A New Car Review by E-i-C Vince; Before you get too concerned for me, don’t worry, I didn’t go out and buy a new car…but I think maybe somebody should. Hang with me as I explain my logic. I’ve wanted to feature more “new” cars on DT, because folks like us hunker down and accept the Cubanization of the fleet, we are put by the OE product planners into a marketing category with bacteria, fungi and other microbial forms of life that won’t buy their cars. As a result, things like manual transmissions, rear-wheel-drive, limited slips (just read my grumpy old man 2020 top ten list) go into the “obsolete” bucket and self driving, disposable, electric pods become the norm. At first I tried to find a really cheap manual transmission car like the Chevy Spark or Hyundai Elantra GT N but I was so disgusted by the styling that I had to up the budget to something just shy of $30k before I found something you should consider owning. Find this 2020 Toyota 86 offered for $27,060 starting MSRP via Toyota Dealers across the USA.
First things; this is a good looking car. Even in the Frigidaire white of the press photos from Toyota, it looks good (Neptune blue is particularly scrumptious) — a much better looking car than the new Bavarian Supra. I almost went with the Subaru BRZ version, but Subaru already knows that people love fun cars and I think the guys at Toyota need to re-learn this from consumers. Plus the BRZ starts at $28,845 MSRP…so advantage 86.
The Toyota 86 shares its 2.0 liter boxer-4 with the Subaru BRZ (from 2012-2016 it was called the Scion FR-S) and it puts out 205 horsepower and 156 ft-lbs of torque. No, this isn’t going to compete with the newest Dodge Challenger Hellspawn Deathstar edition, but it will hit 60mph in the mid 6 seconds range. The FA20D is built and designed by Subaru but features both port and direct injection from Toyota. The square bore-stroke design means the engine is reasonable in low-end torque and willingness to rev….and the 12.5:1 compression ratio means you should rev it!
Where Toyota gets things really correct is that they ship this thing with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard (yes, you can get an auto if you’ve lost a foot in a tractor accident, but you get 5 horsepower less with the slushbox — booyah!). Analog gauges complete a nice interior that is pleasantly old school — no stupid Tesla-esq iPad sticking up in the middle of the dash. It also uses a conventional e-brake, not a ridiculous button that won’t let you do j-turns. Traction control defeat button is right where it is easy to get to for everyday use. All things considered…there isn’t much I can complain about with this car. It even comes with a black fabric interior.
I’m not in the market for a new car — but if you are, buy one of these. Do it for the children.