The Toyota 86 was formerly the Scion FR-S. It gets some updates along with the new name and is a fun little sports coupe. Toyota dubs it the “affordable, fun-damental sports car.”
The two-door 86 is available in only one trim with a starting price of $26,255. No packages are offered but you can get a beefed up audio system that includes navigation.
The rear-wheel-drive 86 is powered by a four-cylinder engine. You can choose between a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic. Pick the manual and you get an additional five horsepower and 5 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 205 hp and 156 pound-feet of torque. ‘Nuff said—driving enthusiasts will want the manual!
The 86 is super fun to drive on twisty backroads. The six-speed manual shifts easily, steering is responsive, brakes are strong and it stays planted when cornering, even at fairly high speeds. The ride is comfortable—not as firm as you’d expect in a sports car—so you won’t be punished when zipping over rough roads.
EPA mileage estimates for the 86 with manual transmission are 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combined rating of 24 mpg. I got 29 during my week with more highway than city driving. The 86 with the automatic transmission gets slightly better mileage at 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway with a combined rating of 27 mpg.
The interior has some upscale touches, including the use of the faux suede Granlux on the dash. A seven-inch touchscreen is the interface for audio and phone functions. There aren’t many other bells and whistles—my tester didn’t even have satellite radio—since the 86 is all about a dynamic driving experience and less about the latest technology. There’s a volume knob on the screen and the steering wheel also has buttons for audio functions including volume and channel changing.
Officially, the 86 seats four passengers. But no human, especially an adult, will want to ride in back. It’s very cramped, as you’d expect in a sport couple. At least you can use the space to stash a few grocery bags or your overnight bags for a weekend road trip.
The 86 has only 6.9 cubic feet of storage in the trunk; that’s one of the smallest trunks of any vehicle. The rear seats do fold down giving you a bit more room.
The main competitor is the Mazda Mx-5 Miata. It’s a convertible that also offers fun handling and has a lower starting MSRP.
Supportive and comfortable seats
Ride is surprisingly comfortable for a sports car
Starting price higher than some rivals
Touchscreen hard to see in bright sunshine
No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
Limited technology is available—no driver assistance features
Back seat too small to accommodate passengers
My tester starts at $26,255. Delivery fee is $865 bringing the grand total to $27,120.
The Toyota 86 is a quick and fun little coupe that’s a blast to drive. It looks like a sports car and drives like a sports car.