2017 Toyota 86

The 2017 Toyota 86 is a simple sports car that’s simply a blast to drive. It used to be badged a Scion before the brand was done away with last year.

Jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru, Subaru sells its own version of the rear-wheel-drive coupe. The new version has more aggressive front-end styling and all lighting is now LED, both front and rear.

The 86 has a no-nonsense interior with everything a sports car should have, including a thick leather-covered steering wheel, non-slip properly spaced pedals, and a precise six-speed manual shifter. An automatic is available.

Comfortable seats provide lots of support during hard cornering. A large center tachometer dominates the gauge cluster.

The back seat is so cramped that only young kids will be able to take it in small doses, so think of the 86 as a two-seater only.

The trunk is better, especially when you fold the one-piece seat back. Then, luggage space then is decent.

A 2.0-liter, flat four-cylinder engine from Subaru cranks out 205 horsepower, enough for such a lightweight car. Quite a bit of road noise makes it into the cockpit and would be tiresome on long trips.

The 86 is so much fun to drive, you’ll be looking for excuses to get in and go. Handling and braking are terrific.

So, for the 2017 Toyota 86, I say thumbs up to the fun, exceptional handling, and value; thumbs down to road noise and tight back seat.

I averaged about 26 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker price is $26,255.

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