What Is It?
With the demise of the Scion division, Toyota has taken the former FR-S, added new styling and features and rebranded it as the 2017 Toyota 86. Although the name is new to us, the rest of the world has always known this sleek coupe as the 86 — and this version is the best yet.
Making its move to Toyota, the 86 gets an aggressive exterior makeover, with more pronounced front fender flares, revised front bumpers and LED headlights. Around back are LED taillights and a new bumper. New wheels and a number of 86-embedded logos round out the exterior changes. Inside, more soft-touch surfaces improve the cockpit’s look and feel, as does new seat fabric and, at long last, the addition of steering-wheel audio controls to the leather-wrapped wheel.
Performance enhancements for the Toyota 86 include revised suspension tuning with stiffer springs and shocks. A gear-ratio change on manual-transmission models results in a bump in torque to 156 lb-ft, as well as an additional five horsepower that brings the 86’s total output to 205 hp.
Along with the 86, two other former Scion cars join the Toyota clan, rebadged as the Corolla iM and the Yaris iA.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The affordable rear-drive, 2-door coupe is a dying breed — even more rare with a normally aspirated 4-cylinder engine. If you’re looking for the perfect car to tackle winding roads or go drifting across an enclosed track, the 2017 Toyota 86 won’t disappoint — nor will it break the bank.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata — Small, light and agile, the MX-5 Miata offers all the fun of the 86, plus the added benefit of being a convertible.
2016 Subaru BRZ — Subaru’s BRZ is the mechanical twin of the 86 but with slightly less-aggressive styling and a Subaru badge.
2016 Ford Mustang V6 — The Mustang offers more power for about the same price, but it’s also a heavier car.
Used Porsche Boxster — The Boxster delivers world-class driving dynamics in a fun and powerful open-air roadster. Even a low-mileage used model can be surprisingly affordable.
Used BMW 1 Series — With its rear-drive layout and available turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, the 1 Series coupe is the upscale alternative to the 86, one that carries more features and options, as well as respect at the track.