We have a soft spot for tiny affordable sports cars with a substantial amount of horsepower and a manual gearbox. Every time we test something like the Mazda MX-5 Miata or the Volkswagen Golf GTI, we are pretty excited to see how far we can push them.
We recently test drove the 2018 Toyota 86 GT and while there is a new 2019 model year, all the mechanicals are essentially the same. In a world obsessed with crossovers and taking Ubers, the Toyota 86 is a refreshing sports car that reminds us how fun driving can be. You’ve got power going to the back wheels, a six-speed manual transmission, and no fancy technology options — so you can concentrate on driving.
2018 Toyota 86 GT Exterior
Following the death of Scion and the FR-S moving over to Toyota to become the 86, the rear-wheel-drive sports car adopted some new aggressive looks. Exterior changes to the Toyota 86 include a larger center intake, a wider stance, new front headlamps with standard LEDs, LED tail lamps, a bumper with some more character and an integrated diffuser.
The Toyota 86 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels but you can upgrade to the TRD 17-inch matte gray wheels for $1,650 or the TRD 18-inch alloy wheels for $1,030. Other exterior upgrades include a rear spoiler for $399, LED fog lights for $599 and mudguards for $85.
Dimensions wise, the Toyota 86 sits on a wheelbase that spans 101.2-inches with an overall length of 166.7-inches. The width stretches 70-inches and the height stands 50.6-inches. Weight comes in at 2,776 pounds for the 86 with the manual transmission.
Overall, we think the Toyota 86 is still the best looking Toyota in the brand’s lineup. That said, the new Supra is just around the corner.
2018 Toyota 86 GT Interior
The interior of the Toyota 86 is straightforward and very driver-oriented. To get any kind of tech in the Toyota 86, you’ll have to go for the GT model, and add on a $900 option that gives you navigation, USB, and access to a few other apps. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto here, but that’s totally okay. This is first and foremost a sports car.
Some fun standard options on the mid-level Toyota 86 GT include heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated rearview camera display. Without the $900 option mention above you get a regular 7-inch touchscreen display which is fine, because you’ll likely end up using Google Maps on your smartphone.
There is nothing in the interior that will really keep you preoccupied so you can continue doing what this car is best known for – throwing it into corners repeatedly because it will definitely put a smile on your face.
2018 Toyota 86 GT Performance
The Toyota 86 uses a MacPherson strut front suspension with a strut brace and double-wishbone rear suspension. Toyota says that the electric power-assist steering is tuned to provide sharp feedback with a tight turning circle of 36.1 feet. This thing straight up handles like a go-kart. Among the competition, the Toyota 86 feels closest to the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The 86 with the manual weighs in at 2,758 pounds so the 205 horsepower from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is sufficient – however, we do wish it had a little more power. Zero to 60 mph comes in 6.7 seconds, and the top speed is 136 mph.
Fuel economy wise, the 2018 Toyota 86 averages an EPA-rated 21/28 mpg* (city/highway).
2018 Toyota 86 GT Safety
Safety wise, the 2018 Toyota 86 comes with standard hill start assist, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, six airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control, brake assist, anti-lock brake system, and more.
2018 Toyota 86 GT Overall
Overall, we really appreciated our time with the Toyota 86. While we wish it had more power under the hood but for what its worth, this car is SO entertaining to drive that you’ll just have fun hitting corners and embrace the feeling like you’re driving a go-kart on the road. Prices start at $26,455** for the base 86 model and $29,305** for the Toyota 86 GT model. If you’re in the market for an affordable sports car that doesn’t break your bank account, make sure you visit your local AutoNation Toyota dealership 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.