- New tail lamps and center filler panel gave the base 1986 Firebird a modified look that was different from that of the upscale Firebirds.
- New lower body accent paint with sports striping
- Dual sport mirrors and a rear spoiler.
- Optional hood bird graphic decal also changed in appearance.
- All models had a power pull-down hatch with electric remote release optional.
- All models carried 15 inch tires.
- New options included a programmable, electrically-controlled day/night mirror.
- All base and SE Firebirds with V-6 or V-8 now had the optional Rally Tuned suspension with P215/65R15 tires on seven-inch Rally II wheels.
- New lightweight pistons went into the base "Tech IV" 151-cid (2.5-liter) four, which was connected to a standard five-speed manual gearbox.
- The Firebird SE carried a standard 173-cid (2.8-liter) V-6 with multi-port fuel injection.
- Both base and SE Firebirds could have a 5.0-liter four-barrel V-8 with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.
- The Trans Am had a standard 155-hp version of the 5.0-liter V-8 and a tuned-port fuel injection option that delivered 190 hp.
- A five-speed manual shifter was standard and a four-speed overdrive automatic was required with the tuned-port-injection (TPI) engine.
- The standard Y99 Rally Tuned suspension came with P215/60R15 tires on seven-inch cast aluminum wheels.
- The Trans Am's WS6 suspension package included:
- four-wheel disc brakes
- a limited-slip differential
- larger front and rear stabilizer bars
- P245/50VR16 Gatorback tires
- A new back-lit instrument cluster included an electric speedometer, which read up to 140 mph when equipped with the TPI V-8.