2019 Toyota 86 Review


If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a bonafide sports car, but thought buying one was fiscally unattainable, then the 2019 Toyota 86 will toss that notion right out the window. The budget-friendly, wickedly delightful 86 is a car that delivers on many fronts.


Previously known as the Scion FR-S, the 86 stays relatively unchanged from last year’s model. That’s good because it’s still a smokin’ hot sports car. Another good piece of news is that Toyota added the TRD Special Edition to the lineup, which already includes the base 86 and the GT.


The 86 is a little coupe that seats four people, well sorta. Realistically speaking, the small rear seats are mostly suitable for small children. When my 5’8 tall friend slid her front passenger seat as far back as it would go, that maneuver pretty much swallowed up half of the rear-seat legroom. That’s why the 86 really should just nix the notion of calling the rear seat, an actual seat.


Back up front, the Toyota’s driver’s seat was adequate, although having additional manual adjustments would have helped me achieve a more comfortable seating position. However, I did like how the driver’s seat kept me nice and snug during my adrenaline-fueled drive through Virginia’s scenic countryside. There was no sliding about in my seat as I soared along the winding roads.


Other cool design elements include red stitching on the seats and trim. The seats are upholstered in suede with either cloth or leather trimmings.


As for features, the 86 comes standard with a seven-inch touch screen that’s simple to use yet pretty bare bones.  Infotainment technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are MIA in the 86. Other standard offerings include an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, voice recognition, HD Radio, and a rearview camera.


Optional features include navigation, push-button start, proximity key entry and dual-zone automatic climate control.


My middle trim GT tester added heated front seats, leather and suede upholstery, heated outside mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, and a 4.2-inch digital driver information display.


While a small trunk area is to be expected in a sports car, I do wish the 86 offered a wee bit more space for my stuff. It has 6.9 cubic feet of space, which is still somewhat meager for its class. Thankfully, the back seat folds down flat which gave me extra space for a few items I had purchased from a home decorating store.


The rear-wheel-drive 86 is equipped with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that comes standard. It’s teamed with a six-speed manual transmission and delivers 205 horsepower. That was all the exhilarating power I needed to have a good time behind the wheel of the 86. A six-speed automatic is optional, but drops the output to 200.


The 2019 86 is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway with the manual. The automatic improves the estimates to 24-city and 32 on the highway.


Pricing starts at $26,655.

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