2018 Toyota 86 Review, Ratings, Specs, and Prices

The Toyota 86 is a rear-drive sports coupe that Toyota co-developed with Subaru. Originally introduced in 2012, the car is exclusively manufactured by Subaru under license by Toyota and is one of the best budget performance cars on the market.

The base trim is offered at $26,255 and comes loaded with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a rear-view camera, keyless entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, full LED daytime running headlights, etc. The higher trims offer a rear spoiler, 18-inch wheels, and 4.2-inch TFT multi-display instead of the 7-inch touchscreen, for a premium of a little over 2 thousand dollars.

Since 2012, there have been many developments in this segment, with rival manufacturers offering their own take on a cheap fun car. The 2018 Toyota 86 is worth the price with its attractive looks, simple interior, and perfect handling for a sports car.

What We Like

  • Perfectly cushioned seats
  • Sports car at an affordable price

What we don’t like

  • Low on power
  • Below average trunk capacity

What’s new with the 2018 Toyota 86?

The Toyota 86 gets a new GT trim that gets more standard equipment like matte black rear wings, dual-zone climate control than the other premium trims.

2018 Toyota 86 Trims and Features

The 2018 Toyota 86 is available in three trims, the base 86 variant, the 86 GT variant, and the top of the line 86 GT Black. All the variants are powered by a naturally aspirated 2 Liter Boxer-4 engine. As the focus of the car is on the sporty driving feel, it gets a 6-speed manual gearbox. The base trim is available for a mere 26 thousand dollars which is very low for a sports car.

The other two variants offer better aerodynamics, better equipment, and both cost the same, at 28 thousand dollars. The GT, however, offers more equipment than the GT Black, which is more geared towards performance.

Trims 86 86 GT 86 GT Black
MSRP $26,255 $28,385 $28,385
Features LED projector-beam headlights, Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and rear combination lights with all-LED lighting

Chrome-tipped dual exhaust

Front fender-mounted vortex generators

17-in. twisted spoke alloy wheels

Sports front bucket seats with Granlux suede-like material

Analog tachometer with programmable rev indicator

Auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera display

Display Audio with 7-in. touch-screen display

Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel

LED fog lights

Color-keyed heated power outside mirrors

Rear wing in matte black with aerodynamic end plates

Aerodynamic underbody panel

Heated sports front bucket seats with leather and Granlux suede-like inserts

4.2-in. TFT Multi-Information Display (MID) with vehicle performance information

Smart Key System3 with Push Button Start

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with MID controls

Rear wing in matte black with aerodynamic end plates and supports in Raven (not available with Raven Oceanic and Asphalt exterior colors)

Heated power outside mirrors in Raven (not available with Raven, Oceanic and Asphalt exterior colors)

All-season tires

Display Audio with Navigation

Our recommendation for the best trim

There is no simple choice when it comes to the three trims of the Toyota 86. All the three variants offer different things are meant for different customers. The base 86 is for people who are looking for the no-nonsense cheap performance sports car. The 86 GT Black is for those who want the no-nonsense sports car with better aerodynamics and colors. The new GT trim is for people who do not wish to compromise on equipment at all, while still having a small and fun car.

2018 Toyota 86 Power and Performance

“Power doesn’t arrive until deep into the rev range, around 4,500 rpm. Reach toward the top shelf and the 86 delivers deeply satisfying and predictable twist from its rear end. The sharp 6-speed manual clicks through gears with relative ease.”-TheCarConnection

Engine and transmission

2018 Toyota 86 Engine
2018 Toyota 86 Engine

The 2018 Toyota 86 offers the same engine as the 2017 model, a 2.0 Liter Boxer-4 DOHC that produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. The lack of horsepower is evident in the spec-sheet, and still remains one of the biggest criticisms for the 86. Toyota claims that their intention was to capture the driving feel of the old school cheap performance cars that a moderate amount of power, along with brilliant agility and wonderful handling.

The engine is coupled to a 6-Speed Manual gearbox, with sleek and affirmative shifts that help cement its sporty character. Purists love the manual gearbox, as it helps the car retain the old school feel of the original 86. The ratios are shorter than the previous model, thus improving performance.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
MSRP $26,255 $25,680 $25,595 $31,910
Engine 2.0L H-4 DOHC D-4S 2.3L EcoBoost 2.0L DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder 2.0L SKYACTIV-G DOHC 16-Valve I4
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed manual
Power 205 hp 310 hp 205 hp 155 hp
Torque 156 lb-ft 350 lb-ft 156 lb-ft 148 lb-ft

The competition to the 86 is brilliant too, especially in the engine and transmission department. The Ford EcoBoost Mustang Fastback has a 2.3 turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that offers 310 horsepower, more than a hundred horses more than the 86. The Subaru BRZ is an 86 with a different badging, and as such, is mechanically similar to the 86. The Mazda MX-5 is the least powerful here, with only 155 horsepower from its 2 liters naturally aspirated inline-4 engine.


The lack of grunt from the engine is apparent in the acceleration of the 86, as it manages to only offer moderate performance. It takes a little over 6 seconds to go from a standstill to 69 mph, while the quarter mile comes fast in exactly 15 seconds. The 86 has strong in-gear acceleration, which is due to its short ratio gears, which affects the 0-60 timing because it now requires 2 gear changes to reach 60 mph.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
0 – 60 mph 6.2 sec 5.6 sec 6.2 sec 5.6 sec
Quarter Mile 15.0 sec 14.1 sec 15.0 sec 14.5 sec
Engine 2.0L 2.3L 2.0L 2.0L

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.4 7.1 7.4 6.0

The EcoBoost Ford Mustang offers the best in class acceleration due to its better power and torque, courtesy the turbocharging. The Miata manages to beat the 86 in acceleration too, courtesy the weight. The BRZ is the same car as the 86, and thus posts similar acceleration times.

Braking and Handling

The 86 manages to post impressive braking times, taking only 120 feet to come from 60 mph to a halt. This is due to the 11.6 inch and 11.4-inch disc brakes in the front and rear respectively. The engineers at Toyota have managed to keep the curb weight (with a complete tank of fuel and all other fluids) under check, a smidge below 2800 pounds. Although the car isn’t the featherweight people had hoped, it’s still pretty light. The car handles pretty well and steers well on the curves and on the edges. Steering response is excellent and you won’t feel nervous while turning this car even at high speeds.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
60 – 0 mph (ft.) 120 106 120 124
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2774 3532 2789 2445
Brake (Front) 11.6 12.6 11.6 11.0
Brake (Rear) 11.4 12.6 11.4 11.0

The BRZ, as usual, has identical figures to the 86, in braking, and has the same handling too. The EcoBoost Mustang is much more urgent in stopping, due to bigger discs at both the front and the rears ends. The Mustang also uses clever electronics to aid the handling process. The Miata is the lightest, but also has the smallest brakes, and hence takes slightly longer to come to a standstill. The handling of the Miata is also the most unadulterated experience in the current crop of cars.

Fuel Economy

The biggest advantage of being light is the consequent fuel savings it offers. The little Toyota can manage to run for 21 miles in the city on one gallon of fuel. On the highway, it can manage 26 miles on a single gallon, which brings the average to 24 miles per gallon, which are great efficiency figures for any car.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
MPG (City) 21 21 21 26
MPG (Hwy) 28 31 29 33
MPG (Combined) 24 25 24 29

The turbocharger on the EcoBoost Mustang works wonders for it, helping the much heavier car boost similar efficiency figures as the 86 in the city, and more on the highway, managing 31 mpg overall. The MX-5 Miata has much less weight to lug around than the 86 and manages 5 mpg more than the 86 in the city as well as the highway.

2018 Toyota 86 Exterior

“The 2018 Toyota 86 isn’t just a mechanical twin to the Subaru BRZ, but the two look nearly identical as well, with only small differences in front-end styling and trim. We like its long, low hood and extra-low stance, which are meant to recall the legendary”-KelleyBlueBook

Dimensions and weight

2018 Toyota 86 Exterior
2018 Toyota 86 Exterior

Toyota describes the 86 as a small, light, and fun car performance car. The small and light part can be objectively agreed on by everyone, as the little 86 manages to keep both its size as weight in check. At just 166 inches in length, the 86 is as big as a hatchback. It also weighs a little less than 2.8 thousand pounds, which is pretty light by any standard.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2774 3532 2789 2445
Wheelbase (in) 101.2 107.1 101.2 90.9
Length (in) 166.7 188.3 166.7 154.1
Width (in) 69.9 75.4 69.9 68.3
Height (in) 50.6 54.4 50.6 49.0
Ground Clearance (in) 4.9 5.1 4.9 5.3
Track Width – Front (in) 59.8 62.3 59.8 58.9
Track Width – Rear (in) 60.6 64.9 60.6 59.2

Ford employs clever engineering to reduce the weight of the Mustang as much as possible, but the car still tips the scale at over 3 and a half thousand pounds. The Miata is the lightest car here, and under 2 and a half thousand pounds, which is extremely impressive. The Miata also has the highest ground clearance here, at 5.3 inches, bigger than most big bumps out there.

Exterior features

The 2018 Toyota 86 has a lot of features that instantly set it apart from the crowd and make it feel more upmarket than the others. These include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch with higher trims)

    2018 Toyota 86 Exterior Features
    2018 Toyota 86 Exterior Features
  • Rear Spoiler (on higher trims)
  • Dual exhausts on the back
  • LED daytime running lights

2018 Toyota 86 Interior

“The 2018 Toyota 86 features some quality materials, but it’s designed as a driver-centric car, and the setup prioritizes function over form. The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, while the rear seats are virtually unusable”-Cars.USnews

Seating and Comfort

2018 Toyota 86 Seats
2018 Toyota 86 Seats

2018 Toyota 86 Seats

The Toyota 86 is officially listed as a 4-seater, although the rear passenger might find the space to be rather cramped for use. The rear seats are best used as extra luggage space, or for ferrying kids around. The front seat, however, offers plenty of space for the driver and front passenger.

Stepping into the car, the first thing you notice is the all-black interiors, which lend a sporty feel to the car. On closer inspection, however, the cost-cutting becomes apparent. The cheap plastics on the dash and the door panels, although well masked, feel extremely down-market.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
Passenger Capacity 4 4 4 2
Passenger Volume (Ft.3) 76.5 84.5 76.5 N/A
Headroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 37.1/35.0 37.6/34.8 37.1/35.0 36.8/N/A
Legroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 41.9/29.9 44.5/30.6 41.9/29.9 43.1/N/A
Shoulder Room (Front/Rear) (in.) 54.5/51.7 56.3/52.2 54.5/51.7 52.2/N/A

The EcoBoost Mustang offers the most comfortable rear seats but still feels cramped for even average sized passengers. The Miata MX-5 pays the price of being light by not having rear seats at all, thus sacrificing practicality for performance.


2018 Toyota 86 Infotainment
2018 Toyota 86 Infotainment

The infotainment system on the 2018 Toyota 86 is somewhat bare basic. The base variant gets a 7-inch touchscreen display while the higher trims get a 4.2-inch multi-information display screen. Apart from that, there are a few other things available:

  • Eight-speaker Pioneer audio system.
  • USB charging ports
  • Navigation (optional)

Cargo volume

2018 Toyota 86 Cargo
2018 Toyota 86 Cargo

The cargo capacity of the Toyota 86 is extremely limited, with only 6.9 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk. Thankfully, the rear seats can be folded to liberate space in the back, which is a huge boon when carrying those huge luggage bags.

Model Toyota 86 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback Subaru BRZ Premium Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club
Trunk Vol. (Ft.3) 6.9 13.5 6.9 4.8

The Mustang offers the most space in the boot in this class, although it still is quite disappointingly inadequate. The Miata neither has a sufficient boot, nor does it have rear seats, and thus is incapable of carrying luggage almost entirely.

Safety Features

The 2018 Toyota 86 comes packed with a host of safety features, in order to keep the driver and the passengers safe. Toyota claims that the performance was their first priority, and safety was their second.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
ABS And Driveline Traction Control
Side Impact Beams
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
Low Tire Pressure Warning
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
Airbag Occupancy Sensor
Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Pretensioners
Back-Up Camera

NHTSA Ratings

The NHTSA ratings for the 2018 Toyota 86 are given below:

Overall Rating N/A
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 4 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating N/A
Side Barrier Rating N/A
Side Barrier Rating Driver N/A
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat N/A
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat N/A
Combined Side Rating Front Seat N/A
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat N/A
Rollover Rating 5 Star

IIHS Ratings

The 2018 Toyota 86 has received excellent ratings from IIHS. The car got good in every safety test conducted. Below are the ratings for the Toyota 86:


Small overlap front driver side Acceptable
Small overlap front passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

Front Crash Prevention N/A
Headlights N/A

2018 Toyota 86 Head-to-Head competitors

Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback

The Ecoboost Mustang is a very impressive car, outperformer the V6 Mustang that it replaced. As far as budget performance cars go, the EcoBoost tick all boxes. It is fast, agile, plenty of torque, and can be taken on long distance journeys without much worry. The only problem, however, is its name.

Enthusiasts have long argued whether a muscle car should be offered with anything other than a V8. The EcoBoost, with its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, might never gain momentum as a real muscle car, and might never be accepted as a Mustang.

Subaru BRZ Premium

The Subaru BRZ is the same car as the Toyota 86, with a change of badges being the only differentiating factor. Thus, unless one dealership is offering better insurance than the other dealership, there isn’t much reason to differentiate between the two.

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club

The Miata is the lightest and the purest car among this bunch, and with its tiny size, it is quite a lot of fun to throw around the corners. The car is perfect for people who already own a proper car for practical uses and need a second car for weekend getaways. If, however, you need a car for any reason other than fun, the MX-5 is not for you.

Final Verdict

The purists claim the Toyota 86 indeed has that old school flavor with new age reliability. The original 86, made famous by the popular anime show ‘Initial-D’ was a beautiful machine, crafted by engineers to be light and agile. The new one manages to preserve the legacy while being a better car in every single aspect. The practicality takes a little hit, although it’s not much of a deal breaker.

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