BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST
The 86 TRD, SE two door sedan is designed as a mini-sports car with attractive design and a six-speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive.
Seating is tight and low to the ground with very small back seats and small trunk space. Seats have manual controls without any power seat adjustments.
While the car looks great, the performance is lacking from the 205-horsepower engine that labored on mountain highways. The six-gear transmission works smooth and gear changes are a must to maintain higher speeds. The TRD is in bad need for a turbo-charged boost to the four-cylinder engine.
The sound system is awkward, it’s hard to change stations and the radio sound system was awkward competing with the loud tuned sports dual pipe muffler system.
The TRD is flashy in design but low in performance that needs more horsepower. Fuel mileage averaged 24 mpg overall, which seemed low considering the 205 horsepower and six-speed transmission.
Sometimes cars made in Japan at sea level are not tuned correctly for higher altitudes here in Colorado.
Made in Ota Gunma, the vehicle has a manufacturer’s suggested list price $33, 346, complete with all Toyota safety systems. The car has a four-star frontal crash rating. Built very low to the ground, the car had very little noticeable wind sway from mountain winds.
Younger drivers will find this car exciting to drive and the appearance is sporty.
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