speed isn't what the 86 is about. It's about the pleasure of taking the long way home through twists and turns. Responsive steering, a sweetly balanced and communicative rear-drive chassis, and innate agility make for sublime handling as precise as the best Swiss watch. With their smaller 16" wheels, GT models ride a little better than the 17" equipped GTS. The GTS has upgraded brakes for enhanced retardation. The 2+2 design means there are rear seats, but they are of limited use for passengers. Boot space is also of limited practical value, and rear visibility isn't one of the model's best features. Look for used examples with proper scheduled service history, especially engine oil and coolant, to avoid inheriting expensive disasters. Modified vehicles and vehicles that have been 'thrashed', used as track-day cars, or for 'drifting' are best avoided. Evidence of motorsport use could include signs of having had a roll-cage fitted. Rough engine idle or stalling needs professional checking. It could mean a re-flash of the ECU by the dealer is needed, or in some cases, there could be a problem with the variable valve-timing system. A few owners have noted the stereo system sound quality is below par, and can be temperamental, 'crashing' or 'freezing' when using media inputs. FUEL FOR THOUGHT The 86 will use between 5.7 litres and 10.4 litres of 98 RON per 100km, depending on model and driving conditions. PRICE RANGE From $27,600 to $38,900, depending on year and model. toyota 86 coupe, 2012-2014 REVIEW JOHN EWING COMPETITORS USED CARS NEED HELP? RACQ CAN HELP WITH CAR LOANS (CALL 1300 361 316), VEHICLE INSPECTIONS (CALL 13 1905) AND INSURANCE (CALL 13 1905).
April 1st 2015