View Photos of the 2022 Toyota GR86 Premium Automatic

The 2022 Toyota GR86 aces the fundamentals of a joyful driving experience. It’s a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe that offers both a standard manual and an optional automatic transmission. We tested the latter version and found that its primary objective drawback is slower acceleration times.

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The 2022 Toyota GR86 features a 228-hp 2.4-liter flat-four that feeds the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

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The 2022 GR86 is available in base and Premium trim levels. The base model starts at $28,725; the Premium tacks on another $2600. The automatic is a $1500 option on both trims.

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We tested a GR86 Premium with the automatic. With a few dealer-installed options, our Trueno Blue example had an as-tested price of $33,507.

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There are several differences between the GR86’s two transmission options. The automatic features extra drive modes, an extra cubby on the center console, and the availability of more driver assists.

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The new automatic GR86 we tested hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 14.7 seconds at 97 mph. While those times are notably quicker than its automatic-equipped predecessor’s, they’re 0.7 second slower than its manual counterpart’s.

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Regardless of transmission type, the 2022 GR86 has impressive cornering grip and braking abilities. Our test car posted 0.95 g of stick on the skidpad and stopped from 70 mph in 156 feet.

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The GR86’s demerits center mostly on its interior, including its tiny back seats and the noisy 76 decibels of sound we recorded at 70 mph.

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Operating the GR86’s automatic isn’t as enjoyable as the manual, but it does respond quickly to paddle-shifter inputs and will even hold gears at redline instead of upshifting on its own.

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Compared with the outgoing version, the GR86’s revised flat-four engine is a revelation, thanks to its added power, more robust torque curve, and richer soundtrack.

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The EPA rates the automatic GR86 at a combined 25 mpg, versus 22 mpg for the manual.

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