2023 Toyota GR86 vs Subaru WRX Comparison

2023 Toyota GR86 vs Subaru WRX Detailed Comparison

In the realm of affordable rear-wheel-drive coupes, options are scarce, but the 2023 Toyota GR86 and Subaru WRX stand out. While crossovers dominate the market, these sporty two-doors offer a refreshing driving experience. The GR86 boasts a lively 228-hp flat-four engine and a choice between manual and automatic transmissions. Its rear seats are practical for added cargo space, and the GR86 impresses with its sharp steering and agile handling. On the other hand, the WRX carries on the legacy of rally-inspired performance, delivering 271 horsepower through a turbocharged engine and offering the choice between manual and CVT transmissions. With all-wheel drive as standard, the WRX provides a touch of excitement while maintaining predictable handling.

2023 Toyota GR86



The 2023 Toyota GR86 stands out in the affordable sports car segment with its unique seating for four, setting it apart from the competition. While the rear seats may not offer ample space, they add a practical touch. Inside, the GR86 shares similarities with the Subaru BRZ, featuring an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and a configurable 7.0-inch digital gauge display. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Safety is prioritized with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Toyota ensures peace of mind for drivers.

Engine and Performance

Motor 1

The Toyota GR86 comes with a Subaru-sourced naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Its improved acceleration brings it to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, thanks to the more powerful 2.4-liter engine producing 228 horsepower. The standard six-speed manual transmission delivers engaging performance, while the optional six-speed automatic lags behind in acceleration. On the road and track, the GR86 showcases lively performance and sharp handling. Fuel efficiency is estimated at 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with the automatic transmission, slightly lower at 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with the manual transmission.


The 2023 Toyota GR86 offers an enticing starting price of $27,900, making it an affordable option in the sports car market. For those seeking additional features and upgrades, the higher-tier Premium trim is available starting at $30,500. Toyota also plans to introduce a limited Special Edition model, expected to fall within the mid-$30K range. With its competitive pricing, the GR86 provides enthusiasts with accessible performance and value.

Subaru WRX


Car and Driver

Inside the Subaru WRX, the cabin exudes a sporty vibe with carbon-fiber-like accents and eye-catching red contrast stitching. The top-tier GT trim elevates comfort with heavily bolstered Recaro front seats upholstered in microsuede. An infotainment system is standard across all WRX models, featuring either a 7.0-inch or 11.6-inch touchscreen display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an available premium 11-speaker Harman-Kardon sound system enhance the driving experience. The WRX offers various driver-assistance technologies, primarily available on automatic transmission models, including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Safety is a priority, as demonstrated by its crash-test results from reputable authorities.

Engine and Performance

Motor 1

Under the WRX’s hood lies a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine, delivering 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted through a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission. All WRX models come equipped with all-wheel drive for enhanced traction. The WRX’s performance shines on the road, with the manual transmission variant sprinting to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and completing the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds. The GT model achieves a slightly quicker zero-to-60 mph time but takes a bit longer in the quarter-mile. The WRX’s fuel efficiency is reasonable, with EPA ratings of 22 mpg combined for the manual and 21 mpg combined for the CVT. Real-world testing yielded 28 mpg on the highway for both transmissions.


The 2023 Subaru WRX offers a range of trim levels to suit different preferences and budgets. Starting at $30,605, the base model provides an affordable entry point with its 6-speed manual transmission. The automatic transmission comes with advanced safety and driver-assist technologies not available with the manual. The WRX Premium, priced at $33,105, stands out as the most popular choice among buyers. For those seeking more luxury and features, the WRX Limited is available at $37,495. At the top of the lineup is the WRX GT, priced at $43,395, offering the highest level of performance and amenities.

Comparison Table

2023 Toyota GR86Subaru WRX
Engine2.4-liter Boxer-42.4-liter Boxer-4
Power228 hp271 hp
Torque184 lb-ft258 lb-ft
Transmission6-speed Manual6-speed automatic
0-60 mph5.4 seconds 5.5 seconds
Top speed140 mph145 mph
Combined/city/highway Mileage22/20/27 mpg22/19/26 mpg
Performance stats


After comparing the 2023 Toyota GR86 and Subaru WRX, it’s evident that both cars have their unique strengths. The GR86 stands out as an affordable rear-wheel-drive coupe, offering sharp handling and a reasonable price point. On the other hand, the Subaru WRX impresses with its all-wheel drive, turbocharged engine, and sporty performance. While the GR86 focuses on driver engagement and agility, the WRX provides a blend of practicality and exhilarating driving dynamics. Ultimately, the choice between the GR86 and WRX boils down to personal preferences, with the GR86 appealing to enthusiasts seeking pure driving pleasure and the WRX catering to those who desire a combination of performance and practicality.

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