GR86 GR86 Automatic - any good?

YORKSHIRE LAD

Absorbed member
Oct 27, 2022
63
64
18
Sheffield
Good evening guys,

Just wondering if there any automatic GR86 owners on this forum?

I am considering buying one and just wanted to get some opinions from anybody that owns one or has driven one.

I test drove a manual one last year but I just prefer an automatic gearbox and have had several different models over the years so wanted to continue that trend but just wanted to test the water.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Cheers
 

Irek

Fascinated Member
May 28, 2024
8
25
13
Switzerland
Hey,

I just bought GR86 AT. I was also in a situation where I couldn't really decide if I want manual or automatic.
But since I have Miata with manual gearbox and several performance mods, in fact I was replacing my daily car on GR86, so I decided finally for AT.

Was it the right choice? Not sure yet... I did less than a thousand miles so far and still driving in safe-mode till first oil change which is coming soon.
AT for daily medium-slow commuting is good. But I have feeling that gearbox is not well synchronized with adaptive cruise control. ECU is trying to use the lowest gear possible at the time, in the effect I have feeling it's mixing gears a bit too much when someone in a front is slowing down a little bit. Also, cruise control behaving a bit weird when there is some bigger uphill or downhill, which is everywhere in Switzerland where I live.

Surprising AT behaving worse than I expected on daily driving, but much better than I expected on mountain passes. Gearbox in sport/track mode, especially in manual mode, is keeping the gears, allowing aggressive downshifts to second gear on hairpins. It's still nothing like my lightweight manual Miata, but for sure AT is not killing all the fun from driving. Hopefully in next weeks I will do first oil change and pass magic 1k miles, so after unlocking extra rpm range I hope to find even more entertainment.
 

Swizzle

Totally Hooked
Apr 13, 2022
450
686
93
Essex
I’m 18 months and 13 thousand miles in on mine, the bad points;
slight hesitation to shift up if you’ve given it some,
constant want to drop to 5th when accelerating on a motorway,
Pre collision braking is a bit overzealous,
Lane departure warning goes off constantly

Everything else is great, sport mode on the gearbox shifts better than i would, adaptive cruise makes mile munching easy (stick it in m6) and around town it’s brilliant

Depends on what your plans are for it though?
 

paulR

Dedicated member
Jun 16, 2023
167
201
43
Denmead, Hampshire
I’m 18 months and 13 thousand miles in on mine, the bad points;
slight hesitation to shift up if you’ve given it some,
constant want to drop to 5th when accelerating on a motorway,
Pre collision braking is a bit overzealous,
Lane departure warning goes off constantly

Everything else is great, sport mode on the gearbox shifts better than i would, adaptive cruise makes mile munching easy (stick it in m6) and around town it’s brilliant

Depends on what your plans are for it though?
I didn’t realise the automatic had lane departure warning, that would be enough to put me off the auto!
 

Swizzle

Totally Hooked
Apr 13, 2022
450
686
93
Essex
I didn’t realise the automatic had lane departure warning, that would be enough to put me off the auto!
Auto has the full eyesight system, can all be turned off if you want, i’ve just set the volume to minimum
 

PaulT

Dedicated member
Apr 14, 2022
130
237
43
Berkshire
Very happy with my auto, I also turn off the lane departure warning but I use the adaptive cruise all the time. Works well for me.

On track, I tend to keep the gearbox in manual mode (paddles) and crucially it won't upshift if you don't want it to, just keeps hitting the rev limiter. There's also enough torque for you to press both pedals at standstill and get a lot of wheelspin off the line 😁

I wouldn't recommend the auto if you want a manual, but if what you want is an auto, then I don't think you would be disappointed.
 
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YORKSHIRE LAD

Absorbed member
Oct 27, 2022
63
64
18
Sheffield
Cheers guys, that all sounds positive; I think I have been convinced that it would be the best way to go for me.
I can't be bothered with a manual anymore.
 

GRaven

Absorbed member
Nov 11, 2023
65
81
18
UK
Even with an automatic. It's still the only sub £30k-ish, RWD, 2+2 Seat (With Folddown), dedicated sports car you can buy new.
You'll have plenty of fun in it, no matter what the transmission. I suspect the rarity of Autos in Europe for the GR86 will mean it'll also retain value too!

I often question it too sometimes, as I'm 80% stuck in London traffic in 1st and 2nd gear and it does my head in, and cramps my leg.
 

paulR

Dedicated member
Jun 16, 2023
167
201
43
Denmead, Hampshire
I broke my left arm shortly before I bought mine and I did consider an auto for a while. One of my considerations for getting a manual was the thought that all new cars will be auto in the not too distant future and I intend keeping the car a long time.