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The 86 has a unique name and a fascinating history. It was launched as the Scion FR-S in 2013, making us wonder if there is a best year Toyota 86.

The 86 is an excellent choice if you are looking for a toy to play around with over the weekend. It is an entertaining coupe that comes at an affordable price. With an elegant interior and lively handling, the 86 is a sports car that gives you confidence behind the wheel and is fun to drive.

With an upgraded suspension, improved design cues, and an upgraded interior from previous years, 2017 is the best year Toyota 86. The coupe is fun to drive with its lively handling and offers a comfortable ride. It works as a daily driven vehicle that is fun when pushed to its limits on the track.  

One feature that we love about the 86 is its utility. It does not let go of the fun-to-drive experience, whether you take for running on the track like to twist around mountainside roads or use it as an everyday driven vehicle.

Our car experts find the car to be sturdy and reliable. It is designed to handle cornering forces most elegantly. The vehicle is agile and responsive to driver input yet remains comfortable when driven on uneven streets and roads. Toyota has put a lot of engineering into the suspension to give the vehicle the best of both worlds - handling and comfort.

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2017 Toyota 86

After the demise of Scion in 2016 (RIP), Toyota acquired three models from the company's lineup. The new vehicles come with new names. Toyota 86, which was the name used for this vehicle globally since its launch in 2013, was new to the US market.

The 2017 Toyota 86 was primarily the Scion FR-S with added design cues, improved suspension, better interior materials, and more power. The 86 is more comfortable, driver-oriented, and delivers better handling than the FR-S.

It is more about a fun driving experience than it is about power. It is also adequately comfortable to be used as a daily driven vehicle. It comes with only one standard variant with great accessories.

Design Features

The 2017 Toyota 86 prioritizes fun above everything else. This is evident from its sporty and stylish appearance. It seems to take inspiration from old-school sports cars but wears a modern and up-to-date style. It is low, long, and very sleek.

Upfront, the car wears a wide grille that looks complex and fits the vehicle naturally. The bumper and the fancy LED headlights add to the vehicle's aggressive look. The flared front fenders swoop slightly above the hood. They are equipped with side air ducts, which improve the airflow.

From the side, the car wears a simple look that features a low hood, followed by the roofline sweeping up and then down, forming a graceful arc to join the rear fenders and the short tail.

A stylish bumper with dual exhaust tips is mounted on the rear end with a rear diffuser that adds to the aesthetics and aerodynamics of the vehicle. Fancy LED taillights that sit right above the bumper are a significant highlight for the vehicle's appearance.

Step inside, and the cabin features a minimalistic design that uses good quality plastics. The monochrome color tone makes the bright gauge cluster seem even more brilliant. Towards the dashboard's center, the infotainment screen sits below the arched vents and above the controls for the air conditioner. Synthetic suede on the door panels and the dashboard add to the cabin's appearance, as does the silver stitching.

Performance Features

The Toyota 86 comes with one mission; to take a few gallons of gasoline and convert it into a never-ending supply of driving pleasure. It offers nimble handling, responsive steering, and an overall balanced ride.

The best year Toyota 86 ensures all of the above thanks to its stiff structure, improved damping, and a suspension tuned to deliver agility and responsiveness. The front suspension is tuned stiffer than the rear to provide better road grip and less tire noise.

The rear suspension ensures that the tires remain on the pavement with their flexibility. This feature reduces unwanted side skips and bump-steer, which happen when a car encounters a bump in the middle of a turn. This tuning helps to keep the car straighter, inhibiting you from popping the tail out or drifting the car.

However, the 86 is equipped with thick sway bars that help add the fun back into the tail. Also, the Track mode on the stability control allows more side slipping before the electronic babysitters get to work. It is not easy to pop the tail on the 86, but the car lets you play for a while once you enter a drift.

The 2017 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter, flat-four cylinder engine. This engine has four cylinders that are arranged in opposing directions. It is more like a V4 with the diagonal lines of the V laid flat. The engine produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet torque.

We cannot rate the engine as a high-torque monster, but pushing it to redline rpm will bring out considerable power for the enthusiast. The engine is designed by Subaru and is equipped with Toyota's direct injection. It can take a little while to get used to.

The engine can be coupled with either a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual to deliver the power to the rear wheels. The vehicle achieves 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds.

Even when pushed to the rev limits, the car might still feel slightly underpowered. We must keep in mind that the 86 is not for straight-line acceleration; instead, it is designed to handle twisty and curvy roads.

There are many performance upgrades available from the factory and aftermarket for enthusiasts. Parts like cold-air intakes, improved exhausts, anti-roll bars, and improved brakes can be installed to increase performance considerably.

Comfort and Space Features

The front seats of the Toyota 86 are well-bolstered, comfortable, and supported. They are nicely designed to keep you planted in the seat during sporty driving. The legroom and headroom are pretty good, and even six-footers will have no issue in the front seats.

The rear seats, however, are small. They are more suited for children than adults. They offer minimal knee and legroom, with the front seats pushed all the way back. However, if shorter adults sit in the front, the rear seat can accommodate two adults for short trips. Overall, we believe the rear seat is best suited for equipment or children.

We cannot call the trunk too spacious, but there is enough cargo space in the 86 to carry medium-sized bags comfortably. The rear seat can be folded away for extra cargo to provide additional space. The overall cargo space is not too much, but it is pretty good for a small coupe. The manufacturer claims that the 86's cargo space is large enough to hold four wheels, a helmet, a toolbox, and the driver, which is all you require for a conventional track day.

The interior comes with minimalistic colors, but don't let that fool you because it uses good-quality materials. There is not much flexibility inside the cabin, but it feels durable and nicely built. It feels practical and rightly misses the built-to-price impression. The soft-touch synthetic suede adds to the interior aesthetics.

The car is primarily quiet but starts to get noisy at high speeds. The road and wind noise becomes noticeable as the speed crosses 70 mph. There is a sound pipe hidden somewhere in the cabin to bring the engine's roar into the cabin, which most enthusiasts enjoy.

Safety Features

The 2017 Toyota 86 features many standard safety features but skips technologically advanced collision prevention systems. The safety equipment on the vehicle comprises:

Six airbags including:

  • Frontal airbags for driver and passenger to protect them from severe head injuries during a frontal impact.
  • Side, seat-mounted airbags for the front passenger and driver to reduce the impact of forces on the upper portion of the body by limiting the occupant's movement.
  • Side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers keep them safe during a side impact or a rollover.

Antilock Braking System ensures that the 86 retains traction during hard braking on slippery surfaces. This system prevents the wheels from locking up, resulting in uncontrolled skidding of the vehicle.

Traction control monitors the traction on the wheels of the 86. If any wheel loses traction, the system can adjust the engine power to help it regain traction.

Electronic stability control monitors 86's handling limits. If it detects the vehicle going beyond its limits, the system can reduce engine power to ensure that the driver retains control of the car.

Auto-leveling headlights ensure that the road is lit up at all times. Sometimes, when the vehicle is loaded up at the rear, the nose can pitch up, causing the headlights to not fall on the road. With auto leveling, you can be sure to have the beam hit where it matters the most.

Daytime running lights make the vehicle more visible from a distance on long stretches of road or track.

The 2017 Toyota 86 has not been thoroughly tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the federal testing agency awards the vehicle a four-star rating for frontal crash and five stars for rollover. Side crashes and overall safety remains unrated.

The vehicle, however, gained mostly "Good" ratings for the crashworthiness tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Toyota 86 receives an "Acceptable" score for the Small overlap test for the driver side, which is the second-best score.

Accessory Features

The best year Toyota 86 is available in only one trim and limited optional features. But the standard equipment on the 86 comprises a long list of accessories:

  • Cloth upholstery with Granlux Suede
  • Six-way adjustable seat for the driver, and four-way adjustable for the passenger
  • Tilting and telescoping steering wheel
  • Flat folding rear seat
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Aluminum pedals
  • Aluminum scuff plate covers for the flanges
  • Fancy LED lighting on the front and rear
  • A seven-inch touchscreen audio system with voice control, USB support, an aux jack, HD radio, and eight speakers
  • Rearview camera

The optional features include an improved audio system that offers iTunes compatibility and comes with Navigation, Aha Radio, and Pandora.

The following aesthetic and performance add-ons are also available:

  • Carpeted trunk
  • Mudguards
  • Forged wheels
  • Lower springs
  • Improved sway bar
  • TRD air filter and exhaust system
  • Rear spoiler

Fuel Economy Features

The 2017 Toyota 86 is powered by a boxer four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine. It comes with manual and automatic transmissions.

The EPA ratings of the 2017 86 come at 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg for combined driving with the manual transmission. Swap in the automatic transmission and the numbers change to 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on highways, and 27 mpg combined.

Since Toyota 86's maximum torque comes at high rpm, you will achieve good fuel economy when driving around the city. We feel that the economy numbers are good, but they are not impressive, especially because the vehicle requires premium fuel. With its 455 horsepower engine, even the Corvette can achieve 30 mpg on the highway, making the 205 horsepower Toyota 86 look pretty inefficient.

Price Range of the 2017 Toyota 86

Many factors affect the price range of the 2017 Toyota 86, like location, vehicle condition, optional features installed, and mileage. The prices begin at around $19,000 and go up to $27,000 for the 2017 Toyota 86. The average price is approximately $23,000.

Reliability of the 2017 Toyota 86

The 2017 Toyota 86 receives an above-average rating for its reliability from JD Power. It scores 3.5 on a scale of 5.

Why is 2017 the Best Year Toyota 86?

Before 2017, the Toyota 86 was sold as the Scion FR-S in the US market. The name was changed after Scion was discontinued in 2016. Toyota made significant improvements to the FR-S before launching it under its own brand name. The 2017 Toyota 86 features better handling and improved ride quality over the FR-S. It also adds features like sportier design cues, a rearview camera, and an upgraded interior.

Since Toyota did not make any significant changes to the models that followed, you can save a few dollars when buying the 2017 model and enjoy most of the features that the newer Toyota 86 flaunts.

Best Year Toyota 86

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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