Road Test: 2019 Toyota 86

Road Test: 2019 Toyota 86

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Toyota Canada


Price: $29,990 (MSRP)

Engine: 2.0L Horizontally Opposed DOHC VVT Flat 4 Boxer Engine

Trans: 6-speed manual

Power: 205 hp@ 7,000 rpm

Torque: 156 lb-ft @ 6,400-6,800 rpm

Curb Weight: 2,760 lbs./ 1,252 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 11.3/8.3


New for 2019: The Toyota 86 didn’t receive too many changes for 2019 except for the introduction of the new TRD Special Edition model, which is offered only in black with a red and black interior. In terms of performance upgrades, the TRD Special Edition comes with a performance exhaust system, Brembo brakes and a sport suspension.

Segment Competitors: Subaru BRZ, Mazda MX-5, Hyundai Veloster, Nissan 370Z

The Skinny: The Toyota 86 fills a market that few other vehicles available today can as a relatively inexpensive, 2+2 seater, rear-wheel drive sports car that is as fun to customize as it is to drive. A well-balanced chassis, somewhat peppy engine and a simple design add to the fun and have allowed the 86 to achieve great success since debuting as the Scion FR-S back in 2012.

Under the hood of the 86 is the same 2.0L four-cylinder flat 4 Boxer engine that produces 205 horsepower with the six-speed manual and 200 horsepower with the automatic transmission. Torque comes in at 156 lb-ft for the manual and 151 lb-ft with the auto which is a bit light in my opinion but I’ll touch on that again later. Inside features a simple layout without majority of the bells and whistles found on many of today’s vehicles which, for this application, suits it perfectly as it allows the driver to focus solely on the driving experience and enjoy what is a true sports car.

As mentioned, the car does offer an automatic transmission but most, if not all will agree that the manual transmission is the way to go. The car doesn’t have serious power figures backing it up, so it does rely on the 3rd pedal to add to the fun as it gives you a better sense of what is going on while driving and allows you to do certain things much easier than if you were in automatic.

In short, the overall experience of the Toyota 86 can best be described as simple, and I mean that in a completely positive way. It has a simple look, with simple features, and a very simple driving experience all of which lend itself to some very fun times when behind the wheel.

Pros: The part I most love about the 86 as it has stayed completely true to itself and has not allowed current trends or technologies to move it away from the original idea, which like I’ve said is a true, rear-wheel drive sports car that won’t break the bank.

Cons: Despite all of the fun I had while behind the wheel of the 86, I still feel like the 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft are just not quite enough and can leave you wanting more when behind the wheel. Not saying it has to blow the power figures out the door, but a lot more torque and a few more horsepower would certainly go a long way.

The Verdict: The Toyota 86 definitely isn’t for everyone, however there is still a huge market for these types of vehicles which is proven everyday by the sheer amount of 86’s, BRZ’s and MX-5 Miata’s you still see on the road. Sure it’s not as practical as a compact hatchback or mid-size SUV, but it does what it does well and is a whole lot of fun in the right situations. If you are in to customizing vehicles or just enjoy a simple driving experiences away from assist and safety technologies, the Toyota 86 should be near or at the top of your list.

Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests