2013 Subaru BRZ: Interior Advantage
February 12, 2013
The 2013 Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S may be the same car, but they're not the same car. If I were buying something to autocross, to turn into a T4 SCCA racer, it'd be the Scion all the way due to its lower price and slightly briefer equipment list.
But the Subaru BRZ would my choice for a daily driver. Appearance-wise, I like the wider-at-the-top front grille styling. Most of all I prefer the interior.
Navigation and satellite radio are standard on the Subie but are not available without a dealer-installed or aftermarket upgrade in the Scion. I'm neutral on this point because I can replicate navi to my satisfaction with an iPhone app. Beyond that, the Subaru's high-level Limited trim has no equal on the Scion side, so it's the BRZ all the way if you want heated seats, pushbutton start with proximity door unlocking or automatic climate control.
I only care about seat heaters to the extent that my wife is a huge fan. Pushbutton start is a "whatever" gimmick at first glance but I do like being able to keep that proximity key in my pocket without having to fish it out to start the car and lock or unlock doors. But when it comes to A/C, sign me up for the set-it-and-forget-it convenience of automatic climate control. Full auto, 73 on the dial and I'm happy. I'd rather concentrate on the drive in a car like this and let the thermostat sort out my comfort.
At the end of the day the BRZ, particularly the Limited, has daily-use convenience features the Scion doesn't offer. Then again I recently returned from an SCCA National points race weekend. T4 is a competition class that's caught my eye, just as showroom stock once did. I'd strip all that stuff out for race prep. Maybe I need to look at the Scion.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 10,823 miles