With the official exit of the Scion brand, the outstanding Scion FR-S has also been laid to rest. Well, not exactly. Toyota is taking most of its Scion vehicles and bringing them over to the Toyota brand and the FR-S is one of them. Known as the Toyota 86, the rear-wheel-drive sports car zooms into 2017 with the same fun-to-drive dynamics and sports car mechanics that won’t disappoint at its price point.
The Toyota 86 has been known by that name in other markets outside the United States since it made its debut in 2012. Based on the Toyota FT-HS Concept, the Toyota 86 is a sports car built in partnership with Subaru and caters to young car shoppers that want a fun sports car without breaking the bank. Since the 86 has now become a part of the Toyota lineup, it closes a huge gap that the brand had since the exit of the Toyota Celica. Let’s take a closer look at the new 2017 Toyota 86 and its true JDP performance.
Not much has changed when it comes to the outside of the Toyota 86 since its world debut in 2012. There have been some subtle design changes including a larger center intake standard LED front headlamps, daylight running lamps, a new fog lamp bezel and a revised bumper. The rear gets a sculpted bumper design with an integrated aerodynamic diffuser.
When compared to the likes of the Mazda MX-5 Miata or the FIAT 124 Spider, the Toyota 86 definitely stands out with its aggressive stance and muscular exterior.
The 2017 Toyota 86 sits on a wheelbase that measures 101.2 inches with an overall length that spans 166.7 inches. The overall width comes in at 69.9 inches and the height stands at 50.6 inches. Yes, this is a tiny car and there’s a reason for that. The short wheelbase and low height allow for some pretty fun go-kart style driving dynamics and it definitely makes it very easy to park in tight parking spots.
In our opinion, the design of the 2017 Toyota 86 is a perfect balance of the present and the future. It’s not trying too hard to be tougher or meaner looking than it is.
The inside of the 2017 Toyota 86 hasn’t changed much either. It’s still a pretty simple and straightforward interior. Once again, the interior of the 2017 Toyota 86 doesn’t try to be overly tough and aggressive. That seems to be the overall theme of this car. It is meant to do one thing: drive and put a smile on your face.
Interior upgrades to the 2017 model year include a new material on the dash and door panels that Toyota calls Granlux. There are also buttons on the steering wheel that control the audio and Bluetooth functionality. The 2017 Toyota 86 keeps the optional 8-speaker Pioneer audio system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and, before you ask, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with this system. There aren’t really any packages you can get with the Toyota 86. You can purchase a variety of accessories for the interior including all-weather floor mats, cargo tote/mat, coin holder/ashtray, and a tablet holder for the rear passenger.
However, before you get all excited about rear seat passengers, let’s discuss the interior measurements of the 2017 Toyota 86. Interior dimensions come in at 41.9 inches of legroom for front-row passengers and 29.9 inches for rear-seat passengers. We honestly don’t recommend anyone sitting in the backseat, as it’s more of a shelf than a seat.
This is where the 2017 Toyota 86 really shines. Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that pumps out a total of 205 horsepower and a maximum torque of 156 lb-ft. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. We definitely recommend the manual transmission as it’s just more fun to drive than the automatic. However, if you plan on using this as your daily commuter and you spend a lot of time in traffic, you may want to opt for the automatic transmission as driving a manual in traffic can be quite taxing to your left leg.
Performance figures come in at 6.2 seconds for the zero to sixty and top speed comes in at 134 mph. One major difference we noted for the 2017 model year was the manual transmission’s shorter final-drive gearing which allows for quicker shifts. The 2017 Toyota 86 also gets tuned chassis that allows for quicker and sharper turn-ins. While that also upgrades the ride quality to be a little more comfortable, we did notice that this car is a bit harsh over bumps and small potholes.
Fuel economy-wise, the 2017 Toyota 86 averages an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21/28 mpg (city/highway) for the manual transmission and 24/32 mpg* for the automatic transmission.
The 2017 Toyota 86 doesn’t offer any advanced driver assist features but comes standard with a range of features including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, stability control and traction control.
The 2017 Toyota 86 is an outstanding sports car – it’s as simple as that. It is extremely fun to drive and definitely caters to the young performance-hungry enthusiast that doesn’t want to spend a large amount of cash on a high-performance luxury car. Prices for the 2017 Toyota 86 start at $26,255**. Visit your local AutoNation dealer for a test drive today.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.