2019 Toyota 86 vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Toyota 86 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the 86 and the Fiesta ST 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.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota 86 is safer than the Fiesta ST:



Fiesta ST

Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

77 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia forces R/L

4.8/2.1 kN

5.7/3.4 kN


Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 86 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fiesta ST.


A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 86’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta ST’s camshafts. If the Fiesta ST’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 86’s reliability 53 points higher than the Fiesta ST.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.


The 86’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (200 vs. 197) than the Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The 86’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (205 vs. 197) than the Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

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



Fiesta ST

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.6 sec

17.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

93 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 86 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability (That’s why Porsche uses boxer engines.). The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.


The 86 offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 86 has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 86’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fiesta ST:



86 TRD Special Edition

Fiesta ST

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

12.8 inches

10.95 inches

Rear Rotors

11.4 inches

12.4 inches

9.96 inches

The 86’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Fiesta ST are solid, not vented.

The 86 stops shorter than the Fiesta ST:



Fiesta ST


70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

121 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 86 has larger tires than the Fiesta ST (215/45R17 vs. 205/40R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 86 TRD Special Edition has standard 18-inch wheels. The Fiesta ST’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Toyota 86’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Fiesta ST only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota 86 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Fiesta ST has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The 86 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 86 flat and controlled during cornering. The Fiesta ST’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 86’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Fiesta ST (101.2 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 86 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Fiesta ST.

The 86’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.2% to 44.8%) than the Fiesta ST’s (60% to 40%). This gives the 86 more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

The 86 has 2.5 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta ST.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 86 easier. The 86’s trunk lift-over height is 25.8 inches, while the Fiesta ST’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 86 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Fiesta ST. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.


The 86’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fiesta ST’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The 86 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the 86’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Fiesta ST’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The 86 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The 86 offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The 86 GT/TRD’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota 86, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Fiesta ST isn't recommended.

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

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