For its greater availability at prices ranging from £8500 to £26,000, plus the possibility of covering older examples with a Toyota used car warranty that’s great value for money, the GT86 gets our vote. There’s no official Subaru warranty but dealers offer something called AutoProtect.
Toyota servicing prices tend to be a little lower, too, and you’re more likely to have a Toyota dealer on your doorstep than a Subaru one.
Used GT86s are available in at least eight flavours ranging from the standard car through Giallo to Club Series Orange Edition. Standard models are well equipped, highlights being sports seats, cruise control and air conditioning. Options were plentiful across the range, the most popular being leather and a sat-nav.
The limited-edition TRD (Toyota Racing Development) of 2013 was an interesting variation with sportier wheels, a body kit and a quad exhaust system but no extra power. At the time of writing, the cheapest example is a 2013/13 with 46k miles for £15,500.
The BRZ was a simpler proposition offered only in SE and SE Lux trims. The only significant difference between the two was leather seats. Such conservative trim designations, more suited to an executive car than a 2+2 sports coupé, reflect the BRZ’s slightly more restrained character compared with the extrovert GT86.
Both models were launched in 2012, powered by the same 197bhp 2.0-litre flat-four engine driving the rear wheels via a limited-slip diff with switchable vehicle stability control to keep things in check. The engine needs to be revved: peak power comes in at 7000rpm and peak torque, all 151lb ft of it, at 6400rpm.
There’s a quick-shifting six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted manual shift paddles and downshift throttle blipping. The touchy-feely manual is the ideal pairing, which is possibly why the cheapest GT86s are early autos. At least they’re free of the second-gear synchro problems that aff licted early manuals.