By on July 10, 2012

While the Scion FR-S is performing well in its initial months of sales, the lower volume Subaru BRZ already has some cash on the hood, to the tune of $400.

While the BRZ was never intended to be the volume seller, the slightly pricier BRZ moved 818 units in June, compared to 2,684 examples of the FR-S. Data from TrueCar, provided to USA Today, shows a $400 incentive for the BRZ, which seems fairly early for a brand new, well-hyped sports car so early on in its life.

One area where the BRZ has the FR-S beat is transaction price. While the BRZ carries a price premium of $1,315 over the FR-S (which stickers for $24,930 for the manual, or $26,030 for the automatic), the BRZ’s average transaction price is a fair bit higher; $29,085 for BRZ, versus $25,653 for the FR-S. The Scion only comes with one trim level and a few options, while the BRZ is available in two trim levels, with both models featuring more equipment than their Scion sibling. Given the respective demographics of Scion and Subaru, the transaction price discrepancy isn’t so shocking. Though some of our xB owning readers will surely beg to differ, the odds of an FR-S owner working at McDonalds to pay the car note is far higher than that of someone buying a BRZ.

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61 Comments on “Subaru BRZ Already Comes With Cash On The Hood...”


  • avatar

    How’s the marketing support? Are people even aware this car exists? Is there any objective reason to buy the Subbie over the Toyo? Is the extra equipment worth the extra cash?

    Guess most people are thinking no.

    • 0 avatar

      Being able to tell your date “I drive a Subaru” rather than a Scion?

      • 0 avatar

        Hahaha! Guess that’s reason enough for some people. More power to them!

        BTW, did you see my article? 500L and 500X coming your way soon. No news on Punto or Panda, but I’m betting they’ll be thre in 2013 or 2014.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, I did. Tudo Bem. Let me know if you hear anything else…

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        Maybe it’s because I’m not 20 anymore, or maybe I’m just a brand-whore, but I’d buy the BRZ for that reason alone. The Scion name gives off a vibe I don’t want to be associated with at this point in my life.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “Being able to tell your date ‘I drive a Subaru’ rather than a Scion?”

        What if your date is a member of the opposite sex?

      • 0 avatar
        stryker1

        “What if your date is a member of the opposite sex?”
        Then it doesn’t matter cause, like, why didn’t buy a prius?

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        +1 Nostrathomas
        I tend to associate the Scion brand with barely developed 20 somethings with ADHD, a vocabulary I can barely understand and sunglasses with Dayglo coloured frames. I’d opt for the Subbie as well. I must be getting old.

      • 0 avatar

        Derek, Marcelo,

        Yesterday in Bloomfield Hills, I spotted a mfg plated Fiat 500 with cladding over what apparently were revised front and rear fascias.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        “Being able to tell your date “I drive a Subaru” rather than a Scion?”

        I don’t think (American) women are going to know (or care) one way or another, this may be different in other cultures. If your ride doesn’t say Corvette, Mustang, Mercedes, or Porsche what’s the point of bragging to the fairer sex?

        I have a friend who used to have a WRX, men were more impressed with it than the girls he took out.

    • 0 avatar

      hi Ronnie,

      Yes, apparently the 500 will receive a mild facelift some time next year. Probably for model year 2014.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      I’m no Subie fanboy, but it does seem to be a better value proposition from an equipment perspective.
      You get the HIDs, LED daytime running lights, and Navigation included that you won’t get with the Scion. The costs of this equipment are almost certainly more than the $2,000 or so difference.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The Subaru does have more equipment standard on both trim levels that what is even available on the Scion, and has a noticeably better finished interior with the option of leather. Plus, a somewhat more respectable brand image. Still, if I had to choose, I have to say I’d rather have one with Toyota GT86 badges.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    You can pay off a $25,653 car working at McDonalds? Maybe if you live in mom’s basement. If you want to spring for the BRZ I guess you have to move up the career ladder to Five Guys.

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      +1
      I don’t think the average McDonald’s worker makes that in a year, unless the minimum wage has been raised 3 or 4 times in the last couple weeks…

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        There are alot of spoiled kids out there who might pick one of these (or a tC) up with their parent’s help on the condition they do work at McDonalds or Wally World to help pay for it/learn responsibility.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      With a only modest amount of overtime, a minimum wage earner could *just* top $18,000 a year, which might be a somewhat liveable wage in Mississippi or West Virginia, but is pretty poor in most of the rest of the country.

      Still, with a 20% down payment and no trade, an FR-S could be financed for $350 a month. That would be 1/4 of minimum wage gross pay for the month. So, yeah, if your car was your only priority in life, I guess you could do it on a McDonalds paycheck, provided you either lived at home or in a very cheap apartment, ideally with several roommates.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Probably two reasons:

    – Most customers who do their research see the FR-S and BRZ as the same and thus there is price pressure on the one with the more expensive retail price.

    – The BRZ is an odd fit for the Subaru brand as it is not a fast AWD car or have appeal for the older wagon demographic so Subaru will need to spend more marketing dollars in getting likely sports car buyers to the dealerships.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    I guess the worries about rampaging Added Dealer Price were premature…

  • avatar
    levi

    $400 incentive on a $25,000+ car?

    I’m gonna rush right out and buy 2.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It doesn’t bode well.

    In contrast the much maligned and already getting dated Camaro has no cash sitting on the hood.

    The weak selling Genesis Coupe has $500 on the hood, if you’re a returning Hyundai customer.

    Given the engine problems, water in the taillights, and bad sensors out of the gate – this is looking more and more like a totally botched product launch.

    • 0 avatar
      challenger2012

      Sir You will send the Japanese Fans boyz in a tizzy if you keep writing stuff like this. Criticism is only used against American car makers, especially GM, while glowing praise is for anything non-American with the highest praise reserved for Toyota or VW. I offer as proof this headline that has been in TTAC for months. “Want To Save Gas? Don’t Buy American – Announcing The True Heroes And True Villains AT The Pump”

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Hey, I just got done writing something nice about the Impala and some of the readers are collaborating to build my scaffold…

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        Scaffolding is too expensive. Straitjackets, on the other hand…

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Maybe its just the articles I focus on, but I have noticed *alot* of discussion on GM, both hate and praise… which may or may not be well deserved. But I do notice the last of such duality from the Asian makes, sure there are some tempting models (like the BRZ) and neat stuff (such as LFA) coming out of Japan/Korea, but there’s quite a bit of crap coming out all well (turbo’d everything, engines with little to no low end torque, cannot seriously be safe microcars such as IQ, ugly models with refrigerator qualities, etc) which never seem to find much scorn.

        I’m happy editors such as JB can call it like he sees it and not let his bias get in the way of a good automobile product.

  • avatar
    L1011

    I’ve been watching the BRZ inventory at two NH Subaru dealers. Both have had the same BRZ’s on the lot for over six weeks. I visited one of those dealers after-hours this past weekend to discover they had added a hideous graphics kit that literally ruined the car. The price they added to the car was $499. What a boneheaded decision!! Does this dealer realize that there is no way I’d buy their BRZ now even if they discounted it $3,000?

    I’m GLAD the hype of the BRZ is finally dying down. I want one and it’s good to know the market has adjusted (i.e. $400 incentive). I refused to step foot in a dealership and be ripped off for a BRZ. Now that the hype is fizzling, maybe now is the time.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Are you guys hitting the crackpipe?? A coworker went to the local Subie stealership in Edmond, OK and they wanted $37000 for one. This include the Limited trim level, clear nose bra, window tint, rear difuser and a hefty $5000 markup. Needless to say he found another dealer (out of town) who wasn’t such a rip-off.

    • 0 avatar
      L1011

      The only ones hitting the crackpipe is ANYONE who would pay $37k for a BRZ. $500 over sticker is a rip-off, $5,000 is insane. Anyone who pays $5,000 premium for a BRZ deserves to part foolishly with their money.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      If I’m going to pay that much for a RWD sports car, it had better have a freaking V8 under the hood.

  • avatar

    Has anyone actually seen an ad for the Subaru? Scion runs one at least every 30 minutes on the major networks during prime-time, but I’ve yet to see a single shred of evidence the Subaru even exists.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve been wondering about this as well…

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I’ve been waiting for Subaru to adapt some hippy-friendly BS commercial to the BRZ.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s an interesting point. Subaru’s ad campaign for their brand in general is “love” and the commercials are all touchy feely. Maybe their agency can’t figure out a way to figure how to fit the BRZ, an enthusiast car, into that overall campaign. FWIW, I can’t recall seeing may WRX or STi ads either.

        Also, Scion is running ads fairly frequently on Speed TV and again, not a BRZ ad to be seen there as well.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        Me too. Subaru is still completely clueless at marketing their products:

        “Where The Suckers Moon is, primarily, a story about advertising, but along the way we get a true sense of Subaru itself: a company stumbling from failure to failure, forever being rescued by market conditions, outrageously misinformed buyer perception, and completely random factors. It’s simply a company that is too lucky to fail, no matter how hard it tries.” – Jack Baruth

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/book-review-where-the-suckers-moon/

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      I guess you missed all the LOVE ads.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      That’s what I was thinking… I’ve seen the FR-S ad about 20 times last week. But no love for the BRZ. However as mentioned by others the BRZ (and the WRX for that matter) does not fit with Subie’s current ad campaign.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’ve yet to see either car advertised and my local(San Diego) Scion and Subaru dealers have yet to list a single one in their online inventories or even list them as available models. There is an orange FR-S about a block away from me though.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …I’ve yet to see either car advertised…

      You haven’t seen the FR-S ads? REALLY? Do you live under a rock. I barely watch TV but those ads are on ALL – THE – TIME, both local market (here) and national syndication.

      I haven’t seen any marketing behind the BR-Z, but I really haven’t seen much for Subaru advertising in general lately.

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        I’ve never seen one either.

        My stations are Discovery, NBCSports for the Tour De France, Comcast Sports New England for the Celtics and Pats, BBC America for Dr. Who , AMC for Breaking Bad , History 2 for mindless “history” + Speed for F1 + Grand AM.

        I haven’t watched a ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX show in years except a NFL game.

        Either I’m in a demographic that has too much money or not enough for the cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Mzdaspd304

        I’ll have to agree here. I’m From St. Louis and watch FOX, ABC, NBC, for qutie sometime during dinner and only seen an fr-s commercial like twice. I’ve yet to see one on the road. As my typical morning commute takes me past a Scion/toyo dealership they are too far away for me to really “view” their inventory although I hear people at work saying the d’ships have them in stock ready to go..

        I will admit that we have like 30 Toyo/Scion d’ships in the stl area (maybe an over est.) yet we only have about 3 subie d’ships.

        Another note, I’ve never seen any person guy or girl over the age of about 25 driving an STi here. Although I see tons of speed 3’s running around. Ages probably 16-22 then around 28-35. You can ALWAYS tell the age of driver by what has been done to the car here.

        STL has a bad Fast and the Furious syndrome here…ugh also every person who drives a slowbalt ss or an srt-4 is better than Jesus. These kids have an ego so bad its pathetic. They believe that their SS or SRT-4 can beat any car ever made or ever will be made. RSX-S drivers around here are getting that way too.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      I saw a red FR-S automatic as part of some dealer displays at the local 4th of July classic car show. This was my first evidence that the car actually exists outside of the internet. I’ve yet to see one on the street, or in TV/radio/print ads.

      I must say, though, seeing it in person made me want it even more. The Cadillac XTS sitting next to it…not so much.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Checked Subaru’s website and they only have 2.9% financing incentive listed (no cash back).

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      The $400 is likely a dealer holdback and not cash.

    • 0 avatar
      Grahambo

      @mzdaspd304

      I’m in STL as well and profoundly agree with your first two paragraphs. However I don’t see the fast and furious thing at all in the parts of town I find myself in. Are you in South County or St. Charles perhaps? My sense is that South County in particular is heavy with youngins who define themselves by their rides. I see WRXs driven by a fair number of oldsters, but do agree that the STIs i see (which are quite rare even tho i live in the part of town with probably the highest concentration of Subies between New England and Colorado) tend to be driven by those on the younger end of the spectrum. Still no BRZs either.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    I have a $500 coupon good on any Subaru other than the STi (got it when we bought a Certified Impreza). Wonder if they’d take it on the BRZ?

  • avatar

    My little brother won a 45th Anniversary Camaro SS from GM during the Super Bowl. He wants to trade it in for a BRZ before he has to pay income taxes. Hopefully Subaru will be willing to talk, and talk reasonable words. I have a feeling the desirability factor of the Camaro will be many factors higher, even still, than the BRZ.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Wow that’s fricking awesome. Not a GM guy I take it? If I won something really nice like that I wouldn’t opt to trade it for the moon just to be able to tell the story. Now if I won a Camcord, it would be gone in about 48 hours to be replaced with something nice.

  • avatar

    Local Subaru dealership with a good reputation has two currently; I sat in and checked the sticker on the Limited one: a hair over $30,000. Not as bad as some… but more than a Limited WRX.

    I still want one…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      If you buy the BRZ, have the dealership do an engine swap with the WRX. Who cares if it doesn’t fit perfectly… improvise.

      I kid….I kid…

      (Or do I?).

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, I wanted one until I drove a FR-S. Never felt so disappointed driving a new car, and still feel that way six weeks later. Still monitor FT86Club.com to see what’s happening, and it seems that some owners are finally figuring out that the engine is reluctant to rev, there’s a dead spot on initial gas pedal prod that hampers rev-matching downshifts, the mid range is weak, the engine is bats**t noisy, numerous rattles occur, and so on.

    Too bad. A reasonable vehicle spoiled by a nasty engine, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      arbnpx

      I’ve had my FR-S for 4000 miles, and I love it. The high inertia was something that I found out about early on one of the test drives, and I’m mostly accustomed to it, though I’ve only had problems on blipping a 2-1 downshift, which is something I rarely try. Perrin is making a lightweight crank pulley, so that will speed up the response time, but I’m okay with it for now. I’m also interested in a “competition pedal” to improve the response range and close in the height distance between brake and gas pedals.

      The other comments seem to be personal taste, or power lust. Yes, the midrange is weak, because you’re supposed to rev the engine to 5500 RPM to get to the power curve. One could make the same complaints about the Miata or RX-8, and would be rightfully accused of missing the point of the engine and the car. About the idle noise, most of the owners don’t know what a direct injected four cylinder car is supposed to sound like. As reviewers of the BMW F30 328i found, it doesn’t sound pretty; it sounds “like a turbodiesel”, or like “the world’s loudest lifter noise”. Once the engine’s warm, my FR-S at idle sounds like a loud quick-chirping cricket. And that’s normal.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Whats the word on the BRZ’s engine in comparison?

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    In the sunbelt states, Scion has a lot more dealers than Subaru, you don;t need 4 WD there

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Edmunds indicates that the incentive available for July is 2.9% financing, with no cash back.

    The Subaru website shows the same thing as Edmunds.

    The USA Today article linked above indicates that the incentive was offered during June. The cash back seems to have been short lived.

    That being said, Subaru may be the wrong badge for this sort of car. Subaru occupies a small niche, and the BRZ doesn’t fit neatly within it. (Personally, I would have badged them all as Celicas, but TMC obviously didn’t consult with me.)

    Also, research on the subject of badge engineering shows that the market tends to regard one brand as the “real” legitimate brand, with the cars that they carry the other brands being copies. The car is so clearly linked to Toyota that it may not seem like a “real” Subaru, despite the fact that much of the development came from the Subaru side of the project. That could compromise the residual values of the Subaru version, since the copies usually sell at a discount when compared to the “real” car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      “The car is so clearly linked to Toyota that it may not seem like a “real” Subaru”

      Perhaps the BRZ will become a great deal in the new-used market (like the Saabaru 92-X) assuming the supply can meet demand, and assuming there is demand of course.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Add to that the fact tha most models available for testing and the big media intro was done by Scion, not Subaru, perhaps in a few years they will no longer sell it as a Subie.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Fan boys weep silent tears that fall to their manga

  • avatar
    lightbulb

    I have yet to see the Scion or Subbie version. The local Sub dealer doesn’t have any BRZ’s in stock. You can order one if you want to wait a month. Then again I don’t see these cars being as popular in New England as the 4wd Subarus, so the dealers are not ordering them in any numbers.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    Some of this may be a reaction to the dealers, particularly as I believe Scion has a no haggle policy and Subaru has a lot of dealers with questionable practices. I checked on availability a couple months ago with two local dealers. The Scion dealer basically said it may take a while, but they should get them and gave me the standard price, whereas the Subaru dealer’s response was essentially they’ll be hard to get, but we can see about maybe possibly getting you on the list, but it’s going to cost an absurd amount.


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