Seeing double can be an exciting experience but can also be disorienting as well. When it comes to the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, this is often the case as both cars are essentially, the same. To make matters even more confusing, the same exact versions of the vehicle are offered overseas as well, under different names. In Japan the FR-S is more commonly known as the Toyota 86 and Europeans identify it as the Toyota GT86. It’s obvious why a manufacturer would have several names for a vehicle it’s selling across the globe, but when two manufacturers are selling the same exact thing, one would probably question what the difference is.
If anyone would believe it there is quite a difference, in the eyes of Subaru that is. The automaker co developed the car with Toyota and each had a specific plan of attack to market the car once it hit the market. Toyota’s focus was to hit a younger demographic and their option structure is a clear indicator of this. Only offering one trim, the Scion offers its options a la carte. To start, drivers have a choice of going with the standard manual transmission or upgrading to a six speed for an additional $1,100. After that, the sky is the limit when it comes to configuring the rest of the vehicle. This structure definitely makes it easier to get a performance vehicle without having to jump up a tier or two for additional functionality.
As far as the Subaru BRZ is concerned, their approach is a little more conventional but far more exclusive. To start, Subaru outright stated that there will be a limited production of the BRZ. In addition to this move, the BRZ is equipped with significantly more features right out of the gate and comes in two trims, the Premiere and Limited. The Premiere has a bunch of tech goodies already included, such as a voice activated navigation system along with hands free Bluetooth connectivity. Jumping up to Limited doesn’t add a ton more, but does provide a sportier look with the introduction of a spoiler, premium leather seats and keyless entry and start. The BRZ is also available in a 6 speed transmission as well. With the trim levels that are offered and limited quantity of the vehicle, it’s evident that Subaru is targeting an older demographic that may be a little bit more concerned with luxury than those just looking for a good time. Anyone looking to check out the BRZ a little further should view our inventory.
So what’s the real difference between the two vehicles? Performance wise, not much at all. Some have mentioned that the Scion’s suspension is a little bit stiffer than the BRZ’s, but otherwise that’s it. As far as how the two are packaged, the Subaru definitely delivers a bit more the price point. So it really boils down to preference. If having all the possible gadgets is a necessity then the Subaru is the way to go, but if looking to outfit the car with aftermarket parts, definitely stick with the FR-S. See, there isn’t any disguise for that double vision.