2018 Ford Fiesta ST vs. 2018 Toyota 86

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fiesta ST are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota 86 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Fiesta ST’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The 86 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Fiesta ST has standard 911 Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 86 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Fiesta ST and the 86 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.


There are over 2 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fiesta ST’s warranty.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Fiesta ST has a standard 500-amp battery. The 86’s 390-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.


The Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (202 vs. 151) than the 86’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (202 vs. 156) than the 86’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Fiesta ST is faster than the Toyota 86 2.0 (manual transmissions tested):


Fiesta ST


Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17 sec

17.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta ST gets better fuel mileage than the 86 with its standard engine (26 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/28 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fiesta ST uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 86 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Fiesta ST has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 86 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Fiesta ST stops much shorter than the 86:


Fiesta ST



70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

124 feet

127 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Fiesta ST’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 86’s standard 45 series tires.

The Fiesta ST has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the 86, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Fiesta ST has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The 86’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Fiesta ST’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 86 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Fiesta ST handles at .92 G’s, while the 86 pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Fiesta ST’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 86’s (35.5 feet vs. 36.1 feet).


The Fiesta ST is 6.6 inches shorter than the 86, making the Fiesta ST easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Fiesta ST is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the 86 is rated a Minicompact.

The Fiesta ST has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 86 can only carry 4.

The Fiesta ST has 8.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 86 (85.1 vs. 76.5).

The Fiesta ST has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.9 inches more rear hip room than the 86.

Cargo Capacity

The Fiesta ST’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The 86’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The Fiesta ST has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The 86 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


The power windows standard on both the Fiesta ST and the 86 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fiesta ST is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 86 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Fiesta ST has a standard rear wiper. The 86 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fiesta ST has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 86 doesn’t offer rear vents.


The Fiesta ST was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The 86 hasn’t been picked since 2013.

The Ford Fiesta ST outsold the Toyota 86 by almost seven to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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