2018 Toyota 86

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In the small segment of the purpose-built rear-Wheel-Drive compact sports cars, the Toyota 86-formerly the ENT fr-S-offers a unique raw experience that is free of frills. The convertible competitors can keep and overtake the 86 in performance, but they do not come close to the Toyota in practicality and everyday usability. In fact, buyers who plan to enjoy a regular track day with the 86 will be happy to know that it is possible to fit a second set of mounted tires into the trunk with the rear seats folded. What the 86 lacks in creature comfort and features available makes it for with a crispy-shifting six-speed manual transmission (an automatic is also available), sharp handling, and strong braking.

What’s New for 2018?

Toyota has expanded the 86 lineup for 2018 to three trim levels: base, GT and GT Black. Stepping up to the midrange GT adds leather seats, a 4.2-inch color information display in the gauge cluster, dual zone automatic climate control, passive input, push button start, and a rear wing finished in matte black. The GT Black is essentially the same car and carries the same $29,280 price-but adds black lacquered power-adjustable exterior mirrors with warmth and a slightly different rear spoiler design with black support posts.

What Was New for 2017?

On a superficial level, the 86 nameplate was all new to 2017. And by that we mean the actual nameplate because the 86 is really a rebadged ENT fr-S that was adopted in the Toyota fold after the death of the scion mark. In addition to new badges, there were suspension updates aimed at delivering a better ride, structural improvements to stiffen the body shell, improved engine and exhaust, and improved gearing for manual transmission models.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

Choosing the base 86 versus the more expensive GT and GT black models is not punishable. It comes standard with lots of goodies, performance and otherwise, such as:

• Torsen Limited-Slip rear differential
• A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen
• 17-inch wheels with summer tyres
• Leather-wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel

Our manual-transmission 86 carries a price of $27,150, but an automatic transmission can be ordered for $720 more. All-season tapes are available on any 86 model as no-cost option, and navigation can also be added for $900. Apart from appealing dealer-installed performance parts, the Toyota 86 lineup is free of option packages and add-ons.

VERDICT

The affordable rear-drive coupe to get, because (along with its Subaru BRZ Twin) is the only affordable rear-drive coupe.

HIGHS

SHARP steering response, balanced frame, practical-for a sports car.

LOWS

Thin sheet, lack of options, coarse-sounding engine.

Price Starting at

$27,150

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