2020 86 New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Toyota 86 (called 'eight-six'?) is a throwback to the time when sports cars were simple, fun, and affordable. Its hardtop proportions are traditional: a low, wide fastback coupe that's sleek but not striking. The cabin is typically Toyota high-quality.
For 2020, the 86 gets standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and adds a TRD handling package that improves the suspension and brakes for track days. There's also a new Hakone edition named for one of Japan's best driving roads.
The 86 uses a 2.0-liter flat-4 engine built by Subaru, the world's leader (along with Porsche) in the past and current development of the so-called boxer engine, with horizontally opposed cylinders. It's rear-wheel drive only. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with an automatic transmission.
Its 205 horsepower (200 hp with the automatic) is enough, but its 156 lb-ft of torque leaves drivers wanting for more.
The handling is superb thanks to a short wheelbase, near-perfect weight distribution, and direct steering that balances response and ratio well. The ride is firm, but would or should you expect anything different?
For a small, light sports car with a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, the 2020 Toyota 86 manages only mediocre fuel economy. With the automatic transmission, the 86 gets 24 mpg city, 32 highway, 27 combined on premium fuel with the manual it drops by 3 mpg to 21/28/24 mpg.
The NHTSA awarded four stars for frontal crashworthiness and five for rollover prevention, while the IIHS rated it 'Good'? (meaning the best) for the front, side, roof strength, and seats.
It got an 'Acceptable'? score for the front overlap test. Unfortunately the 86 has never been available with any active safety features. .
There are two models, 86 and GT, as well as the new Hakone edition. For $28,015 with manual gearbox or $720 more with automatic, the 86 comes with LED headlights, sport seats in cloth, 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, power features, faux suede trim, a fold-flat rear seat, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The new TRD handling package is optional for both models and adds stiffer dampers, Brembo brakes, unique 18-inch wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
The GT adds dual-zone climate control, heated seats with leather and Alcantara trim, a 4.2-inch information display in the gauge cluster, keyless ignition, leather and synthetic-leather touchpoints. For some reason, the automatic GT costs less than the manual: $30,865 for the auto and $31,145 for the 6-speed.
The new Hakone edition adds tan leather to the interior upholstery, a unique green paint hue, and bronze wheels. It costs $30,900 for the 6-speed and $31,620 for the automatic..