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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Toyota 86
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Expert's Rating

4.15Excellent | Details

MPG

21 City / 28 Highway
Contributing Editor -

Introduced for 2013 as the Scion FR-S, this low-slung, four-passenger performance sport coupe was closely related to the also-new Subaru BRZ. Going against the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, each soon earned acclaim from critics and sports-car enthusiasts. Nearly identical, both the FR-S and BRZ focused on a small-displacement engine, rear-wheel drive, and reduced weight, promising precise handling and brisk performance.

In August 2016, after 13 years of service as Toyota’s youth-oriented division, the Scion brand was declared officially dead. This change has prompted considerable model shuffling, as several of the expired brand’s better-selling models make their way to the Toyota lineup, wearing new badges. Fortunately, the enthusiast-oriented FR-S will live on as the curiously-named Toyota 86, meant to recall the legendary generation of small coupes and hatchbacks from the 1980s.

What's New for 2017

Even though the car isn’t new, its nameplate is. Like its Subaru twin, however, the renamed sport coupe gets a lengthy list of revisions, starting with an engine boost to 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Shock-absorbed tuning and spring rates have been altered. Hill start assist control is standard.

Changes up front include a revised bumper, plus reconfigured LED headlights and turn signals. LED taillights are new, and the back bumper has been modified. Twisted-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. Inside, new seat fabric gets silver stitching. New "Granlux" synthetic suede goes on the instrument-panel surround and door trim, while "86" logos may be found on the steering-wheel hub and front fender.

Toyota 86

Choosing Your Toyota 86

Toyota 86

As before, powering the 2017 car is a 2-liter "boxer" (horizontally-opposed) four-cylinder engine. Built by Subaru, it mates with a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed automatic transmission that delivers power to the rear wheels. The 2017 engine produces 5 more horsepower and 5 more pound-feet of torque than its Scion FR-S predecessor. Altogether, it's sufficient power to propel this lightweight coupe with gusto.

Fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway (24 mpg combined) with manual shift. The automatic raises the estimate substantially, to 24/32 mpg (city/highway) and 27 mpg combined. Though the 86 has not been crash-tested, its Scion FR-S forerunner earned a five-star overall rating (four-star for frontal crash) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicle stability control includes a Track mode.

Standard equipment includes a sport-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential, ventilated front disc brakes, programmable rev indicator, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with audio controls, and a tilt/telescopic steering column. Seats have Granlux suede-like accents and black shoulder bolsters. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable. Six airbags, power mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and 17-inch wheels also are standard.

Toyota 86

Display Audio features a 7-inch touchscreen with Aha Radio app, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, eight speakers, HD radio, USB and iPod connectivity, and an auxiliary audio jack. The back bumper contains an aerodynamic lower diffuser. Knee support cushions permit spirited driving.

Navigation is a $900 option. No option packages are offered, but available accessories include a number of dealer-installed TRD performance items, including a dual exhaust system, 18-inch wheels, lowering springs, sway bar kit, and Quickshifter.

Like the prior Scion FR-S, the Toyota 86 comes in a single trim level, priced at $27,120 (including destination charge) with the standard manual transmission. Automatic raises the cost to $27,840.

CarsDirect Tip

With no step-up model to consider, and mostly performance-oriented accessories to ponder, shopping for an 86 coupe should be easy. The automatic transmission costs only $720 extra, but it slows down acceleration appreciably. One disadvantage is the lack of contemporary safety technology, either standard or optional. Should you take the Toyota or the so-similar Subaru BRZ? The main difference is that Subaru offers two step-up models.

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Toyota 86

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