I sank into the low-slung cockpit of the Toyota 86 expecting an athletic, but timid, coupe. After all, it starts below $27k and boasts only 205 horsepower, or just two more than a base Camry.
I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. The satisfying six-speed, sharp steering, agile handling, and howling exhaust dazzled; if blindfolded, I could’ve been convinced that I was piloting a late 2000s Porsche Cayman.
With throwaway back seats and a lack of low-end torque the 86 isn’t perfect, but for enthusiasts on a budget (who’ve passed on a Miata), it stands without rival.
– Chris Butsch