Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI?

Zamil Syaheer · May 16, 2020 08:00 AM

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 01

When the 200 PS Toyota 86 was first launched in Malaysia in 2012, its asking price was RM 243,000 for the manual, and RM 249,000 for the automatic variant. For a supposedly affordable sports car, its pricing in Malaysia is hardly affordable at all. The more powerful (220 PS), more practical Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7 can be had for about RM17k less, at RM 227,888.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 02

UMW Toyota then introduced the facelifted 86 in 2017. There were some minor upgrades but prices went up further, to RM 257,502 for manual, and RM 264,309 for the automatic. That’s an almost RM 15,000+ increaese. What's wrong with you UMW Toyota Motor?

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A year later, VW introduced the facelifted Mk7.5 Golf GTI, at RM 239,990.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 01

It all boils down to this: UMW Toyota has a limited number of Approved Permits (AP), split between its fully-imported Lexus range, the Prius family (then still available), and the 86. Among these, the 86 was too niche and has the smallest market potential. It was a simple business decision.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 02

UMW Toyota can sell more Lexus than the 86.

With APs as a limited resource, the company has to find ways to satisfy the most number of customers - which would be eyeing its mainstream Lexus and Prius family models.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 03

Plenty of 86 for sale on classified site such as Mudah.

The other reason is the the Toyota 86 is a lower volume product, built to a far more expensive two-door sports car body style. The reason why the Golf GTI can be cheaper, apart from Volkswagen Malaysian's business priorities, is that the Golf GTI shares the same body and a lot of other parts with a regular Golf. 

This allows Volkswagen to spread most of the GTI's cost over a much wider base. Toyota (and Subaru) on the other hand, wanted to built a genuine two-door coupe body style sports car. The volumes are lower and therefore production cost is a lot higher.

Does this mean you should get yourself a reconditioned unit on sale by grey importers then? After all, you can buy yourself a 2012 Toyota 86 for as low as RM 108,000 and laugh yourself all the way to the bank for getting a bargain.

In all honesty, it depends. Why would you more money for a 200 PS Toyota 86 when you can buy an iconic, 220 PS Golf GTI for less money? Don't get us wrong, we love the 86's raw driving character, rear-wheel drive, excellent handling, and of course, the availability of a 6-speed manual. But you can't ignore the price difference. 

The Toyota 86 is one of the few cars that actually makes more sense to buy from a recond dealer than an authorised Toyota dealer.

But buying a recond car is a bit like playing Russian roulette. No two recond cars (it's all used cars) are the same and with cars like the 86, the chances of that recond 86 being a wrecked/written off unit is very high.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 04

A crashed Toyota 86, courtesy of FT86club.com

You must verify the vehicle's history. Third-party platforms such as SCRUT and Recond.my recond.my can provide you with the vehicle's Japanese car auction report, allowing you to verify the vehicle's condition and mileage before it was shipped over to Malaysia.

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 05

Sample of Japanese Auction report. Picture by eliteautoexportjapan.com.

With 50 credits (one credit equals to RM1), a user is able to verify the vehicle's grade, pictures, mileage, modifications done, year of make, just by providing the vehicle's chassis number (VIN).

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 06

Something a recon dealer can't offer.

The other option is to pay up and buy it new from a Toyota dealer. On the upside, UMW Toyota Motor's models are the highest specification GT variants (identified by white background on the tachometer), which also comes with an LSD and a full-size spare wheel. Of course, it also has a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

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Of course, you got to wait for your car to arrive though, as the 86 is a special order only model. Which is why you don't see it on Toyota Malaysia's website. 

Why is the Toyota 86 so much more expensive than the VW Golf GTI? 08

Still a great hatchback to buy.

In comparison to the Golf GTI Mk 7.5, it is a far more practical car. It carries 4 passengers comfortably, has a lower price tag, packs more power than the 86, and possesses amazing handling too.

For us at WapCar, we will not fork out such a big amount for what essentially a budget 2-seater sportscar. We love back to basics rear-wheel drive, 6-speed manual sports cars, but not when it's over a quarter of a million Ringgit.

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There's also the upcoming Golf GTI Mk8, but that won't be heading our way anytime soon. Remember that all right-hand drive markets except the UK have yet to introduce the regular Golf Mk8, nevermind the GTI.

But are we the only ones who think that the Mk8 GTI looks a little bit....takes time to warm up to it. 

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Zamil Syaheer

Editor

More than 10 years experience, specialising in Motorsports, Advanced Driving, Event Management & Creative Design. He enjoys driving (drifting, actually) anything RWD with a proper LSD over the limit. Versatility is his motto and mantra.

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2014 Toyota 86 2.0 (M)

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