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Carve corners in this cool sports car!

Toyota 86 Review | CarMax

The Toyota 86 is a rear-wheel-drive sports car featuring a potent four-cylinder engine and a host of performance technology. With a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an electronically-controlled automatic transmission, you'll find just the right driving experience for your needs. This Toyota 86 review will give you all the key information on the first and most recent generation (2017–present) of this stylish sports coupe:

Key Specs & Features (2012–2019)

  • 2.0L four-cylinder boxer horizontally-opposed engine with 205 hp and 156 lb.-ft. of torque in manual models and 200 hp and 151 lb.-ft. of torque in automatic models.
  • Choice of a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission or a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission.
  • Torsen® limited-slip differential to help get that power to the ground and improve traction.
  • Standard tech features across all models include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology® (SST).
  • Sport front bucket seats with Granlux® suede-like material.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Pure Sports Car Experience

The Toyota 86 was engineered on the race track from the ground up to be a pure sports car. Where some vehicles are given a tighter suspension or more power later in their lifespan, the 86 was built from the start as a rear-wheel-drive performance car. All 86 models come with a sport-tuned independent suspension which keeps the car planted in the corners.

2. Boxer Power

Toyota 86 Review: Engine | CarMax

The 86 also comes standard with a 2.0L four-cylinder horizontally opposed "boxer" engine complete with DOHC 16-valve cylinder heads and dual variable valve timing. This means you get 205 hp in all manual models and 200 hp in all automatic-equipped models in a car that weighs less than 3000 pounds. So the 86 has the "go" to accompany those cool looks.

3. Added Luxuries

Toyota 86 Review: Frontseat | CarMax

Sure, the 86 is a pure sports car, but you don't have to suffer through the experience. Choose the GT trim, available on 2018 and newer models and you'll get heated sport front bucket seats with leather and suede-like inserts, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-trimmed wheel. That makes the 86 an even more versatile sports car choice for your next vehicle.

Toyota 86 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

4. Standard LED Lighting

All Toyota 86 models come standard with LED lighting in the front (2017 and 2018) and rear (2019). Upgrade to the GT model and you'll get LED fog lights too. That means you can see that next corner clearly on your nighttime pleasure drive.

5. Cool Special Editions

Looking to show up to your local car show with something different? Both the 2018 and 2019 model year give you options to do just that. Choose the 2018 86 GT Black or the 2019 86 TRD Special Edition and get black exterior trim pieces (GT Black) get black exterior trim pieces (GT Black) and a host of performance upgrades (TRD Special Edition) to make your 86 stand out in a crowd.


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What You Need To Know

Toyota 86 Trims

The base model, just called the 86, is available across all model years. Starting in 2018 you could opt for the GT model which is still available for 2019. The 86 GT Black and 86 TRD Special Edition were built specifically for the 2018 and 2019 model years respectively.

  • 86 (2017–2019): Available across all model years as the base model, this trim came standard with exterior features like LED headlights, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, and 17-inch wheels. Inside you'll get sport front bucket seats with Granlux suede-like inserts, an analog tachometer with a cool programmable rev indicator, digital speedometer, seven-inch touchscreen display, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
  • 86 GT (2018–2019): The GT trim ups the comfort level on the interior, boasting heated sport front bucket seats with leather and suede-like inserts, a Smart Key System with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-trimmed wheel with additional audio controls. Outside you have LED fog lights, a special rear wing in matte black, and an aerodynamic underbody panel.
  • 86 GT Black (2018): The GT Black has all of the features of the GT plus additional new black exterior features such as new rear wing in matte black and heated power outside mirrors also in black.
  • 86 TRD Special Edition (2019): This super cool special edition ups the sport factor on the outside with 18-inch split-spoke alloy wheels and a color-matched rear spoiler. It also adds a bunch of Toyota Racing Design (TRD) goodies such as front and rear spoilers, a performance exhaust, Brembo® brakes, and SACHS® performance dampers. The look is rounded out with a TRD tricolor side body graphic so everyone knows you got the TRD special edition! Inside you'll find the “TRD" logo embroidered on the passenger side of the dashboard plus red and black sport front bucket seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a parking brake and gear shift boot, all topped with red contrast stitching to make them stand out in a crowd.

Toyota 86 Interior

For a purpose-built sports car, the Toyota 86 still has a myriad of comfort-focused equipment that comes standard or as optional extras. The 86 is a 2+2 coupe meaning that front occupants have a bit more room than those in the rear. The fantastic side-bolsters that come on all 86 front seats are purpose-built to keep you in place during hard cornering. For the 2017 model year, the 86 only sported cloth seating with suede-like inserts, however for 2018 and 2019 you could opt for the GT trim with added leather-trimmed and heated sport front bucket seats. All models come equipped with a leather-covered steering wheel.

Toyota 86 Review: Backseat | CarMax

Toyota 86 Colors

The 86 has been offered in nine total colors between 2017–2019:

  • Ablaze
  • Asphalt
  • Halo
  • Hot Lava (2017)
  • Oceanic
  • Neptune (2019)
  • Raven
  • Steel
  • Thunder (2018)

Similar Vehicles

Does the 86 seem like the car you've been looking for? Still shopping around? Take a look at other vehicles like the Subaru BRZ, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Subaru WRX and you might just find your perfect driving partner.

Subaru BRZ

The 2018 Subaru BRZ is produced alongside the 2018 Toyota 86 and is very similar. It shares the same 205 hp 2.0L engine when equipped with a manual. Just like the 86, you'll get 200 hp with an automatic transmission. The 2018 BRZ gets an estimated 24 mpg combined city/highway with a manual transmission and 27 mpg with the automatic transmission.1 The Subaru version is just as much fun and comes with a variety of different color and option choices.

Subaru WRX

Opt for a 2018 Subaru WRX and you'll get a significantly more powerful 268 hp turbocharged 2.0L engine and standard all-wheel drive. This engine gets an EPA-estimated combined 23 mpg with a manual gearbox and combined 21 mpg with an automatic.1 The Subaru WRX is the only four-door sedan in this comparison and thus has significantly more room for passengers and their stuff. Specifically, it features about 12 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That's plenty of room for vacations, trips to the grocery store and all your sports gear.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a smaller non-turbocharged 2.0L engine with 155 hp but it weighs around 400 pounds less than the 86, making it just as much fun out on a windy back road. The 2018 version delivers an estimated 29 combined city/highway EPA rating with the 2.0L engine.1 The Miata is a small car and only comes as a two-seater but this is perfect if you love travelling the open road on your own. It's also a convertible, which only adds to its charm.

Regardless of which performance machine you choose, you're definitely going to have a good time. All of these cars will deliver an increased level of driving enjoyment to your commute or during a fun back road adventure.

The Bottom Line

The Toyota 86 delivers a sports car performance in an attractive package. Add in a variety of trim levels, and a choice of transmissions and options, and you can't go wrong with an 86. Looking to learn more about the Toyota 86? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.