2019 Toyota 86 GT new car reviews

Does this one really need any explanation? Nope, not really. The reintroduction of the Toyota Supra might be dominating the latest news cycle, but we’re spending the week with an old favorite, the Toyota 86 GT. It’s the updated take of the Scion FR-S and near twin to the Subaru BRZ.

What’s new for ’19? Not much. It’s still powered by a 205-horsepower version of Subaru’s flat-four and contains all the goodness that have made it an autocross and track staple since its introduction.

Wait, the press materials do show an update for the year, the TRD Special Edition. Details from Toyota: “86 TRD Special Edition is North America’s highest performance 86 version thanks to some essential new parts: SACHS dampers, 12.8-/12.4-in. front/rear Brembo brakes, and exclusive 18 x 7.5-in. alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires (sized 215/40R18 85Y all around).” It’s basically what we saw on the BRZ Performance Package.

Our car, though, wasn’t so equipped, although it did showcase something else that’s new: Neptune has been added to the available colors.

Our car also had the Premium Audio w/Navigation and the GT package, bumping the total to $30,800. Shed all of the options, and the 86 starts at $26,445. Looking to spend less? MSRP on the BRZ starts at $25,795.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

It’s still one of my favorite cars of the past decade. Call it today’s version of the NA Miata or the E30 BMW.

It needs more power? Yeah, we’ve heard that one before. Yes, Subaru could add more–from, say, a turbo–but with that would come more weight, more complexity, more heat and, yes, more expense. And for those who have cried for more, well, now those calls have been answered with the announcement of the Supra. (Personally, I think that the 86/BRZ looks way better.)

It had (sadly) been a couple of months since I had driven one of these, and two minutes behind the wheel reminded me why it’s a favorite. It’s the right size, the right shape, the right everything. Love the gauges, shifter, pedals and seat. It’s more analog than some of today’s other offerings. It’s even good on gas and looks great.

If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because we’ve made a run for it.

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Comments
NickD
NickD UberDork
2/18/19 10:29 a.m.

I'm really not a fan of the updated bumper. It just looks at odds with the rest of the car for some reason

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/18/19 11:35 a.m.

if they had just added a turbo to those cars, it would have been the second coming to a lot of people

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
2/18/19 11:39 a.m.

Fangs?

Ironic in that a lack of fangs is what people dislike about this car.

I still like mine. Would not buy another because of the boxter engine. 

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/18/19 2:11 p.m.
NickD said:

I'm really not a fan of the updated bumper. It just looks at odds with the rest of the car for some reason

Neither am I.  The back end got 'Civic'd'  Designers take exceptional liberty during refreshes and often produce some serious bastard children designs. 

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/18/19 2:13 p.m.

Ah, the power issue...again.  If you want something with a big honkin engine that goes like hell in a straight line then purchase such a vehicle. Don't ruin the balance, weight or price point of this current product. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/18/19 2:21 p.m.

I have to say, the new special edition in BRG looks awesome:

Although appears to be JDM only right now. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/18/19 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Coupefan :

For many, power isn't the issue, it's the way the power is delivered.  The "flat spot" at about 3,500 rpm is a real downer.....for me at least.  I wouldn't mind 200hp if it was delivered in a zingy-- rush to the redline sorta way.

Great cars--- with an uninspiring engine.  IMHO 

That BRG does look fantastic though! 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/18/19 3:49 p.m.

What sort of color is "Neptune," anyway? I would have expected it to be blue and not black.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/18/19 3:53 p.m.
Coupefan said:

Ah, the power issue...again.  If you want something with a big honkin engine that goes like hell in a straight line then purchase such a vehicle. Don't ruin the balance, weight or price point of this current product. 

I’d agree with you if not for the turbo in the Mustangs and Camaros that this car is priced against.

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/19 5:07 p.m.

Personally, if it had just a free revving cammed up 2.5 liter NA engine, that would fit in the car without extra heat or packaging problems, give a boatload more torque throughout the rpm range and make for a much more fun to drive package. 2.0 liters the way its set up just aint enough...but it is fuel efficient. The one I had would get high 30s on the highway which was pretty nice for road trips. 

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