We finally got our hands on the new Toyota 86 for a quick photoshoot and review.
Firstly, we think most will agree that the 86 looks pretty nice for a standard, non-upgraded car. Some will argue that the Subaru BRZ looks better, but let’s be honest, they both have the same general shape and design cues. When we started organising this review and photo session, we also couldn’t resist the temptation of a little visual face-off between the old skool AE86 and the revived 86.
The interior is comfortable and well laid out. The seating position is pretty low, helping with keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible. We found the standard sports seats to be comfortable yet supportive and snug. These would probably be more than sufficient even for the occasional track days. As a daily car, this cabin is more suited for 2 adults only. Yes, you can shoe-horn 2 more adults in the rear seats, but definitely only sufferable for short trips.
The 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine from Subaru is a nice suitable engine as a starting point. The engine feels quite responsive getting off the line, with useful torque from down low in the rev range. However, between 3000-4000 RPM, the car feels a little weak (upon a quick search online, our ‘seat-of-the-pants-ometer’ was confirmed by a big dip in the torque, in addition to a plateau of the power curve). But thereafter, the engine continues strongly up to the rev limit of 7500 RPM. The boxer engine is connected to a gearbox which feels smooth and solid, with a (relatively) short shifting set up. Although the current engine power is fine for daily driving, it would be great to see a more powerful TRD or STI version down the track which would be more suited for the modifiers and weekend track enthusiasts.
One of the more impressive aspects of the Toyota 86, is the standard suspension set up. Initially, we felt the car was a little harsh riding over sharp bumps. However, that’s a small compromise for what is otherwise a well balanced car. Driving spiritedly around corners, the car remains composed and almost completely flat with very little body roll. Mid-corner bumps don’t unsettle this car either, but get on the throttle and the car will oversteer.
The car is good, in fact, very good. The balance of the overall package as a standard car is an exciting injection of fun for the affordable coupe market. This car is perfect for a keen driver, and we’re sure this car will provide endless enjoyment with only a few modifications needed.
Finally, some acknowledgements must be noted. Big thanks to Jay and Colin for making their vehicles available for us. And also a big thanks to Clarence at Tangcla Photography for these amazing images. Click here for the full photoshoot.