If you did not know yet, Al Futtaim Motors generously offered us a top range Toyota 86 to test drive for a few days. Wherever I drive the 86, the car just gets attention from people on the streets. It looks too unusual for a Toyota, it’s anything but conservative ‘or boring’.
As a daily driver the Toyota 86 is a pleasant experience and here is the story of how life is with the modern day ‘hachi roku’, starting with the creature comforts.
The ride has got the typical crudeness you would expect out of a raw sports car but it manages to minimize it to a very refined level. The bucket seats are quite ergonomic and supportive. I drove for two hours nonstop without complaining about any fatigue or discomfort as the leather bucket seats were decently comfy.
The rear seats are barely useful; the only way to fit a tall adult in the back is to seat them across the rear.
Once the rear seats are folded down, you have almost double the trunk space; intentionally giving room for those who wish to transport their track wheels and tools.
Surprisingly, the trunk does not come equipped with a space saver rather a full sized alloy, which was a bit of a disappointment as spare wheel sticks above the trunk floor level; making it a bit tricky when it comes to fitting large luggage. Nevertheless, there is pretty much adequate space for such a tiny car.
Dual zone air conditioning is superb, mercilessly cold as expected. The 6 speaker audio system is average and fails to impress at least for those expecting some high-end stereo system but comes standard equipped with a Bluetooth & USB. The gauges are well laid out but the analogue speedometer is a bit hard to read. The fact you keep an eye on the large rev counter; your attention stays focused towards the second digital speedometer rendering the analogue speedometer useless.
The build quality is acceptable with plenty of hard plastic all over the space with exception to the higher quality soft touch materials at the right places like the dashboard and the padded door panels.
Overall, the interior is that of a very basic car with the generous creature comforts, it can be said that the 86 is perhaps one of the most refined entry level drivers’ car out there. There is no place for extra ordinary gadgetry, just the bare necessities laid out in a driver focused well organized, very accessible and ergonomic fashion. The six speed automatic is of course a major contributor when it comes to a smooth and refined ride but more about the mechanics and performance will be in the next review.