2017 Toyota 86, 2017 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S

Review: 2017 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe Gets Minor Tweaks; It’s Still the Best Sports Car for the Money


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The 2017 Toyota 86 sports coupe gets a few tweaks to retain it’s status as the best sports cars for the money. What upgrades make it an even better value?

The 2017 Toyota 86 is a driver enthusiast’s dream, as it’s still one of the best automotive values on the planet. That’s a pretty strong recommendation for a sports coupe that needs a complete remodel. The 86, formerly the Scion FR-S before Toyota ditched the brand, has been around since 2012 and could use a major remodel. But the sports coupe may not need as much as you think.

What’s new for 2017?

For 2017, the Toyota 86 features a minor refresh that includes some exterior styling changes, revised suspension settings, a bit more power, and upgraded interior materials. The changes make it more attractive, more comfortable, a bit quicker, and give it better grip as the rear wheels push it through the corners.

Features and options

The 2017 Toyota 86 ($26,255) comes standard with cloth seats with manual adjustment, fold-flat rear seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with leather trim, aluminum pedals, Bluetooth, keyless entry, rearview camera, eight-speaker Pioneer HD radio with touchscreen, LED tail lamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, limited-slip differential, traction control, and hill start assist are also standard. Total MSRP as tested: $27,120 including destination.

Exterior design

The Toyota 86 gets upgrades over the Scion FR-S, with a wider and more aggressive grille. It features LED headlamps, flared front fenders that bulge upward, and new gills that create a vortex to improve airflow. Out back, there’s a refreshed bumper, LED tail lamps, and a diffuser with one more slat to improve downforce. The alloy wheels with twisted spokes have also been change from the FR-S.

Interior highlights

Stepping inside, reveals a sporty cockpit that’s completely driver focused. Gauges are located squarely in front of the driver, and the diameter of the steering wheel is about one inch smaller than it was in the FR-S, for a sportier feel. The sport front seats are excellent, comfortable and well-bolstered keeping us firmly in place during our more spirited driving this week.

The cabin in the sports coupe is basic, but classy and the quality of materials is excellent for this price point. The upholstery is one-tone and there’s carbon-look accents, while the dash and door panels feature an attractive synthetic suede with silver stitching. There’s enough room up front for taller drivers and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel helped us find the perfect driving position. More on Page 2.

In the back, the rear seat is only good for small kids, cargo and storage. Don’t try to fit an adult back there, unless they lay down. The seats fold flat for extra cargo-carrying ability, and Subaru likes to say the BRZ twin’s trunk can hold enough for a track day: four wheels with tires and a toolbox. Overall, the cabin is a great place to spend a day at the track, or for short commutes.

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