SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a small contingency of drivers out there, The kind of driver who loves having a feeling of being connected to the car and road. They’re loyalists to this passion and because of them, we have cars like the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone.
Starting off, this is not a fast car but neither are its competitors such as the MX-5 Miata. But that’s okay, the 86 isn’t about being fast — it’s about being nimble and offering a fluid driving dynamic. This Hakone, limited edition, comes in a British racing green color that looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s contrasted by tan colors inside the car that go extremely well together. It could easily be said that this version of the 86 is the best-looking.
What we have under the hood is a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine with a rated output of 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine you’ll find in all of the available trim levels. The Hakone, by default, comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, however, there is an automatic six-speed available as well. EPA ratings give the Hakone a rating of 21mpg around town and up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway with the manual transmission. The automatic goes up a notch at 24/32 respectfully.
With the Hakone package, you get the 17-inch bronze wheels, spoiler, black and tan Alcantara seats and that snazzy-looking green paint job. Mechanically, however, it’s the same as any other of the trim levels.
Check out the inside:
Inside, there’s actually a great deal of both headroom and legroom, even for taller people. While there technically is a rear seat, the amount of legroom back there is left reserved for small children. Both front seats are comfortable and provide adequate support, even for a road-trip. While there are many standard features here, such as adaptive cruise control, frontal-impact braking assist, blind-spot indicators and such, the overall dash looks a bit outdated. The main culprit of that dated look is the tiny screen to the infotainment system.
While there is support of Bluetooth audio, along with AM/FM/XM/CD and mp3 playback, the audio quality itself is a bit on the lackluster side. With the excellent sounding JBL-powered audio systems available in other Toyota vehicles, we’d like to see that as a standard option in this trim level of the 86. At least there is native support of Android Auto as well as Apple’s CarPlay.
What those who love driving will enjoy about the 86 is the way it handles. Nearly flat through the toughest corners, minimal body roll and lean. It’s very MX-5-like and that’s a great thing. What we don’t love about it is the lackluster power. Even though it has over 200 horsepower, the relatively low torque rating doesn’t do much to help get the car off the line or in passing at freeway speeds.
Considering its relatively low price of $29,870, it brings a lot of fun to the table. If you contrast it to the competition, it’s completely price competitive. While it doesn’t offer a convertible option like other cars in this class, it’s certainly a viable option.
At the end of the day, the Hakone 86 is a superb-looking sports car that offers exceptional handling and a lot of fun for its price point. Even though it started off as a Scion, Toyota has slowing been investing into the 86 to help make it more competitive than ever and the Hakone trim level certainly adds some flair.