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2020 Toyota 86 Review

The 2020 Toyota 86 has deft handling, but it ranks poorly in the sports car class because of its weak engine, cramped interior, and mixed cabin quality.

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp, responsive steering
  • Tiny back seat
  • Lethargic engine
  • Small trunk

New for 2020

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now standard
  • Hakone Edition debuts
  • Optional TRD Handling package

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Toyota 86's #5 ranking is based on its score within the Sports Cars category. Currently the Toyota 86 has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 5.7
Safety: 8.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Toyota 86 a Good Car?

The Toyota 86 is an OK sports car. It’s one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class, as long as you don’t prioritize speed. Its four-cylinder boxer engine feels weak and unrefined, and the interior is spartan. The back seats are barely usable, and the trunk is small.

Should I Buy the Toyota 86?

The Toyota 86 is worth consideration if you’re looking for a fun car on a budget, but there are better options. For example, the Subaru BRZ is similar to the 86 in many ways, but it has a nicer interior and a more responsive engine. The two-seat Mazda MX-5 Miata is the quintessential roadster, and its priced similarly to the 86.

Compare the 86, BRZ, and MX-5 Miata »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota 86?

The most notable change for the 2020 Toyota 86 is the introduction of standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, which were previously unavailable. These features make it much easier to interact with the infotainment system and give the system more of a modern feel. Also for 2020, Toyota introduces the 86 Hakone Edition, which boasts distinctive paint color and wheels, along with other styling attributes.

If the above changes aren’t important to you, consider buying an otherwise similar 2017, 2018, or 2019 model, which will likely cost you less than a new Toyota 86. Prior to the 2017 model year, the car was known as the Scion FR-S. When the car was renamed, it also received a light design refresh and a retuned suspension.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 86, 2018 86, and 2019 86 car reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Toyota 86 »

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 16 Toyota 86 reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 86 is the right new car for you. This 2020 Toyota 86 review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans 2013 through 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota 86 Cost?

The 2020 Toyota 86 starts at $26,985, which is in line with many other affordable sports cars. The Tour 86 GT retails for $29,835, and the limited Hakone Edition costs $29,870. With few notable packages or options, pricing doesn't vary much from the base price of each trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota 86 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ?

The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ share a platform and many mechanical components. That means they have the same powertrain, same trunk size, and same tiny back seat. The BRZ has a slight edge in cornering confidence, and it feels peppier when you hit the throttle. The 86 is fun to drive, but its engine power is unimpressive. While the Toyota’s cabin feels a bit bland, the Subaru’s is more upscale. Both cars have a comparable list of standard features, as well as similar pricing. It's close, but the BRZ is the better choice.

Which Is Better: Toyota 86 or Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The Mazda MX-5 Miata consistently sits near the top of our sports car rankings thanks to its go-kart-like handling and near-unanimous critical praise. The Miata has around 20 less horsepower than the 86, but it boasts quicker acceleration and better driving dynamics overall. With soft-touch surfaces and modern lines, the Mazda’s interior is a little nicer than the Toyota’s. The 86 comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – which the Miata doesn’t offer at all – and has a slightly larger trunk. The Miata, on the other hand, is available with driver assistance features including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking, none of which are available in the 86. The Miata only has two seats, but because the 86’s back seat is so small, that comparison is basically a wash. With the MX-5, you’ll have the choice between a soft-top convertible or a targa-style power-retractable hardtop. The choice here is clear: Go with the Miata.

Compare the 86, BRZ, and MX-5 Miata »

86 Performance

86 Engine: Could Use More Power

The Toyota 86 comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine. With the standard six-speed manual transmission this Toyota produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is optional, which drops output to 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

This flat-four engine is fine for tame daily driving, but that’s not what this car is designed for. There’s not enough power to quickly launch the 86 off the line, and as you continue to accelerate, torque drops off midway through the rev range.

The standard manual transmission seems like the obvious choice for a back-to-basics coupe like the 86. It is capable of short, precise shifts but requires practice to operate smoothly because the clutch engages quickly. Reviews are mixed on the automatic. Some find that it holds gears well and shifts when you want, while others think it makes the 86 feel boring.

86 Gas Mileage: Pretty Good With the Automatic

The 2020 86 gets its best fuel economy with the optional automatic transmission, returning an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those figures are decent for a sports car and better than most American muscle cars in the class. Stick with the standard manual transmission and you can expect around 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway

86 Ride and Handling: Ready for the Track

This Toyota is more content carving up tight corners and windy roads than it is trying to rocket off from a stop. With a standard limited-slip differential and rear-wheel drive, the 86 stays planted around turns and exhibits little body roll. Steering is incredibly responsive, and the chassis tells you exactly what’s going on with the car. The brakes are strong, and even if you brake late for a curve, turn the wheel just a bit and the weight transfer helps the tail-happy 86 tackle it with ease.

Those looking for more engagement will want to opt for the new-for-2020 TRD Handling package, which is only available in manual-equipped 86 and 86 GT models. It adds Sachs performance shocks, upgraded Brembo brakes, and super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

The downside to the 86’s drive-focused chassis and suspension is a stiff ride. Over rough roads, you’ll feel lots of bumps and jolts in the cabin.

Read more about performance »

86 Interior

How Many People Does the 86 Seat?

The Toyota 86 has four seats, but it really only holds two people. The standard front sport seats are well-bolstered to keep you in place when cornering hard, but they’re not particularly comfortable for longer drives. The low driving position is great for a sports car, but there are only a few ways to adjust the seat, and some might find them too upright.

The back seats are incredibly small and impractical for passengers. Sliding either of the front seats back as far as they go takes away nearly all rear-seat legroom.

86 and Child Car Seats

Both of the 86’s rear seats have a complete set of LATCH connectors, but they're not particularly easy to use. The lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and it’s hard to maneuver your hands around to attach car-seat straps to the anchors.

86 Interior Quality

The Toyota 86 has a decent interior quality, despite the number of hard plastic surfaces. Some nice stitching and accents highlight what is otherwise a straightforward, utilitarian design. Overall, it’s what you’d expect from a budget-focused sports car. Still, rivals like the Subaru BRZ and Mazda Miata are a little nicer inside.

86 Cargo Space

The 86 provides 6.9 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s below average for a sports car, but you can still fit two or three carry-on suitcases in there. The rear seats fold down as one unit to create a nearly flat load floor. And given how small those back seats are, you may just want to keep them folded for more cargo space.

86 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Every 86 model comes with a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system. However, it’s not the same system found in many other models throughout the Toyota lineup. This interface resembles an aftermarket unit hewn into the dashboard, and there are only small, basic buttons on the side of the screen for shortcuts like voice command and volume control. It's pretty easy to perform routine commands through the screen, but sometimes the system doesn’t function as quickly or smoothly as it should.

Functionality is improved with the introduction of standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for the 2020 model year. We recommend using these smartphone integration systems as alternatives to the native interface. Other standard features include an eight-speaker stereo, a USB port, and Bluetooth. Options include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and a 4.2-inch digital driver-information display. Navigation is one of the only notable options.

Read more about interior »

86 Reliability

Is the Toyota 86 Reliable?

The 2020 Toyota 86 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota 86 Warranty

Toyota covers the 86 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Toyota 86?

The cost of insuring a Toyota 86 will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

86 Safety

86 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Toyota 86 four out of five stars in the frontal crash test and five stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested the 2020 86 as of this writing.

86 Safety Features

The only advanced driver assistance feature in the Toyota 86 is a rearview camera, which comes standard.

Read more about safety »

86 Dimensions and Weight

The Toyota 86 is 13.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,776 to 2,841 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Toyota 86 Built?

Toyota builds the 2020 86 in Japan.

Which Toyota 86 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Toyota 86 is available in three trims: base, GT, and the new Hakone Edition. All models come with a four-cylinder boxer engine and rear-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional in all trims.

Though the 86 prides itself on being a basic sports car, it’s worth stepping up to the GT trim to get more everyday convenience and comfort features. These include upgraded upholstery, heated front seats, proximity keyless entry, and automatic climate control.

Toyota 86

The 2020 Toyota 86 starts at $26,985. Standard features include front sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED headlights, a limited-slip differential, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an eight-speaker stereo, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

The TRD Handling package is optional in 86 and 86 GT trims with the manual transmission. This bundle includes Sachs performance shocks, upgraded Brembo brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

Toyota 86 GT

Starting at $29,835, the Toyota 86 GT comes with combination leather and suede upholstery, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, LED fog lights, a rear spoiler, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and a 4.2-inch digital driver-information display.

Toyota 86 Hakone Edition

The new 86 Hakone Edition starts at $29,870. It features a unique paint color and wheel design, along with other trim-specific interior and exterior styling details. Unlike 86 special editions from previous years, the Hakone Edition doesn’t feature any additional performance upgrades.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota 86 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Toyota 86 offers few outright advantages over other sports cars. Its biggest strength – engaging handling – is a common trait in this class. Its weaknesses include unrefined engine power, so-so interior quality, and a tiny back seat.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The 2020 Toyota 86 provides exciting rear-drive performance for a price that most enthusiasts can afford. While other value-minded alternatives exist, they don't offer the same combination of athleticism and practicality that the Toyota does. Its excellent driving position and generous cargo space are offset by middling material quality and a small back seat." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a car, but still want to have a ton of fun behind the wheel, the … Toyota 86 is absolutely a must-drive. This lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, while also being pleasantly easy and forgiving to drive. It's a great choice for driving pros and novices alike." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • It's easy to pick on the … Toyota 86 and count the ways it falls just short of excellent. It's small inside. There's limited passenger and cargo space. It's not particularly comfortable, especially for taller drivers, and its technology feels dated and inadequate. Most damning is that the 86 simply lacks power and looks faster at idle that it actually is. … But that doesn't mean it's not fun to drive. The fun comes from when the road begins to bend. With precise steering and playful handling, the 86 always engages." -- Edmunds (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 24, 2020

Slipping Sales: Sales of the Toyota 86 closed out last year in the middle of the sports car class in terms of sales. Dealerships sold 18 percent fewer 86 models in 2019 compared to 2018. Still, it outpaced the Subaru BRZ in the sales race by 46 percent. 

Research more buying advice »
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