Toyota 86 vs Subaru BRZ: The Ultimate Comparison

People looking for a budget-friendly sports car in the past several years might have come across two models – Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. The manufacturers upgraded both models in 2017 and the first one was rebranded as Toyota 86. The Toyota 86 vs Subaru BRZ comparison will help you get an idea of the things these cars have in common and differ from each other.

Despite having different names, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 have many similar features. If you just look at the appearance of the two models, it will be hard for us to find the different points between the 86 and BRZ. However, the latest Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have significant upgrades over their predecessors. That’s because the most important changes have been made under the hood and inside the cabin. To help drivers have more knowledge about these models, we will compare detailed features of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ in the part below:

Toyota 86 vs Subaru BRZ Comparison

Before delving into an in-depth appraisal of the models, you should know that Toyota and Subaru have developed the cars together. Their mechanical configuration is almost identical. However, despite having so many common factors, there are some subtle differences between Toyota 86 vs BRZ.

The look

Except for the front ends, the rest of the exterior of the cars are virtually identical. The 86 features a honeycombed plastic for its air intake with a trapezoidal front side. The BRZ has a U-shaped grille with a black plastic section and cross bars. It also has wider panel gaps than the 86.

The fog light’s surrounding shape is vertical in the Toyota model whereas it is square-shaped in Subaru.

toyota 86 vs brz
The front side is slightly different. (Photo: PistonHeads)

The interior

Both models received a dose of luxury updates in 2017. Soft materials took the place of rough, scratchy items. The front seats are spacious but the rear seats are somewhat cramped for room. The BRZ will have one extra point for featuring luxurious seats with leather sides and Alcantara inserts.

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The cars have all the standard interior tech and entertainment features. There are HD and satellite radios, Bluetooth features, a rearview camera, and an eight-speaker sound system. An LCD screen shows various performance-related figures. None of them has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support. The infotainment is what makes the difference because the 86 has a 7-inch touchscreen while BRZ’s is 6.2 inches.

Engine performance

People normally purchase a sports car to have an adrenaline rush while driving on the highways. The performance comparison of Toyota 86 vs Subaru BRZ shows that they are almost identical in this sector although the second one has a slight edge.

Both cars come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, rear-wheel drive, and sport-tuned suspension. They are available in six-speed manual and automatic versions with 205 and 200 horsepower, respectively.

toyota 86 vs subaru brz
Similar performance but 86 is better in reliability metric. (Photo: Deancent)

You can purchase the Toyota Racing Development accessories for the 86 model while Subaru offers more control and power over handling and stopping with performance shocks and Brembo brakes.

The warranties for both models are the same – the basic one covering 3 years/36,000 miles and the powertrain warranty covering 5 years/60,000 miles. However, Toyota defeated Subaru in terms of reliability. The Subaru model records only 2.5 out of 5 on the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability scale while it is 4 for the 86.

Fuel efficiency

The BRZ is slightly ahead in this sector. The manual BRZ has 21/29 mpg city/highway fuel economy ratings while the 86 is slightly behind with 21/28 mpg city/highway ratings. The ratings are almost similar to the automatic models. The BRZ is ahead with 24/33 mpg city/highway ratings while the 86 has 24/32 city/highway ratings.

toyota 86 vs subaru brz
Rears 86 and BRZ. (Photo:Marshall CarsTown)

Moreover, the software of the central control system, the balance system, the shock absorber, and certain components are also used by each company independently. The 86 is mainly designed for engine response while the Subaru BRZ emphasizes more on the facility factor, but both have the same goal of giving the fastest, most responsive, and lightest sports car to the customers. The lead engineer of this project, Yasunori Suezawa, said that in addition to the design, the two models also have a steering system and suspension being significantly different.

It is not a great difference but you should go for the Subaru model if fuel economy is what you want.


From the discussion about Toyota 86 vs Subaru BRZ, it is clear that both models have similar features and specs. Mechanically, Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are identical. However, Subaru has done most of the work on the technical side, so it offers a more typical Subaru than Toyota driving experience, and it can be the reason why the Subaru BRZ will stay ahead besides its lower starting price, fuel efficiency, and more stylish exterior.