2017 Toyota 86

May 26, 2017

The battle of the small, affordable sports cars is a two-sided affair between two sets of twins. On the less practical side, there are the mechanically similar Mazda MX-5 Miata and Fiat 124 Spider, both of them tiny softtop roadsters. On the everyday-friendly side sit the Toyota 86, the subject of this review, and its Subaru-badged twin, the BRZ. With generous front-seat room and rudimentary back seats that fold to expand trunk space, the 86 and BRZ are fun rear-drive coupes suitable for the daily grind as well as track-day forays.


What’s New for 2017?

On a superficial level, the 86 nameplate is all new for 2017. And by that we mean the actual nameplate, because the 86 is really a rebadged Scion FR-S that was adopted into the Toyota fold after the Scion brand’s recent death. Besides new badges, there are suspension updates aimed at delivering a better ride, structural enhancements to stiffen the body shell, an upgraded engine and exhaust, and improved gearing for manual-transmission models.


Trims and Options We’d Choose

Toyota makes personalizing the 86 easy by limiting buyer choices to exterior color and transmission preference—either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. There is essentially one trim level; if you count the 860 Special Edition as a trim, then there are two, and the standard car comes with full-LED exterior lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. We’d choose the standard model with the six-speed manual transmission, both for the extra 5 horsepower that stick-shift models get and the driving engagement that a shift lever and a clutch pedal afford drivers. Standard equipment on the $27,140 base model includes:

• Torsen limited-slip rear differential
• 17-inch wheels with all-season tires
• Fold-flat rear seats

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