The Toyota 86 is a well known sports car that everybody seems to love. It looks good, it has a very sporty stance, and is very sleek. Driving past people, heads turn. But thats only on the outside.
On the inside, it is a very different story. The engine is very flat down low and in mid range. To get anything out of it, you have to rev it to near its redline to feel it actually work. The engine note is terrible, it sounds simply terrible. The cabin is very loud and the engine note can’t be ignored as it intrudes the cabin. It has a very short gear band meaning you have to change gears very quickly because it revs very highly. For example, as soon as you take off from a set of lights, you have to change from first to second almost straight away.
The interior looks dated in my opinion. I am not a fan of the drivers dash. The touch screen looks like a third party added accessory, the steering wheel has no controls which in my experience made a huge difference considering the screen interface is hard to operate anything. The climate control system controls are different but not easy to operate. While driving, you want the simplest controls for less distractions, I find myself every time looking for the controls I want. Same with the infotainment, very confusing to use. The infotainment works alright although needs a major update. The front seats I found to be somewhat comfortable but do a good job keeping you from sliding around.
The ride of the 86 is very hard and rough. Driving normally not on a track, it is a very unpleasant and very harsh ride. Sports suspension is supposed to be tighter for less body roll etc, but this compared to other cars with sports suspension doesn’t feel fit for our roads. It is not comfortable, its not compliant, its just harsh and unpleasant. You feel everything, every bump in the road, every pot hole etc. But when you do hook it into a corner with speed, it does feel pretty solid and confident. Just driving normally, the 86 seems to be very slippery on the road especially in wet conditions, it simply just loses traction with the slightest of acceleration. It slides all over the place.
The Toyota 86 is loved by many enthusiasts. It looks the part and it plays the part, but thats on the outside. On the inside, the Toyota 86 just doesn’t drive like a sports car, sound like a sports car, or is as engaging as a real sports car should be. It was such a surprise to me when first driving the Toyota 86 how different it was to what I expected. It is not cheap, and although it does come with good standard equipment is still pretty expensive. If you want an authentic sports car that’s fast, that drives, and sounds the part. Something that is more refined, more practical, where value for money is much better. It’s not much more for a Holden Commodore SS.
It was such a surprise for me when first driving the Toyota 86. Hopefully the 2017 Toyota 86 can address a lot of my concerns here, as the looks are there, the reputation is there, but a lot lets it down in my opinion as of now.