2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Version evaluation: Low-cost thrills
“With a light-weight, agile chassis, Toyota’s small sports activities automotive affords extra enjoyable to your cash.”
- Extra highly effective than the competitors
- Nimble dealing with
- Snug cockpit
- Decently sensible
- Lack of driver-assist tech
- Disagreeable exhaust be aware
The time period “sports activities automotive” has turn into synonymous with “costly.” What was as soon as a supply of low-cost thrills within the 1940s and 1950s is now a standing image. A Porsche 911 can crest six figures with choices, and a Chevrolet Corvette is taken into account a cut price at practically $60,000.
It doesn’t must be this fashion.
Reasonably priced sports activities automobiles nonetheless exist, if you realize the place to look. On paper, the 2020 Toyota 86 (pronounced “eight-six”) has all the things you want for driving enjoyable: An agile chassis, keen engine, out there guide transmission, and rear-wheel drive. The little Toyota (and its Subaru BRZ sibling) offers some much-needed competitors to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which has dominated this house for over twenty years.
Is the 86 as tasty as its substances counsel? To search out out, we grabbed the leather-swathed key fob to a 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Version. Named after a well-known Japanese street, it’s distinguished by inexperienced paint, bronze wheels, and tan seats. The Hakone Version is priced at $30,825, in comparison with $28,015 for the bottom 86.
Design and inside
The Toyota 86 is a automotive of many names. It was co-developed with Subaru, which, as famous, sells its personal model known as the BRZ. Toyota’s model launched in the US for the 2013 mannequin yr because the Scion FR-S, underneath the Japanese automaker’s now-defunct youth model. When Scion was axed, the FR-S turned the 86. The automotive hasn’t modified a lot over time, although. The brand new-for-2020 Hakone Version will get beauty adjustments solely.
The title “86” is a reference to the 1986 AE86-model Toyota Corolla, however the two automobiles are very totally different. The AE86 was a tuner-friendly model of Toyota’s ubiquitous compact automotive, later made well-known within the manga and anime “Preliminary D.” The 86, then again, is a pure sports activities automotive. The 2 Toyotas do share one necessary factor, although: rear-wheel drive, which bestows superior dealing with. The 86 additionally makes use of a Subaru boxer engine, which helps decrease the automotive’s middle of gravity, additional enhancing cornering potential.
Outward visibility is superb, so you may place the automotive simply on the street and don’t must grit your enamel whereas parallel parking.
In measurement and worth, the 86 most carefully matches the Mazda MX-5 Miata and its sibling, the Fiat 124 Spider. Whereas the Mazda and Fiat are two-seat convertibles, nonetheless, the Toyota is a fixed-roof coupe with two tiny again seats. These seats aren’t actually appropriate for people, however they do add a helpful quantity of cargo house.
Toyota doesn’t reveal trunk house for the 86, however Subaru quotes 6.9 cubic ft for the an identical BRZ — extra in case you fold the rear seats down. That’s not a lot, however it’s greater than you get in a Miata or 124 Spider. The Mazda and Fiat provide fractionally extra headroom and a few inches of extra legroom, however until you’re as compact as they’re, all of those automobiles can be a good match.
The 86 inside itself is obvious however useful. The seats have thick bolsters, however are nonetheless snug sufficient for on a regular basis use. The steering wheel is the proper diameter and thickness, and the upright dashboard makes the cockpit really feel a bit extra spacious. Outward visibility is superb, so you may place the automotive simply on the street and don’t must grit your enamel whereas parallel parking. Supplies aren’t fancy, however that’s to be anticipated at this worth.
Tech, infotainment, and driver help
The simplicity of the 86 remembers traditional sports activities automobiles, however so does its lack of tech. The automotive comes normal with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — however that’s about it. The middle console has simply sufficient room for a smartphone, however plugging it in requires snaking a USB cable across the shifter.
Even the federally mandated rear view digital camera will get a low-tech execution. Photographs are proven on a tiny part of the rear view mirror, not on the principle display screen, or throughout the complete size of the mirror, as some automakers have performed.
You get a bit extra with the Toyota’s Subaru BRZ sibling. To justify a barely larger buy worth, Subaru affords built-in navigation and some extra audio choices, together with Pandora and SiriusXM.
This can be a automotive you may have enjoyable in with out risking jail time.
The 86 additionally doesn’t get the Toyota Security Sense 2.Zero bundle of driver aids that’s normal gear on many of the automaker’s different fashions. Meaning patrons miss out on options like adaptive cruise management and autonomous emergency braking.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t out there with adaptive cruise management both, however autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and visitors signal recognition can be found. The Fiat 124 Spider will get blind spot monitoring and rear cross visitors alert as a part of an elective package deal, however not one of the different driver aids from its Mazda sibling.
The 86 wasn’t designed to be a tech chief. It was designed to supply the very best driving expertise for the value, and it does ship.
Like a well-crafted cheeseburger, Toyota (and accomplice Subaru) didn’t attempt to make the 86 fancy — they targeted on making a handful of primary substances nearly as good as potential. The 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from Subaru that makes use of Toyota’s D-4S fuel-injection system, which toggles between direct injection and port injection to maximise effectivity. The engine has Subaru’s signature boxer configuration, which permits it to take a seat decrease within the chassis. That lowers the automotive’s general middle of gravity, enhancing dealing with.
The boxer-four produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque in automobiles with the six-speed guide transmission, and 200 hp and 151 lb.-ft. with the six-speed automated. That’s greater than you get within the Mazda MX-5 Miata or Fiat 124 Spider, though the 86 can’t match the Fiat’s melodious exhaust be aware. The engine can be properly -uited to sports-car responsibility, with an keen, rev-happy character.
The 86’s trim proportions, comparatively low curb weight (Toyota quoted a 2,799-pound weight for our Hakone Version check automotive), and rear-wheel drive profit from that engine. Many efficiency automobiles attempt to masks poundage with an additional dollop of energy, that means many of the enjoyable occurs at extralegal velocity. The 86’s agile and communicative chassis makes each nook into an occasion—irrespective of the velocity. This can be a automotive you may have enjoyable in with out risking jail time.
The 86 isn’t good — it’s simple to unintentionally seize fifth gear if you need third, and a Miata is a tad sharper general — however it’s fairly shut. You additionally pay for that epic dealing with with experience high quality that can make freeway commuting painful. The suspension does nothing to reduce the influence of bumps, and the cabin is noisy. If you would like extra refinement, you’ll must commerce as much as a Toyota Supra.
Gasoline mileage and security
One other advantage of a light-weight automotive with a small engine is nice fuel mileage. The 86 is rated at 24 mpg mixed (21 mpg metropolis, 28 mpg freeway) with the guide transmission, and 27 mpg mixed (24 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway) with the automated. Over every week of driving, we averaged 24.2 mpg (based on automotive’s journey laptop), even with a reasonably heavy throttle foot.
Actual world outcomes that match authorities rankings are at all times encouraging, however the 86 can’t match a manual-transmission Miata’s 29 mpg mixed (26 mpg metropolis, 34 mpg freeway) or a guide 124 Spider’s 30 mpg (26 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg freeway). The Mazda has a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine just like the Toyota, whereas the Fiat has a smaller, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder.
A advantage of a light-weight automotive with a small engine is nice fuel mileage.
The 86 obtained the highest “good” rating in 4 of 5 Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) crash checks, and was rated “acceptable” within the driver’s facet small overlap entrance check. The Toyota has not obtained an general score from the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA).
Toyota affords a three-year, 36,000-mile primary guarantee, and a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain guarantee. The automaker has a reasonably good popularity for reliability. Subaru engines have an important popularity as properly, though head gaskets are recognized to fail with excessive mileage. Replacements must be thought of later within the automotive’s life.
How DT would configure this automotive
Hakone Version fashions like our check automotive have distinctive fashion, and are probably an excellent guess for future collectibility. Nevertheless, our ideally suited 86 can be a base mannequin geared up with the elective TRD Dealing with Package deal, which isn’t out there on the Hakone Version.
TRD stands for Toyota Racing Improvement, the Japanese automaker’s efficiency division. Choosing this feature means ditching the Hakone Version’s snazzy inexperienced paint and 17-inch bronze wheels, however it provides Sachs dampers, Brembo brakes, and 18-inch wheels with stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The package deal prices $2,320, so added to the automotive’s $28,015 base worth, it will nonetheless come out barely cheaper than a Hakone Version — however with even higher dealing with.
The 86 additionally has nice aftermarket help. If there’s something you don’t like about this automotive, an aftermarket half in all probability exists to alter it. We’d begin with a brand new exhaust system. The inventory system makes a number of noise, however most of that noise isn’t good.
Few automobiles carry out their supposed perform in addition to the 2020 Toyota 86. A Mazda MX-5 Miata is a tad higher to drive, however it’s not one thing the typical driver will discover. The 86 additionally makes up for that with a pinch of practicality — and the way usually are you going to place the Mazda’s high down, actually? The Fiat 124 Spider has a pleasant sound, retro styling, and a extra snug experience, however it isn’t as sharp because the Toyota.
Toyota paid a worth for its singular focus, nonetheless. For comparable cash, you may get automobiles that aren’t as pure because the 86, however have a higher breadth of abilities. The Nissan 370Z boasts a 3.7-liter V6 with 332 horsepower, whereas sport compacts just like the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Golf GTI provide on a regular basis practicality. A Ford Mustang EcoBoost affords extra space, energy, and tech, however it additionally feels extra like an extraordinary automotive than a real sports activities automotive.
Must you get one?
Sure. The 86 defines low-cost thrills.
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