Our Cars: Toyota 86: The End.

Our 86 journey comes to an end with a surprising twist
By Imthishan Giado

 Toyota 86 Final Report

Has it been a year and a half already? It has indeed and sadly, the time has come at last to part ways with my Toyota 86.

Why am I selling it? The objective of this exercise was to find out: a) what it was like to live with the hottest car of 2012 and b) see how a person can modify it without knowing a thing about modding and more importantly, not ending up with something from the The Fast & The Furious. The first part was easy: it’s a Toyota and has been reliable as you would expect from the brand. Perhaps I have been lucky with this first year car from very early in the production run; others have reported noisy DI fuel pumps, ECU problems and rattly shifters but my car has been completely faultless from the day it was delivered.

For the second…well, I’ve gone as far as I could go with bolt-on mods. Performance-wise, the next logical step would have been ECU tuning and some form of forced induction – both of which would have voided what warranty the car had (the status of the header upgrade is particularly murky) and some stiffer suspension, compromising the car’s daily liveability in the pursuit of…what exactly? I have driven the car in a ‘spirited manner’ for sure, but I have little interest in entering competitive motorsport or tracking the car on weekends, so this would be as far as my journey goes. To their credit, I know plenty of owners who have seriously modified their cars and seen good results – more power to them, but they are certainly aware of the risks involved.

With that in mind, I set about de-modding the car and returning it to stock, in preparation for a sale on Dubizzle. The great thing about the popularity of this car is that the grapevine is already well established and so the parts sold quite easily. All told, I netted AED6695 from the sale of the headerback-system and the Alcantara hood; the Advan wheels and the trunk liner I left on the car as a mark of my ownership. Besides, I had sold the original 16s ages ago!

With great expectations for a car that is probably the best known 86 in the country, I set a starting price of Dh84,000, took the photos you see above, put a highly descriptive ad on Dubizzle and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

A week passed without a single call. Not even so much as an e-mail. Thinking I had been a mite too ambitious, I dropped the price to Dh79,000. What could possibly be wrong? Other cars on Dubizzle sported lower mileages than the 30,000km of mine so that might have been one reason. I seeded the ad on social media, friends posted it up and all to no avail. Not even a ‘last-price’ offer.

How could this be happening – and especially to a Toyota? I’ve never had trouble like this in the past selling a car. After two weeks, I made a final price drop to AED74,000. And then the floodgates opened – sort of.

Toyota 86 Final Report

What instead happened is that I got an absolute flood of annoying timewasters. Too cheap to make phone calls or even send an SMS it was a neverending stream of WhatsApps, each beginning with a ‘lowest price’ bid of around 70k. That was a pain, but it was highly desirable to what came next .

Three people in a row performed the same trick: they would call, see the car, test drive it and pronounce their intention to buy it, but they ‘just needed to sort out the finance first’. Naturally, no one would have the cash to pay for a deposit or to buy the car outright. And of course, I would never hear from them again. The last was the most vile; he wore a cologne so strong that the car reeked for days and despite promises to the contrary, had no idea to drive a manual properly, lurching around like a first-timer and starting in second! I called an early halt after just a few minutes and sent him on his way.

That was the last straw. After three weeks of stress I’d had enough of this constant stream of idiots. My new car was already waiting for at Trading Enterprises, so I went into the AutoMall used car department and asked them if they would take the 86 as a trade-in. After a brief once-over, they came back to me with a value for the car. Care to know how much they offered? I hope you’re sitting down, because I fell down when I got the offer.


That’s right, a mere sixty-seven thousand dirhams. For a car in absolutely perfect condition and with a comprehensive service history. The 86 had depreciated 29% in a year and a half of ownership, a AED28,000 loss in value from the purchase price of AED95,000. A steep, steep plunge.

Should I have expected more? My sources in the industry tell me 30% is a fairly standard drop for two-door sportscars and I was only feeling the sticker shock because I’d chosen to sell out so early, most owners waiting until the three year mark where they would receive roughly the same value. But I really expected more from a Toyota; a strong resale value is one of the reasons I’ve been buying them for so long. Thoroughly disappointing.

Other options? Honestly, there were none. No serious buyers had emerged, I had well exceeded the time limit I set for myself in this sale and I was thoroughly fed up with the experience of dealing with Dubizzle ‘buyers’. So after three miserable weeks, I called it a day and waved goodbye to my car, the AutoMall man driving it away to be refurbished and put up for sale anew.

Toyota 86 Final Report

Some final thoughts on the car that’s had such a strange journey with me. I loved the way this car looked and drove at the limit, but being totally honest, it never quite won me over completely emotionally until I began modifying it and truly making it my own. Only once I’d added a fruity exhaust and stylin’ wheels did the car become something I loved back with fondness; if it had remained stock I doubt I would have even noticed its loss.

And then there is the thorny question of value. You’ve read this far and seen how epic the depreciation was. I don’t count the ridiculous cost of modifications – no one is going to give you extra for them come sale time, most buyers tried to use them as a bargaining tool to ask for even less!

No, I’m talking about the cost of running the damn thing. Over the course of the past year, 86 servicing costs have crept up and up, to the point where an average 7,500km costs nearly AED1500. That’s more than what it costs to service a tyre-smoking Chevrolet Corvette! Frankly, it is unacceptable and even given the dealer’s claims of ‘more expensive oil’, hard to justify. Both the dealer and Toyota MENARO must work to lower these costs because it makes the car an unappealing purchase, considering the rather basic performance on offer. Against more powerful and practical cars like the Ford Focus ST with 10,000km service intervals to boot, the little 86 stands no chance. .

So given the poor resale value, the high cost of service and the expensive aftermarket parts, would I buy the 86 today? My surprising and somewhat sad conclusion is that I would not. It’s been a great ride and I don’t regret any part of the journey – but it asked simply too much of my wallet.

Still. If you see mine out there someday…give it a pat from me, will you?

Costs to date
Previous costs: Dh30399
Final service (with summer discount): Dh568
Final running costs: Dh30967

Read more here!

Part 1: The Deal

Part 2: The Checklist

Part 3: The Workshop

Part 4: The Delivery

Part 5: First Service

Part 6: Clever Vs Dumb

Part 7: Service and a Scrape

Part 8: The Wheels

Part 9: The Mods

Part 10: End Of The Road


11 responses to “Our Cars: Toyota 86: The End.”

  1. Jay says:

    Driving a spanking new car off the lot is like flushing your hard earned $$$$$s down the oval office. Added with Stealer servicing costs is just plain stupid. I trust that you have learned your lesson. I would have never expected a Toyota to drop so much, well then again it’s a Toybaru and that’s probably the reason why!

  2. A says:

    Check the selling price of your car if you have not already: http://www.automalluae.com/store/en/automall/toyota-86-jf1zn11a0dg002811

  3. marc says:

    so what comes next for you then?

  4. Essa says:

    Dear Imthishan,

    I loved reading every single word and watching all videos of your purchase and got so hyped that about 2 months after you I got an 86 identical to yours. however, I sold my 86 for the exact same reasons plus I suffered from the ECU issue at 500km but got it replaced after having to wait for 2 weeks.

    Service was ridiculously expensive even more than my LX570, I thought I would save by getting the 86 as a 2nd car apparently, I was wrong. Furthermore, I hated the car when I was informed that the 15k km service is for 1500aed and when I asked for a breakdown they said 600aed of the cost goes for replacing the AC filter. At this point I didnt know who to hate, AlFuttaim Motors or the 86.

    My second shock was for the resale value, Automall offered 60k and my car had only done 25k km but, thanks to Allah I sold it on Dubizzle for 74k after advertising it for a little over a month.

    I have to say, I love the fact that you weren’t shy to mention the difficulties you faced with your experience, to me that is perfect auto journalism. Keep up the good work:)

  5. Jim says:

    Automall was buying my two year old A/T 86 for 60K, and I told them I’d rather bash the car in with a hammer than sell it for that price. I gave it to my sister and bought a Corvette – now I don’t get depressed when I try to accelerate!

  6. admin says:

    [Imthishan] Fantastic upgrade Jim, hope you got it with a stick!

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