Subaru BRZ vs. Toyota 86

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - December 15, 2021

Affordable sports cars were some of the first vehicles to disappear as consumers made the switch to SUVs. There’s some good news for enthusiasts, as the 2022 Toyota GR 86 and 2022 Toyota BRZ return for a new model year. This time around, the vehicles have been fully redesigned, but, just like before, they continue to share a lot of the same components and design elements.

With the BRZ and 86 sharing so many components and having a design that’s nearly identical, it can be hard to choose one over the other in a direct comparison. We’ll compare the two vehicles against one another to see which one comes out as the better choice for the majority of shoppers.

What the Toyota 86 Gets Right

While the two sports cars share a lot of the same parts, the Toyota is the more affordable option. Pricing for the 86 starts at $28,725 (prices include destination), while the BRZ is priced at $28,995. The $270 difference isn’t a huge amount, but being able to save money on a new car is always a win. The range-topping 86 is also more affordable than the range-topping BRZ, as there’s a $130 difference in Toyota’s favor.

Both sports cars come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and are available with the same six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. They have the same 228-horsepower rating and 184 pound-feet of torque. But when it comes to fuel economy, the 86 has a slight advantage. The cars both have a combined fuel economy rating of 25 mpg with the automatic transmission, but the 86 gets 1 more mpg on the highway.

This won’t make a huge difference unless you plan to regularly track the sports car, but the 86 has a curb weight that’s 13 pounds lighter than the BRZ in both of the sports car’s heaviest configurations. Like we said, there aren’t a lot of differences between the two cars.

Read Our Overview of the Toyota 86

What the Subaru BRZ Gets Right

Both Toyota and Subaru require consumers to move up to the most expensive trim levels and opt for the automatic transmission in order to get advanced safety features. Doing so in the BRZ results in reverse automatic emergency braking, which isn’t available on the 86.

The 86 and BRZ come similarly equipped in both of their trims levels, but the BRZ offers an eight-speaker audio system, while the 86 has six audio speakers. It’s not a large difference, but it speaks to Subaru’s intent to make the BRZ more usable on a daily basis over the 86, which also explains why the BRZ offers 0.1 more cubic feet of cargo space over the 86.

Read Our Overview of the Subaru BRZ

No Wrong Choice

The previous generations of the 86 and BRZ were nearly identical and it’s the same case with the fully redesigned models that were introduced for the 2022 model year. While there are a few differences in the way the sports cars look and handle, choosing one comes down to preference. You’ll have to drive both vehicles back to back to notice any differences, leaving us to recommend choosing whichever one you can find at the best price.

Our Verdict

The Toyota GR 86 comes out on top in this comparison because it costs less and weighs less than the BRZ. We wouldn’t blame someone for choosing the BRZ, though, as you could get into either car and forget which one you’re in.

Compare Side-By-Side: Toyota 86 vs. Subaru BRZ»

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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