8 a long time into its existence and now dwelling in the shadow of the Supra, the Toyota 86 need to be emotion a bit prolonged in the tooth. Nevertheless its typical sports activities motor vehicle building, modular (nonetheless simple) technology and pure driving sense have held this compact emotion fairly fresh nearly a decade on.


  • Great chassis dynamics and managing
  • Some of the finest driving ergonomics in the enterprise
  • Android Car and Apple CarPlay are normal tech
  • Hakone Edition looks attractive with metallic inexperienced paint, black and tan leather-based interior

Will not Like

  • Underpowered, even much more so with the automated transmission
  • Horrible rear-watch digital camera system feels like an afterthought

The 2020 design year provides a handful of new solutions and updates to the Toyota 86 aimed at retaining the coupe exciting for buyers and pertinent amongst its evolving levels of competition. There’s new tech, a new performance offer and a indicate, inexperienced Hakone Edition, also.

New for 2020

Enthusiasts seeking for a convert-vital performance improve obtain accessibility to a new TRD Managing Deal that swaps in Brembo halting equipment — with 4-piston, twelve.8-inch discs up entrance and two-pot, twelve.4-inch discs at the rear — firmer Sachs dampers and eighteen-inch alloy shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. The TRD kit can be had on possibly the base 86 where by it is a $two,320 update, or the 86 GT for $1,270 due to the fact that trim previously will come with the bigger wheels and tires as normal.

Nonetheless, the TRD solution is incompatible with the automated transmission solution as perfectly as the Hakone Edition. Because my example checks both of individuals packing containers, I have to do with out.

A performance update of the tech assortment is a new 7-inch infotainment system tucked into the dashboard. It can be a rather simple set up — only about as very good as a low-conclusion aftermarket receiver — but its normal Apple CarPlay and Android Car connectivity nevertheless location it head-and-shoulders previously mentioned the frankly disposable earlier-generation tech. 


The normal rear digital camera is so modest and tricky to see, it might as perfectly not be there.

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2020 also provides a normal rear digital camera to the bash, but Toyota has selected the most bone-headed way to go about utilizing the tech. Relatively than utilizing the major ol’ 7-inch display to display screen the feed, the 86 integrates a tiny two-inch display screen into the rear-watch mirror. Among the tiny footprint and the low-good quality display screen that’s simply washed out by daylight, the 86 might as perfectly not even have a backup digital camera. It can be that lousy.

Drivers seeking for some thing a bit much more slicing edge can nevertheless do a great deal greater in the aftermarket — the normal double DIN receiver tends to make it straightforward to swap in a sharper display, onboard navigation or a rear digital camera system with a bigger display screen. Then all over again, if you can live with smartphone-related apps and you should not care about the rear digital camera, a USB cable is all you really need to have. 

A straightforward sports activities car 

Mechanically and dynamically, the 86 hasn’t changed a lot due to the fact I very last discovered myself driving the wheel. The two.-liter flat 4-cylinder motor tends to make 205 horsepower and a meager 156 pound-ft of torque when mated with the 6-pace manual transmission. When equipped with the 6-pace automated like my example, output drops to two hundred ponies and 151 pound-ft.

The automated gearbox is not horrible, but it is absolutely not the suitable way to encounter the 86. About city, the shifts come early and lazily. But weirdly, the more difficult you flog it, the greater the slushbox will get. At better revs, the 86’s shift programming is crisper, much more aggressive and pretty skilled. In the meantime, the paddle-picked shifts are satisfyingly swift with the motor vehicle established to its sportiest drive method. Nonetheless, I favor the much more partaking manual transmission, not to point out the smidge of more oomph that will come with it.

Whether or not you opt for the remarkable manual or the serviceable automated, the rear-wheel-drive 86 will come normal with a Torsen restricted-slip differential, which does a terrific occupation placing power down by way of bends and aiding retain control when coaxing the rear conclusion into a drift. The 86 is much more than pleased to wiggle its tail when questioned, in spite of currently being a bit underpowered. Like the Mazda Miata, this is what you would get in touch with an inertia motor vehicle — where by heading quickly indicates carrying pace by way of a convert, rather than pouring on power in the straights.

Encouraging to maintain that inertia by way of corner right after corner and granting the driver virtually telepathic control is a wonderful sport-tuned suspension and a light-weight, low-slung chassis. Also like the Miata, the 86 might not be the swiftest motor vehicle ’round a circuit or up a hill climb, but its connection with the highway and partaking journey make it sense downright heroic when pushed with zest.

I cannot say plenty of about how subtly very good the 86’s ergonomics are. The seating placement is a single of the finest in the business the wheel, shifter and even the doorway-pocket cup holders all tumble flawlessly to hand once you’ve adjusted the 86’s buckets. The seats are snug but also extremely supportive in the corners, and I never uncover myself bracing a knee in opposition to the doorway or console in the course of aggressive cornering.


With a perfectly-tuned chassis and just 215-width tires, the 86 will not need to have a lot power to slip into a good, controlled slide.

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Hakone Edition

The 2020 Hakone Edition is named right after the Hakone turnpike — a famously twisty driving highway southwest of Tokyo that some have identified as Japan’s Nurburgring. The Nurburgring is occasionally identified as The Green Hell, but to me, the Hakone is a slice of inexperienced heaven, bathed in a particular metallic inexperienced paint and using on 17-inch bronze alloy wheels. 

Within, you may uncover sport bucket seats trimmed with tan leather-based with grippy black Alcantara inserts. The black-and-tan shade plan continues to the dash treatment method, centre console, parking brake and — for illustrations equipped with a manual gearbox — the shifter boot. Rounding out the particular version goodies are the tan leather-based vital glove and owner’s folio and a “86” embossed and stitched trunk mat.

Beyond these particulars, the Hakone is effectively a Toyota 86 GT trim in a distinctive shade with 17-inch wheels as an alternative of the GT’s 18s. That indicates it also will get the GT updates, like sensible keyless entry, heated seats, twin-zone climate control and much more. The bottom line also ends up about $forty more cost-effective than the GT — coming to $29,865 with the manual or $31,585 with an automated transmission, like a $995 desired destination cost.


The Hakone version is, effectively, a GT trim with a distinctive (and attractive) overall look offer.

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Value and levels of competition

The Hakone inexperienced hue and the black-and-tan leather-based interior are absolutely good, but I consider I might go with the base 2020 Toyota 86 trim, which starts at $28,055 like desired destination. Naturally, I might go with the the manual transmission and you need to, also. With terrific sense and low power, this would be a wonderful motor vehicle to find out on if you cannot nonetheless drive a stick.

The update to the GT trim amount or the TRD Managing offer would be tempting — you need to certainly take into consideration them for the creature comforts and improved grip — but so a lot of the 86’s attractiveness for me would acquiring my own wheel-and-tire combo or upgrading the brakes and dampers myself, so I might roll off of the great deal in a fairly bare-bones example and help save my cash for mods.

In this value assortment, the 86 has to contend with the nimble Honda Civic Si, the highly effective Volkswagen GTI and the unhinged Hyundai Veloster N, all of which are strong, entrance-wheel-drive avenue and keep track of performers. Nonetheless, its closest rear-drive rival is the Mazda MX-five Miata.


The spirit of Scion — that mod-it-you attitude — lives on in the Toyota 86.

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If I failed to previously own a Miata — albeit a a lot, a lot older design — I might be significantly contemplating an 86 as my day-to-day driver (or a nearly equivalent Subaru BRZ). The 86’s back again seat and much more roomy trunk make it a slightly much more sensible alternative than the Miata with out a lot compromise to outright performance. On the other hand, the most recent iteration of Mazda’s roadster feels like a much more refined merchandise out of the box with a much more honed and concentrated driving character and a nicer interior.

Absolutely sure, the 86 leaves a bit of performance on the desk — meatier tires would be good and I absolutely would not say no to a turbocharger — but it is straightforward to see from the driver’s seat that the Toyota has terrific bones. From the excess weight harmony and suspension geometry to the powertrain format and ergonomics, the 86 nails individuals areas of sporty driving that aren’t simply set with straightforward bolt-ons. It can be a diamond in the rough, best for individuals of us who take pleasure in adding that very last bit of polish.