By Mike Hagerty
There is a road in Japan called the Hakone Turnpike, a marvelous winding road with magnificent 360-degree views in some places and surrounded by the greens of nature. A road just made for a car like the 2020 Toyota 86.
The Toyota 86 was, until a couple of years ago, the Scion FR-S and still is the Subaru BRZ. We’ve made no secret of our love for it from day one, calling it (and why stop now?) the true spiritual successor to the original Datsun 240Z.
Like the original Z, it’s not an overpowered pavement-ripper. It has just enough power in just a light enough body. In the case of the 86, that’s a 2-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine made by Subaru. With a manual transmission, it’s 205 horsepower. With an automatic, like our tester, it’s 200 horsepower. Zero to 60 mph happens in 7.6 seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency estimate is 24 mpg city/32 highway.
Now, where the 86 really shines is on your favorite winding road. The balance is superb, the response to inputs immediate and satisfying. This is the car that will have you taking the long way to everywhere you go.
The Hakone Edition is an appearance package – the Hakone Green paint resembles a metallic British Racing Green – with bronze wheels, a body-colored rear spoiler and a beautiful tan leather and black faux suede interior.
Base price is $30,590, which includes nice upholstery, a decent stereo, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and more of what we consider basics today that were unfathomable luxuries a half-century ago in the original 240Z.
It offers zero extra-cost options, which means that with $955 delivery processing and handling fee, the bottom-line price on the window sticker is $31,545.
That is an absolute screaming bargain for the fun you’ll have behind the wheel. If I were in the market, I’d find the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition very hard to resist.
Mike Hagerty, vice president of membership for Western Automotive Journalists (waj.org), has been writing about cars since 1997. Read more of his reviews on his website (tirekicker.blogspot.com) and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/mikehagertycars) and Facebook (facebook.com/mikehagertywritesaboutcars).