The beginning of a new legend.
If there’s one place where the Toyota 86 divides consumer opinion, it’s the way the interior feels. Undoubtedly this is the one place where budgetary cuts were made to make the car as affordable as possible.
While the top of the dash has felt material throughout, move below and pretty much everything is hard plastic, with various patterns and some slight silver trims here and there to break the monotony. The interesting part are the upper door panels, the steering wheel and the hand break which are covered in leather like material and bright red stitching. The cloth seats themselves are also completely black with red stitching.
The steering wheel is the smallest in any Toyota manufactured ever, while the dial cluster behind it is rather simple. Dominated in the center is the tachometer, while the speedometer is on its left. The speedometer is probably the single most annoying thing in the Toyota 86, at least in the base manual and automatic. Because of the way the dial is set, while driving at relatively normal speeds or even highway speeds, from 80 to 100kmph it seems like you’re barely pushing the car and that it’s ‘slow’. The mid-range and full options get a digital readout on the tachometer itself so you don’t need to pay attention to the speedometer.
On the center console area you’ll notice an extremely simple CD player, which has the options for external AUX input (via 3.5mm jack) as well as USB. Furthermore I was able to quickly hook up the system to my iPhone 4 for both Bluetooth voice calls as well as playback of audio from my smartphone. There’s no navigation option available in any of the trims.
The mentality of the Toyota 86 providing a core driving experience obviously carries over in the simplistic interior and the non-intrusive infotainment system. Due to the small size of the car and, by the same virtue, the interior, the speakers feel rather weak. When on the highway I usually had the volume up to 70% and more to be able to enjoy my music.
While road noise is what I expected from a car this small, it’s disappointing compared to the impressive sound-proofing found in many German cars of the same size. Of course, for the most part you’ll be enjoying the sound of the Boxer engine lying in front of you.