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2022 Toyota GR86 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Toyota GR86 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Base vs Premium

What 2022 Toyota GR86 Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

It has been almost a decade since Toyota first promised us that they would be going back to the basics with a new sports coupe with the help of fellow Japan-based automaker Subaru. The result was the Scion FR-S - lightweight, small, affordably priced, and ultimately enthralling to drive. But the excitement was short-lived as the Scion FR-S didn't quite make it onto the wide market.

That has all changed for 2022 with the introduction of the very first generation of the Toyota GR86. It comes with all new, contemporary styling and a more powerful engine for an extra bit of punch. Everything that made the original Scion FR-S so exciting is still there; it has merely been enhanced for buyers everywhere to enjoy.

Under the hood, you still get the horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine - it's just that this one comes with improvements to the exhaust and intake as well as a bigger 2.4-liter displacement. Its 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque marks a 23-hp and 28 lb-ft enhancement over the original engine. The steering also feels remarkably different, with a wheel that shows more readiness to move in a more linear fashion. Overall, the effect is a more direct sense of steering for the driver, which is sure to enhance your engagement.

There are a few downsides to buying the 2022 Toyota GR86, although we do not think they are going to deter many serious buyers. The biggest issue is that the cabin gets a lot of wind noise coming in at higher speeds. When you are cruising along on the highway, you'll get a fair amount of intrusion. Also, the back seats are considerably impractical since you can't even really fit kids back there. They are perhaps best relegated for extra storage purposes.

That being said, you can only pick from two GR86 trim levels: the Base and the Premium. Both are well equipped for this segment, but there is a sizable price difference between them. The Premium is actually still quite affordable, all things considered, and it adds a lot of features that the Base trim level does not have. Let's take a closer look at what the all-new 2022 Toyota GR86 has to offer on its Base and Premium trim levels.

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Compare the Base vs Premium. What is the difference?

As already mentioned above, the Base is the entry-level trim on the 2022 Toyota GR86. Up one rung from that is the Premium. You can only choose between these two trim levels, but as this is the GR86's first model year in its first generation, we will not be surprised to see more trim levels and editions getting added to future model years. But, for 2022, this is what you get to pick from - and the choices aren't too shabby at all.

Let's start at the beginning - a very good place to start indeed - with the Base GR86 and its offerings. Both the Base and the Premium are powered by a 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine that is matched up with a 6-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic transmission is available on the Base if you do not want to drive a stick shift, but the automatic is standard on the Premium trim level. With the manual equipped, you get an EPA estimated 22 miles per gallon in combined driving (from 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway). The automatic equipped models will return an EPA estimated 25 mpg combined (from 21 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway).

Other standard mechanical specs on the GR86's trim levels include a DOHC 16-valve valvetrain, a 12.5:1 compression ratio, and 2387 cc displacement. Bear in mind that the fuel octane rating is set at 93 or higher, so you will be paying a little more at the pump than you might be used to. There is a Torsen limited-slip differential for the drivetrain, and rear-wheel drive is standard. The suspension system is composed of a MacPherson strut front suspension with an 18/15-mm front stabilizer bar and a multi-link rear suspension. This vehicle is outfitted with special GR circuit-tuned coil springs, iron front knuckles, shock absorbers, and a rear suspension-member-mounted stabilizer bar. The steering system is a GR circuit-tuned Electric Power Steering system with power-assisted rack-and-pinion. The lock-to-lock steering wheel turns comes in at 2.5. There are 2-piston steel floating-caliper front disc brakes and 11.6-inch ventilated front rotors. The rear is composed of 1-piston steel floating-caliper rear disc brakes with 11.4-inch solid rotors. Of course, you also get a center hand brake for when you need to use it.

The GR86's top speed is 140 miles per hour. The enhanced engine with the 6-speed manual transmission is able to get the GR86 from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, which is a decent time for this segment. The 6-speed automatic models are slightly slower, clocking in at 6.6 seconds instead.

The Base and Premium are mostly similar on the outside. They both come with a functional black air outlet vent at the front wheel arch, a dual chrome tipped exhaust, a shark-fin style roof-mounted antenna done in the chosen body color, and LED daytime running lights. The roof itself has a double bubble feature that is keyed to the body color. The Base has auto-leveling projector style LED headlights with integrated LED turn signal indicators, but the Premium upgrades you to automatic high beams and an adaptive front lighting system.

A timer comes with the rear window defogger, and the Premium gains a body-colored duckbill rear spoiler. Both trim levels are outfitted with LED side marker lights, a black rear bumper lower valance, black heated power outside mirrors, and rear "GR86" badges. A functional black Matrix-style front grille is attached and features a G-mesh insert, plus the "GR" badge displayed front and center and some functional air inlet ducts with black accented trim around them. The Base trim rides atop 17-inch machined finish alloy wheels while the Premium gets boosted to 18-inch alloys done in matte black paint. A set variable intermittent front windshield wipers are equipped on both trims.

The Base's interior starts you out with a good foundation. The interior features power windows with one-touch auto up/down on both the driver and front passenger windows, manual dimming on the rearview mirror, a dual zone automatic climate control system with dual LCD toggle displays, a single piece folding rear seatback with fabric upholstery, multi-functional remote keyless entry, and vanity mirrors on the two front sun visors. Additionally, there are two USB 2.0 charging ports with an auxiliary port, a 7-inch GR digital gauge cluster equipped with a LCD multi-information display, a GR leather-trimmed manual tilting and telescoping three-spoke sport steering wheel with contrast stitching, a leather-wrapped hand-lever parking brake, silver contrast stitching on the leather gearshift boot, and sport front seats with seat insert fabric and a G-embossed design plus black side bolsters. The driver's seat is adjustable six ways and the front passenger's seat is four-way adjustable. There is also engine start/stop, a 6-MT shift lever and knob wrapped in leather, and covered storage over the fixed center console.

The Premium makes a few upgrades to the Base's interior offerings. First, the vanity mirrors gain illumination. A cupholder gets added to the center console. Two-stage heating is added to the front seats. The folding rear seatback is upgraded to Ultrasuede trim. Up front, there are aluminum sport pedals and a footrest. A button for adaptive cruise control gets added to the steering wheel, and seatback pockets get added behind the front seats.

As far as infotainment goes, the Base trim offers a solid setup. You get a standard 8-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system, and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard are some trial subscriptions: three months to SiriusXM, a one-year trial subscription to Connected Services, a one-year trial period with Service Connect, and a one-year trial of Remote Connect. The only upgrade that the Premium makes in this aspect is that it has an eight-speaker sound system with a built-in sound amplifier.

Safety and security features are fairly standard across this line-up. Both trim levels are equipped with vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock brake system, electronic brake force distribution, and brake assist. An alarm and engine immobilizer come with the anti-theft system, and projected path is equipped on the standard back-up camera. Both trims have hill start assist control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and track mode on the Vehicle Stability Control. The Premium adds automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and the Active Safety Suite. This suite includes a Pre-Collision Braking System, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, lead vehicle start assist with the adaptive cruise control system, and sway warning with lane departure warning.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

The 2022 Toyota GR86 is absolutely making a splash in the world of sports coupes this year. Its entry into the market has been a long time coming, and buyers should be excited to test out this thrilling little number. Its size is going to be the only real setback, but if you do not use the backseats for occupants, that should not be a huge problem. Overall, the GR86 is a pleasing vehicle with a good amount of power and a sporty look to it.

Now, if you are stuck on which trim level to buy, here is our final recommendation: spend just a few grand extra and get the line-topping Premium trim level. This trim level gives you those bigger, 18-inch wheels equipped with sticky summer performance tires, and that makes for a sportier overall ride. Also, the Premium benefits from having that adaptive front lighting system, which causes the lights to swivel as you round through turns, giving you better illumination as you navigate those curves in the dark. The heated front seats are also a pretty big bonus, especially if you live in a cooler climate and just want to feel warm and toasty first thing after you get settled into your car.

The Premium also has that eight-speaker sound system, which might not seem like a big deal, but those two extra speakers and the amplifier really make a difference when you are combatting highway noise. We do also want to recommend sticking with the stick. The manual transmission feels more fluid than the automatic and provides you with a sportier drive. But, if you do not want to drive a manual, at least you have the option of getting an automatic transmission.

On the whole, the 2022 Toyota GR86 is a sport coupe that begs to be driven. It is one that we recommend you add to your "to-be-test-driven" list. Sure, there are quite a few worthy rivals in this segment, but the new GR86 is definitely living up to all its hype.

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