Toyota 86

August 12, 2012
 

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

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Written by: Goran Has
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2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

GTS AUTO Transmission – Photos and Review by our forum member Tobz.

Overview

Recently I have become a proud new owner of an 86 GTS Auto. This car will be replacing my 2000 Porsche Boxster that i purchased 18 months ago. Now let me set the record straight, I was not looking for a new car, I was very happy with the Porsche and it was a great everyday car. Perfect for my drive to work. But in June this year I started seeing this new Toyota on the front of all these car magazines, and I was like, hmmm nice car but with a starting price of 40k, no thanks. The day that the price was announced, I sat up straight and started to research this car to death. I have owned a few cars in the past and now have an idea of what I like to see in a car and what I don’t. For instance my first car, an EL Falcon was great as it was rear wheel drive, but was terrible as it rolled all over the place and had no rear traction. My Evo look-a-like lancer was good to look at, but had no go. My Smart roadster was small and nimble, but had terrible build quality and the gear box was shocking. The Integra Type S was fun, revved hard and had the best manual gearbox, but the styling was terrible and it didn’t look fun. The Jeep wrangler was heaps of fun, but offroading gets a bit boring. The 09 was super fast, but had shocking and looked like a family hatch! The 86 seemed to cover off all the negatives of all my previous cars, plus it would be a heap cheaper to service than the Porsche plus I get all the new creature comforts of a modern car.

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

So I strolled over to my local dealership and put down a deposit on a White GTS Manual on June 26, 2012. Delivery date was October. We all know this would not eventuate due to the excessive demand for this vehicle. I ended up test driving their auto, and was very impressed with the gearbox and loved the super crisp gear changes. Also I was impressed that in manual mode the gear would not change unless you told it to. It would just bounce off the limiter until you hit the up lever. Now all my cars, bar the Falcon and Smart Roadster have been manuals. I am a manual man through and through, but given the wait times for a GTS Manual, and the sheer fun of the Auto, I thought I would take a gamble. I ended up finding a GTS Auto in Black at Frankston Toyota. Having owned the car for 24 hours and completed 1100 kms in the car, I’ll outline below what my thoughts are of the new 86GTS compared to the 2000 Boxster.

Styling and Interior

This was interesting to see, when I picked up my car, the boxster and 86 shared a lot more in common then i imagined on the interior, just see the comparisons below:

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

As you can see above the cars have a very similar interior and if you were to jump from one car to the other and not notice the back seats or any badges, you could be mistaken that the 86 was a refreshed Porsche interior. Made life simple for me as I felt very at home in the 86 and everything seemed to be in the right positions. They both even had the beautiful front fender humps in front of you as you drove

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

Toyota have not tried to hide that they used Porsche as their benchmark, and this has definitely been shown in all the minor styling details.

Being new, the Toyota grabbed a lot of attention on the drive home. I saw people in all sorta of cars and all ages staring at the car on the road, with some people even hanging out windows to give me a thumbs up. Unfortunately it also attracted a lot of police attention and I got pulled over 3 times on my way home. Now while they said it was because i had no plates (Had an unregistered vehicle permit) I have a feeling they just wanted to see what the car was. As I drove the Porsche from Melbourne to Canberra with no plates when i bought it and never got pulled over.
The Toyota has a very nice interior and is extremely comfortable. The proximity unlock and start is a great feature and I love how the interior light turns on when you get close to the car. The heated seats are nice, the auto headlights are well programmed on turn on at the right time and the folding power mirrors are great for the garage. The looks nice, but will probably be changed to something a bit nicer, but I don’t think ill get 18′s, i think ill stay with 17′s. The antenna is not as much of an eyesore as I thought, but I have sharkfin to replace it. Inside everything is logical and very very nice. The dash looks classy and the seats are beautiful.

The GTS is excellent for a stock car, and is good enough to keep standard. Its as good as the focal 3 ways i have in the Porsche running off an amp. Some will want a sub, but personally I don’t think its required. The maps are good, but I’m scared to see how much it is to upgrade the maps. The iPod connectivity is a bit buggy though. It wont recognise the iPod unless you have it plugged in before you start the car, and I can’t seem to find a play/pause button. Also there is a long delay before it starts to play the first song. Will need to investigate what the issue is. The handsfree is clear and people on the other end seem to find the quality acceptable. One problem is it takes a minute or two before it all ready to go after you start the car and I haven’t worked out how the text to speech works yet. Will need to investigate this. Other than that the car works as described.

Dynamics

Now the juicy bits how does the car rate on the road compared to the boxster? Now this is all subjective, but I hope most people would agree with what I outline below.

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

From standstill and revving through each gear, i find both cars are on par, they both love to sprint to your desired speed, and will do so with everything they have. The gearing is closer on the 86, so you do change gears more, but they are both a hoot and there is little to separate them in this regard. Where the 86 does lose out is when your in 5th or 6th on the highway and want to accelerate from 100-120 kmph. I find the low down torque of the engine is a bit lacking and requires a few downshifts before anything happens. The Porsche in 5th however will pull easily and get you to where you need to be, without a downshift. The Porsche definitely has heaps more torque and this would mainly be due to the 2.7L Boxer 6 vs the 86′s 2.0L Boxer 4. While the Porsche has more power, you don’t really notice that, its more the extra torque that you can notice.

The gearbox in the Porsche is good, but it is a bit airy and doesn’t feel like you get much feedback from the box. The auto GTS feels like your playing a PS3 and you start to forget your driving a real car and you feel like your in GT5. The auto is the best auto I have ever driven and I rate it as better than a dsg as it is a lot smoother, but you lose no time in the gear changes. Also you get the convenience of the auto box and it makes those long highway drives that much easier. Also while driving in the twisties I found having both wheels on the wheel and changing gears with the shifters to be extremely satisfying and i had never had so much fun in my life. I am 100% happy with the auto, and it makes me not care about the torque deficiency of the car as the box is so easy to change gears. The auto rev blip on downshifts is just awesome.

The traction control and VSC are both very effective. In normal mode it will not let the car slip, even when you hit ice and it allows you to have extreme confidence that it will catch you when things go wrong. That being said, I am so happy you can completely turn it off. I have to say the Porsche does not have any traction control and i did miss that when i first got the car and was learning its limit. The 86 lets you discover that limit, with a full safety net, and once you know it, you can turn that baby off and just have fun.

While having fun, both cars have different personalities in the twists and I am yet to see which I prefer. The Porsche with its mid engine and is extreme fun. It will initially push the front end a little and tell you its at its limit by understeering ever so slightly, then if you push it further, it will slowly start to oversteer, with your slip angle determined by your right foot. The car never loses control and makes you feel like the worlds best driver. Also it has grip by the truck load and will corner as fast as a WRX, but without the understeer the WRX has. Extremely fun and controllable and quick. The 86 I am still learning what its personality is. So far I have found this out, the tyres have no grip, like none! they will loose grip a lot earlier than you expect. When they lose grip they seem to switch from full grip to no grip quicker than the Porsche. I think I will need a few more weeks to get to learn the car before I can comment on this much more. But my feeling is that the 86 is born to slide, it has a loose rear end and it seems to be very predictable, at the same time, i think it will demand bigger slip angles than the Porsche, at the moment i am finding it hard to control as the accelerator is so responsive, I seem to be giving it a bit too much gas and loosing the backend, but once I have acclimatised to the car.

The 86 also feels lighter and more nimbler than the Porsche and is more enthusiastic to be chucked around, this quality is awesome to have in a car and makes you want to drive it as hard as you can. The best part is when you do the 86 will beg you for more. I can see this car really developing your driving skills as it lends itself to be punished. The steering is very crisp and the steering wheel is so small, it means you can catch the backend a lot quicker than other cars. The suspension in the 86 is tighter than the Porsche, but handles bumps better. Personally i was thinking of coilovers, but will not buy them now as the stock suspension is the best track/road compromise I have ever driven. Any tighter and the car would be unlivable. Its is just perfectly setup, and I know if i change it, I will always miss the stock setup. Its a much better suspension package than in the Porsche.

I would say that although they are both fun, the 86 would definitely be the winner due to the suspension and the nimble package that just begs you to trash it harder.

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

Conclusion

The 2000 Boxster sells for approximately $27,000 and the base GT is $29,990. Considering that the GT drives as it does, I would always choose the 86 over an older Porsche, the new 86 is magnificent and an absolute hoot to drive!! I can’t believe I am saying this, but the Toyota is definitely the better buy and is the car I would want to drive to work every morning when I need to choose between the two.

2012 Toyota 86 vs 2000 Porsche Boxster – Review by Tobz

Also see Tobz’s thread in our Members Rides and Car Diaries forum.

 

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