Do you like fun? Joy? Happiness? I have discovered this in car form, and it is the 2017 Toyota 86. Fret not the garbage-speak of too little power. It has enough power to do donuts, and that’s all that matters. It’s light. It’s tossable. It’s everything that’s missing from my life, and I need one now.
(Full disclosure: Toyota apparently makes me want to drop everything and figure out how car payments work, so they dropped off a new 86 at my house for a week with a full tank of gas.)
What Is It?
The Toyota 86 is not entirely new. It’s the lightly reheated version of the Scion FR-S for 2017, with a new name and a new badge now that Scion is dead. RIP Scion.
It still shares a 2.0-liter Subaru boxer four-cylinder engine with Subaru’s version of the car, the BRZ. The car received a tiny power bump with the branding change, along with the “86” name the rest of the non-Scion-getting world has been using from the start.
Surprisingly, Toyota has stuck with the same Michelin Primacy HP model of tire that forums have derided as hard, grip-less “Prius tires. They’re the tires that once helped one of my FR-S-owning friends eat a curb. However, perhaps the issue has been overstated, as these summer 240-treadwear tires didn’t seem as if they would actively try to kill you with too much mad dorifto action in an evasive maneuver, at least on the warm days we had for this test.
Why Does It Matter?
When the Toyobaru twins came out five years ago now (!), they were heralded as the second coming of Car Jesus: relatively lightweight, inexpensive rear-wheel-drive coupes that came with manual transmissions. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ were the fixed-roof fun cars Mazda wouldn’t sell us. Finally, convertible haters like myself could experience true vehicular happiness in a new car without worrying about a garbage folding roof.