2017 Toyota 86 Review | Asian Car Guide
August 14, 2020

2017 Toyota 86 Review

2017 Toyota 86 Review

Toyota‘s top man, Aikio Toyoda commented “The new 86 has been perfected to such an extent that, from the moment the steering wheel is gripped and the vehicle accelerates away, every driver will be able to recognise its evolution.”

With low, wide stance, coupled with slouching snout and tall boot line, the Toyota 86 firmly embodies the spirit of a coupe.

Nevertheless, the lightweight sports coupe (kerb weight 1,258kg) is not what you would call openly aggressive.

Edgy lines on the pronounced arches pull off a purposeful look, while swooping curves run alongside the headlamps to complete an aggressive stance, and the result is the 2017 Toyota 86 looks highly sporty in stock form.

Inside the low-slung cabin you find a much simplified console, minimally cluttered with electronic paraphernalia, giving the feel of a driver’s car along the lines of original sports cars. The carbon fibre look dashboard inlays give the clean cabin typical of Japanese performance cars.

Standard features include cruise control, reversing cam, seven airbags, hill start assist, and 6” touch media screen at centre of dash.

The 86 is the result  of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru (who market their car as the BRZ).

Both cars come off a Subaru production line, and are almost identical, but with some differentiating features chosen by each maker.

There is choice of the base GT model, or the GTS, which has more added features, such as paddle shifters on auto models, SATNAV, newly redesigned rear spoiler wing, LED fog lamps, leather accented Alcantera front seats, rear privacy glass, dual-zone aircon, 4.2-inch info display in instrument binnacle, keyless entry and start.

With either grade, there is choice of manual or automatic gearbox, and going against the usual trend of the majority of people preferring auto’s these days, it seems that with these sports cars most want to experience DIY manual shifting!

Manual gear cars score a slightly higher output engine, enhancing their attraction.

Subaru’s signature flat boxer engine (and it is also Porsche’s) features horizontally opposed-cylinders, which generate less vibration and also result in very low centre of gravity, to give a big handling advantage.

The 86’s 2-litre boxer engine has Toyota’s D-4S direct fuel injection system inserted, as a point of difference to the Subaru BRZ, and the front grilles also differ.

The motivating concept for the 86 is to provide an exciting sports car that really handles well, and accordingly there is every effort to keep weight down and centre of gravity low, so the car is very low to the ground, and quite small.

Accordingly, rear seats are for small adults only, or preferably kids (x2). The boot is small, but the rear seat-back can tilt down to extend boot space. There is a space saver spare wheel.

Driving the automatic is intuitive, with the gearbox working the engine close to read-line before each shift, especially when sport mode is depressed, and helping to put down all required power at any given instance.

The gearbox shifts seamlessly.

The manual gearbox, also tested, has a short throw and shifts very smoothly, making the car a joy to drive while you perfect the best way to get the most out of it and drive it as a sports car should be driven.

With a 2-litre engine and light weight body this car accelerates quite well, especially with just the driver on board, but is not what you would call blisteringly quickly.

That might be possible with a turbo charged option in future.

The rear wheel drive 86 is very agile and quick to swap directions whilst the steering feels direct, accurate, pin sharp and responsive to driver inputs, making it wonderfully enjoyable and rewarding to drive enthusiastically.

Body control is superb and hardly suffers from body roll or any other undesired movements.

The Toyota 86 has a 3-year/100,000km warranty and capped-price servicing covering the first four scheduled services.

Each service is capped at $180.00 and services are due at either 15,00km or 9-months, whichever comes first.