The Toyota 86 – A budget drivers car

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I have always been a huge fan of the Toyota Celica, so when the Toyota 86 (previously the Scion FR-S) came out I was excited!

While it may not be the same thing, and follow’s its bigger brother the Supra in having a RWD layout, it still had the similar DNA that the Celica did. Don’t get me wrong, the Supra is awesome, however the Celica has always been a favorite of mine.

[Image courtesy of Toyota]

So what is the Toyota 86?

The Toyota 86 is a small coupe (yes a two door, not one of those 4 door grand coupes) that has Subaru’s boxer engine in the front. 

The vehicle was produced in partnership with Subaru to cut down on costs. This resulted in an almost identical Subaru BRZ model that came out at the same time as the 86 (FR-S).

While the 86 has never really been praised as being a high power sports car, it more than made up for it in exceptional handling, and doing this at a great price. Toyota did finally release a STI model, however most of that was just aesthetic upgrades.

Steering wheel
The Toyota 86’s interior looks great, it isn’t super luxurious, but is reflective of the price [Image courtesy of Toyota]

Quick Specifications

  • Price: Starts at $26,655
  • Horsepower: 205 hp @ 7,000 rpm
  • Torque: 156 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy: 21 mpg town, 28 mpg hwy, 24 mpg combined
  • Wheelbase: 101.2 inches
  • Vehicle Length: 166.7 inches
  • Vehicle Width: 69.9 inches
  • Vehicle Height: 50.6 inches
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gallons
Front side corner view
[Image courtesy of Toyota]

Who should buy it

The Toyota 86 is perfect for anyone that wants a fun car they can throw around. 

With the Toyota/Subaru reliability, and the low price it is great anyone that wants to get started with the sports car market, but doesn’t want to deal with the initial expense, or the maintenance cost of many of it’s competitors.

Toyota 86 Front view
[Image courtesy of Toyota]

Who should not buy it

This vehicle is meant for fun, however because of this, there isn’t much of a back seat. This vehicle won’t work well for families, or if you plan on taking more than one person anywhere.

If you are one of those that need a 4 door vehicle, but want a fun Toyota, think about a TRD version of the Camry or Avalon.

What else could you buy other than the Toyota 86

There are a few other options that are worth the look. The new Supra is of course topping that list, if you have a bit more of a budget and don’t mind that it is also a BMW, then it’s a great option.

The Subaru BRZ, and Impreza. The Miata (even the 30th anniversary version), and the Fiat 124 are also in this price range, and give a fun driving experience.

The TRD 86 has red and black interior
[Image courtesy of Toyota]


The Toyota 86 is starting to become a bit of an older car, even when new. The 86 still looks great though, and is a great option for the price.

Now let’s see what the next generation 86 brings us!

Make sure to build your own 86 on the Toyota 86 builder, whether you want to buy one or not. It’s fun!

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