The 2019 Toyota 86 is an oddity. This is the only 2-door and the only sports car in the Toyota lineup. The compact coupe is built from collaboration with Subaru. The 86 is small, light, agile and relatively fast considering its 205-horsepower engine is barely bursting with muscle. Besides having a fixed metal roof, it has a lot in common with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, because it’s a great introduction to rear-drive fun without being so powerful that rookies might get out of shape too easily.
The 2019 Toyota 86 coupe comes in three trim levels: base, GT and the limited number TRD Special Edition. Notable standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, disc brakes front and rear, LED exterior lighting, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport front seats, rearview camera, an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and USB port. Most important, the 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission is standard. The optional automatic has its benefit, but the manual is far more fun. The GT version also has dual-zone climate control, a push-button start, and a g-meter (measuring lateral acceleration).
Under the hood, the 2019 Toyota 86 uses Subaru a 2.0-liter flat-4 (boxer) engine. When paired with the manual transmission, the engine produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque; drops by five with the automatic. Instead of four upright cylinders in a line, there are two pairs of horizontally opposed pistons. The benefits include a lower center of gravity, which is ideal for a sports car. Manual versions also have a flatter torque curve, which translates to sharper throttle responses. The automatic returns a slightly better fuel economy, but driving is more fun with the manual. The shift kit from TRD brings shorter throws, which sounds tempting in principle, but we think it reduces the overall feel.
In track testing, the 2019 Toyota 86 went to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Good, but other competitors are noticeably quicker.
2.0-liter flat-4 with 6-speed manual transmission
205 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
156 lb-ft of torque @ 6,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg
2.0-liter flat-4 with 6-speed automatic transmission
200 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
151 lb-ft of torque @ 6,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/32 mpg
The 2019 Toyota 86 is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. It has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting from $26,455 (include a $920 destination fee) for the base trim. The GT is priced from $29,505, while the limited-run TRD Special Edition tops out at $33,340. The automatic transmission is an extra $720.