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Eric's Autos: 2019 Toyota 86

Eric Peters on

Many people buy Toyotas because they are Toyotas, which have a reputation for being durable, reliable cars that depreciate less fast than cars with other badges.

But how about a Subaru with a Toyota badge? Does the mojo transfer?

What It Is

The Toyota 86 sport coupe is the only Toyota made by another car company -- with another car company's engine under its hood but a Toyota badge on its hood.

It's functionally identical (and nearly cosmetically identical) to the Subaru BRZ.

Both are similar to the Mazda Miata -- their primary rival -- in terms of being rear-wheel-drive sports cars. But the twins have back seats, which the Miata doesn't; aren't convertibles (the Miata is); are powered by low-mounted/horizontally opposed "boxer" engines (Porsches are the only other cars that have these); and have large trunks for small, purpose-built sports cars (the Miata doesn't).

 

As for why Toyota is selling Subarus ...

At first, it wasn't. Scion, Toyota's small car brand, sold it as the Scion FR-S. But Toyota canceled Scion, leaving the FR-S (which was the one Scion that sold well) without a place to be sold. Under the Toyota 86 label, it's still a Subaru in all but name and price, the latter of which is slightly higher than it was under the Subaru label.

You can buy the BRZ for $25,795. The lowest-priced version of the 86 is $26,655. A top-trim BRZ Gray Series costs $30,140. The Toyota 86 TRD costs $32,420.

Toyota's rep doesn't come free.

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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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