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60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Honest review of gr86 premium manual in track bRed, being used as a daily driver on Michigan roads year round:

The Good
-looks fantastic, perfect proportions and curves and the size is just right
-It is light and more importantly feels light/nimble
-handling and balance is great in the corners, best part of the car
-fun to price ratio is probably highest in the market
-easy to maintain and find parts for, for example finding a set of winter tires is much easier than it was for a Camaro or BMW M2
-great manual transmission, but not as good as a Honda
-seats are great
-driving position is perfect and all essential controls within reach
-physical buttons rather than touch screen for most things
-if you want a car where you just get in and drive this is great, a true driver’s oriented car
-rare car, won’t see many others with this
-teaches you to be a better driver, I learned to rev match and now getting better at heel toe
-I'm not big into mods, but this is car is good for that. So much you can do aftermarket to make it your own.

The Bad
-you’ll feel the loss of power if you are coming from high hp cars, specially as you get to higher speeds
-infotainment screen isn't that great vs other cars
-In general the tech overall is not up to 2022 standards. But at least apple car play is there.
-In general infotainment system has some minor bugs: The source of audio has to be changed manually, so for example after a phone call it will go to FM rather than stay on bluetooth.
-There isn’t really a good place to put your phone (SOLVED with a magnetic mount, like
-Cupholders are too far back, I suppose you can use the ones in the doors but overall it doesn't work out that well
-no adjustable dampers, so stiffness wise you get what you get…for some it maybe too stiff, fine for me
-back seats are small for an adult, but I can get my 2 year old in a front facing seat there.
-you need canyon roads or a lot of corners to enjoy this car, my area is lacking these so I’m missing out a lot of what this car is about
-seat belt chime is way too loud (SOLVED, hack worked, trick was to do it in ignition mode…not accessory as the videos claim)
-audio system is bad
-road and tire noise is pretty bad, especially at highway speeds
-Engine sounds like a tractor at lower rpm
-some cheap plastics inside, but honestly not bad for the price. I did add some stickerfab to avoid scratching up the cheap plastic (see photos below)
-Doesn't auto lock when you start driving, must remember to lock manually each time
-If you move front seats forward, they never go back to the position they were in before
-it’s quiet, even the active sound control i barely notice. (an exhaust will fix this I suppose, if you have the right one)

The ugly:
-extremely hard to find and very hard to get at MSRP, maybe it will get better in the future but for right now...good luck
-For your your everyday Joe there may be a lot of things to put here like road noise, lack of room, hard to get in/out of, etc. But for someone who is a sports car/driving enthusiast I don't think there really is anything to truly "ugly" about this car.
-and updating this here, the RTV sealant clogging up the oil pick up tube which is leading to engine oil starvation. I’ll let you google this and research it yourself. Plenty of videos about this and lots of discussion already.

Overall conclusion: I love the car overall and would 100% buy it again. Do NOT get this car if you care about your car being fast or if you want straight line speed, most new minivans will be able to beat this off the line. Do not buy this car if you care about luxury, a fancy interior, or having a quiet cabin. Do not buy this car if you prefer auto over manual. Buy this car if you love an engaging drive and if you want to be a better driver. Buy it if you need a car that you can daily drive and have a blast each time you drive it (on turns and twisty roads mainly). To me driving this to work is like playing a video game. Getting that perfectly smooth rev match or heel-toe down shift is satisfying. Toyota and Subaru joined forces to build a car that prioritizes fun in the corners over hp/torque. If acceleration and power is what's fun for you, skip this car. If handling is fun for you, buy it. And last but not least, I always turn around after parking to appreciate how good it looks.

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Photos below of interior are after installation of "carbon" look wrap. Cheap and easy install. Did this to avoid scratches when stepping out of car.

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127 Posts
I only have 2 issues with the car.

1. God awful stereo. It’s 2022, even base Kia’s sound better.

2. Lots of dead travel at the top paired with the assist spring make Getting out of 1st and 2nd wonky as hell.

I plan on adding a sub woofer to help with issue 1.
I adjusted clutch pedal and removed the spring. 1000% better.
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