2017 Toyota 86 Road Test and Review…
Now in 2017, after a few updates and improvements, the model continues to be almost the ‘go to’ for affordable sports car thrills, without the sports car pricing.
The Toyota 86, and its Subaru sister – BRZ, prove a great looking coupe with dynamic handling doesn’t have to cost the earth.
I had the keys to the base-model 2017 Toyota 86 GT and found it to be able to easily accommodate commuting around town, cruising freeways and having some fun on a winding country road.
The horizontally-opposed flat-four or ‘boxer’ engine is smooth and naturally tractable, so you don’t need a lot of revs or fancy footwork to keep the 86 moving smoothly.
Ride quality is not too bad; however, it is stiff enough to make you want to avoid anything too rough, pot holes and road cracks are certainly felt on-board.
The best bit about the 86 drive experience is how forgiving it is in the bends.
It’s predictable and nicely planted on the road and this is both a combination of the suspension tune and a really well-sorted chassis.
Perhaps the only real weakness is the brakes. They just don’t feel as capable as the rest of the car when you’re putting the Toyota sports coupe through its paces.
Inside, the ergonomics are sound, so it’s relatively easy to find a comfortable driving position despite minimal steering wheel adjustment.
Getting in and out of the 86 cabin though is more accommodating for the young and fit, rather than…well the rest of us!
You might feel especially awkward/cramped if you’re on the other side of about six foot tall.
And of course, being a coupe, the doors are quite long and this makes squeezing in and out in tight spots that little more difficult.
Vision out of the low-slung cockpit is generally good, though the chunky roof pillars can tend to obscure your perspective on the outside world.
On the flipside, the 86’s compact external dimensions make tasks such as changing lanes, and reverse and parallel parking fairly straight-forward.
While the sharp steering means you only need minimal inputs to change direction.
Rear seat accommodation is little short of woeful, but I guess that’s to be expected in a two-door sports coupe.
Boot space is also on the small side and really only capable of accommodating an overnight bag or two, or the weekly shopping for a couple.
Standard gear in the base model Toyota 86 GT includes:
- 16″ Alloy Wheels
- 6 Speaker Stereo
- Tilt and reach steering adjustment
- Reverse camera
- Limited slip diff
- Height-adjustable driver’s seat
A Toyota 86 purchase in 2017 will see you drive away with the reassurance of a full five-star safety rating and you should budget an additional $450 for any paint colour more interesting than flat red.
Summing it up; There’s more to like than dislike here and the good stuff, include nimble suspension, pricing, safety score, Toyota/Subaru reliability and good looks, make it a better than good option.
The Toyota is a little short on grunt and this does leave you feeling a little bit short changed and overall space/convenience are short on supply and something to take into account, especially if you’re used to the size/space of a hatch or sedan.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Toyota 86
Engine: 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol producing 147kW and 205Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Safety: Five star
Price: from $30,790