By on January 18, 2015

2014 Scion FR-S redThe U.S. market, long in need of an affordable, compact, rear-wheel-drive sports car, allowed the hype to initially take hold. The Scion FR-S’s best ever month was its first full month of availability – June 2012 – when 2684 copies were sold.

But in the second-half of the FR-S’s first full year in the U.S., FR-S volume slid 4%.


• FR-S accounts for 24% of U.S. Scion sales

• Scion accounts for 2.4% of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. volume

• Subaru sold 25,492 WRX/STi Imprezas in 2014


The numbers weren’t terribly low. 18,327 FR-Ss were sold in the U.S. in 2013. But they weren’t terribly high, either. Nissan, for a reference point, sold 36,728 350Zs in 2003.

Regardless, only 18 months into the car’s tenure, monthly declines became notable because of their severity and consistency.

In December 2013, FR-S volume slid 31%. This year, from beginning to end, FR-S sales slid 36% in January, 30% in February, and 20% in March before falling 11%, 14%, 38%, 27%, 25%, 25%, 10%, 28%, and then plunging 19% to the car’s lowest full-month total of just 834 units in December 2014.

In the 2014 calendar year, FR-S volume slid 23% to 14,062 units, a year-over-year loss equal to 4265 fewer sales. The lower-volume Subaru BRZ fell 13% to 7504.

The demand for the newest, flashiest, fastest thing has historically limited the long-term appeal of coupes. But coupes and more genuine sports cars are not forced to sell less and less often as time goes on. The big Dodge Challenger muscle car posted its sixth consecutive year of growth in the U.S. in 2014. U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro climbed to 86,297 units in 2014, the latest Camaro’s second-best year since returning in 2009. True, those cars compete in a different market, they represent true Americana, and their product ranges are broader and thus more appealing to a wider cross-section of the car-buying public. But shouldn’t that be to their credit, rather than used as an excuse for the FR-S and a wide variety of other sports cars which simply can’t appeal to a large number of consumers for more than a few months?

affordable sport compact sales chart 2014 usaEven if you’re not a Toyobaru fan – and we all know certain individuals aren’t – we enthusiasts need cars like this to succeed for a longer period of time if we’re to see potential competitors in the future. Would General Motors seriously consider building the Code 130R after seeing the rate at which FR-S volume dries up? Will Nissan bosses follow through on building the IDx in the long-term after taking a look at the FR-S’s consistent decline? Can Kia commit to an affordable GT4 Stinger with FR-S volume falling to new lows?

The answer to all those questions could be, “Yes!”, if product planners determine that the FR-S’s steady decline relates to factors beyond the car’s core format. Might the FR-S’s downturn relate as much to its Scion branding as it does to the mostly useless rear seat? Could the FR-S be turning into a truly niche player because Toyota isn’t building a convertible? Are potential FR-S buyers turned off by the low-torque four-cylinder engine?

After all, new vehicle buyers in 2014 displayed their willingness to acquire new sporting cars without Scion badges, with useable rear seats, with torque, and with different bodystyles: Subaru’s own Impreza-based WRX/STi outsold the FR-S and BRZ combined.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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221 Comments on “Scion’s FR-S Took A Hit In 2014...”


  • avatar

    It’s a pretty car that stands out on the road, but when the FR-S and BR-Z first released, I was attracted more to the BR-Z for the feature availability… and then I actually drove both of em’ and realized that all the hype was worthless.

    It’s the dream car of a post-college grad juggling “interest-only” student loan payments, who hates American cars (Mustang) and has to have something to drive between his internship and his parent’s basement.

    “If God might bless me to hit lotto – then I might be able to get a GT-R Nismo or Black edition like the one on the poster on my wall.”

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I wonder if the hype actually hurt long term sales.

      Automotive enthusiasts (especially journalists) have a tendency to overhype something that they thought the market should want, but doesn’t. The Suzuki Kizashi is another one that comes to mind.

      They put these vehicles on a pedestal and set subjective expectations so high that no car could possibly live up to them.

      Rather than suggesting the FR-S created it’s own segment at a ridiculously low price, they should have said it was nice to see Toyota get back into the sports car game with some good competition for the [base] Mustang. Each vehicle has their own advantages over the other. Suggest the consumer drive both and choose for themselves what best fits their styles.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      There is no god. You have to work hard and “bless” yourself. I absolutely love my FR-S. I’m 65 years old and on one lives in my basement. Cheers!

      • 0 avatar

        #1 starting a sentence with “there is no God” makes you sound ridiculous – whether it’s true or not.

        #2 I’m glad you love your FR-S, but just know that if I’d designed it, there’d be more to love.

        • 0 avatar
          Synchromesh

          The BRZ/FRS is basically a Subaru Miata. I would know, I owned Miatas and currently have a WRX.

          Out of the options you listed I think a turbo would be the only realistic one. I’ve driven a BRZ and yes it lacks about 50-65hp to be complete imho. And yes, even with stock 200hp it’s sadly far more fun to drive than my WRX. :(

          As for awd – it’s not needed on a true sports car. Steering wheel controls? What a waste of space and weight. I would love a sunroof or targa though but it’s unlikely to happen.

          I think Subaru is Toyotafying itself horribly. The current WRX is only offered as a sedan which automatically made it a car I don’t want to buy next and if they released it as a coupe it would cross them off my shopping list permanently.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Steering wheel controls add too much weight? You’re hard core! Unless you’re talking about paddle shifters, in which case carry on.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            BTSR had a lot of good points.
            I don’t get this car. I try…just can’t.
            No power and is only fun because they gave it bicycle tires allowing it to lose traction easily?
            I mean…for gods sake.

            KixStart poked fun by saying he gave up drag racing when he turned 20. So, what? He became a older nut losing traction and his rear end over 20 mph? Donuts is what mature guys do??

            Give me take off power.

            No…this ain’t no Miata as you at least have a convertible with the Mazda.

            This should be a convertible.

        • 0 avatar
          MK

          Haha! Glad you’re back btsr.

          You might be wrong but you’re never in doubt!

          (although in this thread you’re definitely not wrong)

          MOAR POWAH FTW!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          lonborghini

          Not as ridiculous as “If god might bless me,” even if you were speaking metaphorically. Waiting for an imaginary entity to make you rich will only guarantee that you’ll never make it.

        • 0 avatar
          caltemus

          You really can’t be calling anybody out on sounding ridiculous, and if you’d have designed the car it wouldn’t work very well as you are not an engineer.

        • 0 avatar
          lonborghini

          No thanks. Less is more and more is less.

        • 0 avatar
          hgrunt

          #2 – If you designed it, I imagine it would look like a 300C coupe. Not a bad thing, but not what someone who likes the current car would be looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Miserable, cheaply finished, crappy riding, cheap interior, underpowered, piss-
      poor excuse of a vehicle.

      Ask Michael Karesh what a miserable, uncomfortable, tortuous driving experience either one affords on the typical American Expressway in terms of crappy, loud, droning penalty box.

      I test drove both an automatic & manual FRS. I’d rather have a Hyundai Elantra GT as a daily driver, and no, I’m not joking.

      There’s no reason why the automatic version of the Toybarus should have even been manufactured. They’d lose by a wide margin to most 4 cylinder version CamCordFusiAltimas in a straight line.

      Having said all this, I’d still pick a Toybaru over a Cadillac ATS if I could only pick either as my sole choice.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The real problem with the FR-S/BRZ is the MX-5. It’s a better all-rounder, holds its value well, and is widely available used.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      The MX-5 is not a better “all-rounder.” At a mere 5″11″ i don’t fit into an MX-5. I need the cargo space available in the FR-S. I also need a warm cabin for my two hundred mile one way Winter commutes. The twins’ new car sales may be disappointing but they are holding their value just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        I’m 6’3″, and I fit into a buddy’s MX-5 just fine. It has the typical Japanese seats with no leg support, but clearance isn’t an issue. The heater seems to work just fine, and it’s got heated seats.

        You are correct that the MX-5 isn’t a winter car, but neither is the Scion, for all the same reasons: no ground clearance, poor RWD traction.

        Obviously, if you need lots of cargo space, the Scion may be a better car for you.

        • 0 avatar
          lonborghini

          There is no leg support for you in an MX-5 because there is inadequate leg room. My FR-S, with and excellent set of snow tires, does just fine in the snow. Lot’s of fun on my two hundred mile one way commutes. I use the “snow lane” on the interstate and pass all the Bubba Js in their AWDs.

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    It should have been called the “Celica” and sold in Toyota dealerships.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Yes! Toyota really was (or should have been anyway) trying to do with the FR-S what they did with the Celica. Take advantage of the established name recognition.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        ” Take advantage of the established name recognition”

        They did that by constantly referencing the AE86 in marketing and small styling ques, didn’t quite work.

        Calling it Celica would’ve been smarter either way, the general public will recognize that name better than “AE86”.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      Scions are sold at Toyota dealerships. Any questions?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Every Scion showroom is on a Toyota lot. There are no standalone Scion dealers.

      I was suggesting the Celica name since before the car came out, and I still think that it was a fair idea. But I doubt that it would have made much difference. The market for small coupes just ain’t what it used to be.

      • 0 avatar
        Splorg McGillicuddy

        Not true. There are some standalone Scion dealers, including this one: http://www.stevenscreekscion.com

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          My friends at Google tell me that the Toyota showroom is down the same street. There is a “Toyota Scion Customer Parking” sign at the curb.

          It has the same ownership: http://www.bbb.org/losangelessiliconvalley/business-reviews/auto-dealers-new-cars/stevens-creek-toyota-and-scion-in-san-jose-ca-197124

          Scion dealerships were offered to Toyota dealers. Every Scion dealer is also a Toyota dealer.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    What’s the rental fleet percentage on pony cars? A friend was in town a couple months ago and had an orange Challenger R/T as his airport rental. I’ve seen rows of Camaros at our airport.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      A sale is a sale. This is not the 90s when the Detroit Big 3 owned the rental big 3 and they truly were a dumping ground.

      Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers get rented because the rental companies can often get a premium price for them from people treating themselves when they are on vacation, or the boss is paying for it. I usually rent a Mustang convertible on my annual winter week in FL.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The Challenger R/T in Orange black are part of the Hertz premium collection. At the lot they’re parkednext to the Hertz Mustang, Corvette, C-Class, E-Class. I had the pleasure of wrecking the R/T Challnger out of Oakland Airport last year.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Rack up rental points on the company dime; upgrade to Hertz premium on your time. 1st World problems do occur. “Mr. El Scotto you’re eligible for a Hertz premium upgrade!” says the perky rental clerk. “I want the F-150 I reserved, thank you.” “Mr El Scotto you can have a free upgrade to a Mercedes!” “I want an F-150, I’m going to a small town in Indiana thank you” If all my problems where this small.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Why can’t you drive a Mercedes to a small town in Indiana, Mr. El Scotto? Last time I checked a Mercedes can be driven there

          • 0 avatar

            Probably because of what the locals would think. For certain jobs, having a down-to-earth “one of us” image is crucial for success. In America’s “Heartland,” a pickup truck like the F-150 delivers that image pretty well.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            The county gravel road to our farm is in poorer shape and less maintained than the farm’s gravel driveway. Hertz has hissy fits when a premium vehicle is brought back “dirty” in their view. An F-150? “Meh” say the Hertz employees.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Damn it, I salivated in the direction of a car like that at Oakland last year. What happened that you can tell without offending any insurance lawyers?

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Nothing to tell – it was a crappy situation.

          I was driving across the Bay Bridge, came through the Treasure Island tunnel, the traffic was doing the 40 MPH to dead stop, 40 MPH to dead stop, 40 MPH to dead stop thing. As I came through the tunnel on the west side (heading west into the city) I was blinded by the sun (light/dark) for maybe 1/2 a second, and in that time the traffic had gone from 40 to zero. If I was 150 feet forward or back when it happened I would have stopped fine. Stood on the brake and slammed a Toyota Camry. Almost 9K to the Challenger, which had less than 1000 miles on the odometer, about 1,300 to the Camry. The guy I hit was a “nice” guy – he sat in my rental Challenger, we figured out the Bluetooth and I had him make the claim with USAA right there on the spot.

          Limped the Challenger back to Hertz, my replacement car was a W-Body Impala LS with almost 50K miles. The other half called it my “punishment car”

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No more muscle cars for you Mr. Ricky Bobby

          • 0 avatar
            Splorg McGillicuddy

            Yeah, that sun can be intense when you pop out of the tunnel. It’s pretty beautiful there, too, so lots of accidents from people looking at the bay and bridge.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    All cars like this would sell so much better if they also offered a 5-door hatchback.

    To me, at least!

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Yes it is important that cars like this succeed consistently, beyond the early hype. Its simple why this one hasn’t attracted beyond the initial period and beyond the narrow niche audience.

    First, the cars have had NVH issues from the start that makes the car feel cheap, and nothing has been done to fix them and make the car competitive beyond the niche market. Ask Mazda (6, and 3) why their beautiful looking cars aren’t doing better – same problem.

    Second, as already mentioned, sports cars even more than other kinds of cars need torque, and power. There is a narrow niche market that says (and its been said here) something like ” I’d rather drive a slow car fast “. Not enough buying power from those folks, obviously.

  • avatar
    jeanbaptiste

    I’m not sure how they could fix the brz.

    Just add power?
    Just make it bigger?

    Either of those would price it too high and there’s too much competition at the higher price point.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      Since everyone else is throwing out hilarious, wild suggestions for the car’s failure like lack of steering wheel buttons and the need for it to be a Kia Optima, I’ll just add mine:

      Youtube this, x2fwvWyqPDE

      It’s an NA and doesn’t sound anything like that. That’s why it failed.

      P.S., there also isn’t anyone alive anymore that appreciates a car like this. If there are, they’re already $10k deep in trying to build the car in the video.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      If it ain’t broke there’s nothing to fix. The FT-86 twins are damn near perfect for their intended niche group buyers and fans.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The car is what it is. The market for 2 seat sports cars (realistically, that’s what it is) just isn’t very big. Check out the 370z and Miata sales above.

      I do agree with what some others have stated though, the engine isn’t particularly thrilling. A turbo option would have given a few more buyers a reason to ante up. Many buyers want their sports cars to be fast, or at least have some bragging rights. They tried to sell these cars on the abstract concept of “purity”, but when it comes to superfluous car purchases, bragging rights do matter. Look how Dodge can sell new Challengers to guys who just bought one 2 years earlier as soon as they come out with a bigger badder powertrain.

  • avatar
    insalted42

    As a realist, I don’t think I would ever spring for a Toyobaru coupe over any of its competitors simply because it makes ZERO sense in day-to-day. I understand that’s hardly an argument in this class, but all of its competitors offer another layer of appeal to make them more interesting as a spontaneous purchase that the Toyobaru twins simply don’t. 16 – 25 year-old age wannabe-tuners can’t be a car’s MAIN market.

    If Nissan makes the iDX, they should make sure it has a passable rear seat and different engine choices (ranging from Sentra-spec to neo SE-R). Effectively, make it a true competitor to the Civic coupe…or just make it a convertible. Ditto for Kia’s Stinger and GM’s Code.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      I’d be in the 65 year old working professional group. I’ve wanted a car like the FR-S for forty years. Now that i have one, i like it just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “I’ve wanted a car like the FR-S for forty years.”

        I’m really glad you bought a car that makes you happy. At your stage in life it’s something you should do, but what car 40 years ago was like the FR-S that made you buy it?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is like comparing apples to oranges, but I already did the math and it can’t be undone.
    The Ram 1500, 2 door, 5.7l has a better HP to weight ratio than these twins. And availible discounts on all 3 cars probably also gives the Ram the edge.

    4580lbs
    395

    2758lbs
    200

    I guess this post needs a point, need more horsepower, and lower price point, which is seemingly like asking for my cake and eating it, apparently.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      Hummer,

      I think there is a subconscious level in your “apples to oranges” comparison, that is, a V8 FRS/BRZ option. That would be interesting!

      I am way too lazy to research it but Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe, does anyone know what type of sales they had? Same market as the 86’s.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        “I am way too lazy to research it but Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe, does anyone know what type of sales they had?”

        Hyundai doesn’t seem to want you to know:
        https://www.hyundaiusa.com/about-hyundai/news/Corporate_hyundai-motor-america-reports-november-sales-20141202.aspx

    • 0 avatar
      Boff

      Face it…the coupe market is tiny and no coupe is exactly burning up the sales charts (at least not compared to how the Mustang did in the ’60’s or the Cutlass Supreme did in the 70’s or 80s’). The ChalMustaMaro do better than the imports because of an established sales base and larger sizes that make them a little more practical. The pickup truck reference is instructive…they are the new default choice as a “lifestyle” vehicle in the way that coupes and convertibles used to be. The present sporty coupe market is probably not much different in size from the small core of enthusiasts that bought Z-28’s and 240Z’s and Supra’s back in the day.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      If you prefer pickup trucks to sports cars you wouldn’t like an FR-S so what’s your point?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m not against sport cars, but when a pickup that can be bought for $22,000 has a better weight to HP ratio then a so called sports car, the car may need to have a major overhaul.

        • 0 avatar
          lonborghini

          Nah, it’s just that Mazda doesn’t make an MX-5 coupe and if they did, i, being of average stature for an American male, wouldn’t comfortably fit into it. I’m very comfortable driving my FR-S for hours on end.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I have a feeling that you could find many examples of trucks from the 60s and 70s that had a better power to weight ratio than the Triumphs, Alfas, Datsuns, and MGs of the era.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Possibly, though finding data for vehicles older than the 80s is usually more difficult.
            Though it’s worth pointing out none of those brands have a successive sport coupe that is availible today.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          so you’re unclear on what constitutes a light, great handling, tossable sports car? And how the driving experience differs from driving a pickup truck?

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      I looked at a Subaru when they first came out. Had a 4yr old RSX and was somewhat interested in something RWD. They wouldn’t let me test drive it unless I signed for it first? Anyway when I priced it out it was over $30,000 CDN plus taxes and the CDN dollar was close to par with US at the time. Who would pay that much for a cheap car like that? Other than rear wheel drive it offered nothing. An ILX with 200hp and manual is a nicer more practical car and I would have been able to trade my fwd RSX that I would of needed for the winter if I purchased the BRZ. Those cars need to be under $20,000 to have any real value.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    There is very little wrong with this car that a turbo and a Toyota badge won’t fix. It doesn’t need more hp per se, because it is NOT a slow car. But the performance is hard to access, and it is not as much fun doing it as it should be. I drove one, and bought an Abarth because it was much more fun, even though in theory it is much less capable.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      Not relative to this thread, how has the Abarth experience been for you? Reliable? Any dealership visits? Dealership experience? I hate the look of the 500 yet love the look of the Abarth.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Perfect. Not a single issue ever. Only time it has been back to the dealer was for the free 30 day checkup. I do the services myself, two oil changes so far. Buying was completely painless, dealer is always super nice when I go in to get oil filters, but that is the extent of my contact with them.

        Only new car in my extended family that has had ZERO issues in the first two years, including my Mother’s Prius. And I drive it like I stole it, and I autocross it.

        I wish I had room to keep it, but selling it to a friend of mine. Being replaced by a BMW M235i. Doing Euro delivery on the BMW this summer.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          I’m sure it is competitive in auto-x. How do you fair against Coopers and GTI’s?

          Goodluck with your M235i, I wish I could own a rwd platform again (Not FRS/BRZ). Northeast winters for my loss.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            When I am driving, poorly, because I kind of suck at it. But quite well when more talented friends take it for a spin. I am strictly a hack, out to have fun and learn a bit.

            I don’t have any trouble driving RWD cars in Maine. Just need the right tires.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    “The U.S. market, long in need of an affordable, compact, rear-wheel-drive sports car…”

    Joking, yes?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Must be, unless they’ve run out of Miatas

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      I should have clarified with mentions of hardtops and rear seats. I’d take the MX-5 over the FR-S/BRZ any day, as a second car. But if I was a young single guy, the scarcely usable rear seat and hardtop would make the FR-S/BRZ the more likely purchase as an only car. The market was missing that kind of car, as even the RX-8 that was here wasn’t quite so easily affordable.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Because they’re not “purist cars” and “absolute dreck” the internet cognoscenti and many on TTAC will gleefully ignore a V-6 Camaro or Mustang. Yeah 300hp for 22-25k, but alas both cars miss some “purity” and degree of “unobtanium levels of sophistication’. Meanwhile down at the mega-dealershiip, ole Larry will 4-square ya and get you in a Camaro or Mustang for low,low payments today. Low payments matter for the late 20 something crowd; i.e. I no longer need a roommate!!!

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    I came close to buying a BRZ but after extended test drives and driving a friends FR-S a lot, I realized the weak engine would drive me crazy. If they increased the displacement to 2.5 to give it a little more TQ/HP and were able to get rid of the annoying TQ dip in the power band I would probably buy one. This car needs 230HP from the factory, until then i’m content to sit on the fence.

    Ended up buying a MK7 GTI.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This car was not particularly designed with the US in mind. It was made primarily for Japan, which has costly fuel and displacement taxes that rise above the 2.0 liter mark.

    In this case, the US is getting leftovers. But I presume that US volume is needed to make it profitable, and we’re probably not doing our part.

    This class of cars is just becoming less relevant, and not just in the US. This latest decline in fuel prices will seal the car’s fate, I suspect – I doubt that there will be a second generation.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “This car was not particularly designed with the US in mind”

      Then why did we get it and why does Subaru have it too? Are the Japanese starving for small underpowered coupes?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        They needed global volume in order to make a business case for it. (I presume that there was much monkeying with spreadsheets in order to persuade the board of directors to make this car a reality.)

        As noted, Japan has costly gas and a displacement tax that rises above 2.0 liters. It’s no accident that Japanese imports often have engines just below 2000 cc’s.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          So, in other words it was kind of a bomb in Japan so they pushed them onto the rest of their markets in hope of unloading a few, got it

          I guess the “Future Ricer Club of America” is happy

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You may have put just a few words in my mouth there…

            I doubt that there is a business case in the modern era for any automaker to produce a lower-cost sports car that isn’t global.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Nah, I was just interpreting them to suit my own confirmation bias that these cars are pretty much irrelevant with so many better choices on the market

    • 0 avatar

      But hachiroku is doing even worse world-wide than it’s doing in USDM. If it’s “primarily” a world car, it’s even more doomed.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Between the sluggish sales and the fractured relationship between the Toyota and Subaru teams, I doubt that there will be a second generation car.

        If they can figure out a way to keep development costs low and do it without Subaru, then perhaps they can come up with some alternative.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    If its not as quick as your Mom’s Accord v6 your man-card takes a hit, not really fair but there you go. No roadster version to compete with MX-5 does not help matters, and where is the Toyota/Celica badge?

    • 0 avatar

      This is the place where the curve of “internet fanboi” and “customer at dealer with pen” cross. Much like our much vaunted AWD Brown Manual Diesel Wagon, it lives large in fantasy but when the rubber hits the road (literally) it isn’t a market.

      Sports cars sell mostly to old men with the money to realize the fantasy..I used to want a Vette, but when my hair went grey, I realized I was the typical demo and the lust dimmed. The old guy wants a supercharged V8 or such, and some lux with the sports…he may have had an MG back then but he was 17 at the time. When he puts out the 50-100k for a toy, AC and good soundproofing are a given. Porsche with the 911 knows this market and charges them mercilessly. BMW makes a lot of toys for this group as well, most of which aren’t “sports cars”. Think 6 series sedan, or an ///M class X5

      Today’s “kid” is ricing up a Honda, or trying to keep a Mk3 GTi running. They don’t have the $ for the Toy-buru, even thought they have the desire. When he meets “the one”, they can only afford one car…so we know what happens there. I fought this too but at the end, strapping kids into safety seats in a two door is really annoying…

      You can make the car cheaper, but you probably can’t. You can upscale it, but it isn’t going to take on a Vette or Cayman even done up.

      Pity too. Nice car.

      • 0 avatar

        Today’s kids are not ricers, they are a dying breed. Yes this car is priced out of their reach. Our local college’s parking lot is full of their parents hand me downs. Primarily older Explorers, Cherokees etc. Less common are cars purchased second hand such as Camcords. I have not seen one Brz/Frs. I can only imagine what the insurance would be for this toy.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      Toyota badges are readily available at your local auto salvage yard. You can glue a toyota badge to whatever you like.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    American’s talk hp but drive torque.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is why I’m still amazed we don’t have more diesels, current fuel price aberrations notwithstanding.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Clattery sputter-putts that sound like the UPS guy is coming

        • 0 avatar
          Frownsworth

          UPS in my area runs on natural gas/lp. VAG diesels since the Mk5 onwards, Mk6 for the North American market has been very quiet. I walked by these in the parking lot and couldn’t believe they were diesel unless I listened closely and looked at the TDI badge.

          The older Mk4s and earlier are noisy. However, to each their own in preferences. I actually enjoy the diesel sound compared to the wooshing sounds my old V6 made.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Ok,

            School Bus
            Garbage Truck
            BroDozer

            Where I live this is what diesel is. People are not going to buy a car that reminds them of one of the above, especially at a $1.00 more a gallon. Even if the perception is wrong it’s still the perception

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Lie2me, I think its safe to assume you live in a city. If I am right, your assertations are mostly correct. Passenger vehicle diesels don’t make as much sense in the city for short trips. (High engine load conditions like garbage trucks, school busses and public transport excluded.)

            Very different picture in rural America though.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            JR,

            I learned to drive in a diesel Land Cruiser, and I once owned a MK2 Jetta Turbo Diesel, so I’m not prejudiced against diesels.

            That being said, I rented a modern turbo diesel last summer in Europe, and it wasn’t up to par. It still smelled, and the torque only lasted to 3,000 rpm or so, at which point the engine ran out of everything.

            Overall economy wasn’t that impressive, maybe 6.5l/100km, whereas my similar-sized Saab back home would have taken around 7 to 8 in the same conditions (mostly open country roads with some highway). Why bother? There’s a small monetary benefit if your life is nothing but one long commute, but for most of us that’s not the case.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        What few people that drive diesel end up putting regular petrol into their tanks, not exactly encouraging automakers to import their diesels over.

        Plus, with todays OCD levels of acoustic engineering, no ones willing to tolerate an engine that sounds just a little agriculture.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          Not sure exactly where “here” is for you, but there are more diesels on the market today than ever have been in the states. And with CR technology and multiple injection events, an 865 lb ft engine is hardly louder than its gas counterpart with half the torque.

          “Plus, with todays OCD levels of acoustic engineering, no ones willing to tolerate an engine that sounds just a little agriculture.”

          I’m guessing you wouldnt be impressed with my earliest diesel pickup, a 98 CTD, that puts out 101 db at the sump. Music to my ears.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      Principal’s should know how to use apostrophe’s. amiright?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Lol, this is one time that being “that guy” is kind of funny

        PrincipalDan, you will write one hundred times…

        Americans don’t need apostrophes
        Americans don’t need apostrophes
        Americans don’t need apostrophes…

  • avatar
    319583076

    When these cars finally launched, CR praised and recommended them. However, they have since removed their recommendation based on below average reliability. Say what you will about CR, but they have credibility among buyers and their recommendations matter.

    I see it as a manifestation of one fundamental problem: these cars were dangled and hyped for sooooo long that they had to be perfect, or nearly so, to succeed when they were finally available for sale. All of the major outlets that had one for long-term testing experienced problems. Early quality issues were widely reported on the internet, also.

    For enthusiasts with limited buying power and budgets, the reliability issues are a big deal. Also, the “tuner platform” label carries little weight because again, most of the finance-ready buyers can’t afford to immediately begin modding their new cars to address the standard deficiencies.

    I think the *real* problem is that Subaru-Toyota came to market with a half-baked product that was incredibly over-hyped. I bought a new car almost two years ago and selected an MX-5 club PRHT instead of the FR-S/BRZ more as vote in confidence of Mazda and the Miata platform/heritage/reliability/quality than anything else.

    When it comes to selling cars to enthusiasts, reality trumps marketing. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      My 2013 FR-S has been 100% reliable and very enjoyable to own and drive. The MX-5 is adorable and i can understand why the little people who fit into it might enjoy it as a fair weather little clown car.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “However, they have since removed their recommendation based on below average reliability.”

      That’s not possible. CR would never rescind a recommendation for a Japanese car. It wouldn’t be in line with their program to destroy the “Detroit” auto industry.

      • 0 avatar
        lonborghini

        You’re clearly not a CR reader. CR highly recommends the Chevrolet Sonic among under $25,000 cars. The Sonic is build in Michigan which, just so you don’t have to look it up, is not to be found in Japan. Cheers!

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    I test drove a BRZ recently. It was a lot of fun, and I liked the car. The problem is I can get a V6 Mustang for the same price with 50% more power 100% more torque and just as much track ability. Or pay $8k more and get a hell of a lot more car with a mustang GT/PP.

    My interest in the BRZ basically fell off when I was driving home (01 Mustang V6) and realized just how often I hold 3rd for making surface street turns and second at stop signs and how that would be basically impossible with the BRZ.

    I’ll take the Mustang GT and be a lazy shifter. Torque is fun. The engine in the BRZ is adequate, and theres not really enough space for a 6 in it, but its not for me. Beautiful car, though.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The chirping crickets are in the showroom and under the hood.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I thought this thing was gonna be the basis of the new IS. That seems like it would have been a better platform for it.

    Sporty coupes in general make less and less sense. Like the author said, the WRX/STi fulfill most of the same needs without being wildly impractical. Truthfully this thing should have been a sedan or something more practical.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    At 20K these are brilliant at 30K not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      I remember Jack Baruth writing a similar comment in his review of this car on TTAC. At $20k it would have sold like crazy, and justified the “it’s just a blank canvas for tuners” excuses that the fanboys trotted out.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    This car was practically made to fail. Way underpowered and needs about $8,000 off the new car lot to reach its potential (turbo, fix the flexy suspension bits, factory exhaust manifold has resonance issues that create power loss at certain RPMs, needs a wheels and tires package)

    The type of people who want to buy and put money into modding a brand new car are generally the type of people who can’t afford to do it, think early 20s and not in school.

    It would have made much more sense to come out with a more complete package from the factory and keep this as the base model, rather than offer all the performance parts as aftermarket upgrades. As it is, it makes way more sense to go buy something that’s already there such as a base level mustang GT, 370Z, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      First of all, great avatar.

      Second of all, something like a Mustang or a 350Z doesn’t replicate this thing’s driving experience. I’ve said it before but I think all this thing really needed was ~500ccs more displacement. That would put it in a decent power to weight ratio realm (think early 350Z) while still keeping its low weight and center of gravity. Wheels and tires would be nice as would a compulsory “sport suspension”.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    As an owner of an FRS the thing that worries me is that Toyota just lets the car languish, as is. A sports car becomes irrelevant unless their are meaningful improvements every couple of years. The fact that Toyota continues to refuse to improve the engine/performance despite a clamoring to do so is discouraging and will be the slow death of this sports car.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Jeez, the hype that this site (and others) put up when this thing was originally released was just incredible. You’d thought this was the second coming of the automobile… I couldn’t see it then or now. Not that I’m some brilliant strategist but usually when there’s that much hype surrounding a particular item, it rarely fulfills the advance publicity.

    That said, isn’t the shelf life of a small sporty coupe like this (think 1st gen Ford Probe, or Mitsubishi Eclipse) about 24-36 months? Then they either get a substantial MCE or quietly disappear.

    FWIW, the Camaro/Chally/Stang have a huge audience due to almost 50 years of production. There’s a load of baby boomers who finally have the financial wherewithal to purchase the modern version of their teenage dream. The market for the FR-S just doesn’t have that same mindshare, Toyota’s PR notwithstanding.

    I’ve long thought a nice SBC would fix the vast majority of problems with this car. (Google it…) That, along with what others have mentioned, a “real” name, (as FR-S sounds like a feminine hygiene product) and a Toyota badge (although if you use the SBC, you could call it a Toyolet) it would be a sparkling performer and fair value at a higher price.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Whatever happened to that CUV BRZ variant Subaru teased us with? That looks like it’d sell fine, a Porsche Mecan without Porsche costs.

    I doubt enthusiasts will want it but regular Subaru shoppers might take an interest.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Scion is a dead brand in need of euthanasia. There is about as much cachet as Geo had compared to the Chevrolet next to it.

    The average car buying slob has no idea what an AE86 is.

    It’s a sports car – I get it – but the Soviet grade made by Coleman cooler plastics interior is just plain unacceptable. The interior is made out of melted down Pontiac Grand Am parts.

    The engine has a wonky torque curve and just doesn’t deliver enough.

    Toyota also botched the launch with a number of well documented quality issues out of the gate, including grenading engines. It’s also a black dot queen in CR.

    This car never lived up to the hype that Toyota pumped up for four years – the final nail in the coffin.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      You are an older guy who is clueless. Young people don’t care about cars. Only old people do. You are looking at FRS with the vision of an old guy.

      Twenty years ago, the 20s crowd in SoCal cared about their cars, and customized them. Now, the customized cars are disappearing fast. Young people hate cars.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        I don’t think “young people hate cars” is accurate. I live in a military city and the cars driven by young people on base are a majority enthusiast cars (they have the means to afford them). The economic realities of no or low paying jobs, student loan debts, and yet to be recognized crises of unaffordable housing in much of the nation is what is keeping young people from even thinking about cars, let alone more important things in life. It is much easier and more affordable to do a one time purchase on something like an Ipad than a recurring payment and upkeep on a car.

        • 0 avatar
          jimmyy

          The young people I know at work on wall street are high income, and they think the older wall street people driving expensive cars is stupid. Many of these young people either buy new stripped foreign, or used foreign. Not much else. They avoid Detroit because of reliability. That is the main reason they gravitate towards foreign.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            That sounds more like a combination of two other factors: low disposable income (even just starting out, $250K in NYC doesn’t take you very far) and badge snobbery/whorishness.

            If you just got handed a $500K+ bonus, why on earth would you go buy a 320 or go used when you could easily afford an M3?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Just starting out? Single people can do just fine there on 250k, even with Ivy league debt levels. It certainly leaves enough for a status car lease, if that’s where one’s priorities lie.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            “They avoid Detroit because of liability. That is the main reason they gravitate towards foreign.”

            I don’t think you know anything about cars, let alone any “young people with high incomes that work on wall street”. The evidence accretes with each additional post.

            I spent 2 years working at 30 Broad, ask me how I know.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I have a feeling that what the kids on Wall Street drive is the subway

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “I have a feeling that what the kids on Wall Street drive is the subway”
            +1

            From 3:00-3:45
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FEW4EXFaNwY

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Oh, I’ve been there many times at that time. Let’s just say a powerful deodorant is your friend and claustrophobia isn’t

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Ya, that’s a valid focus group, young gun Wall Street bankers.

            I’m an ehem old guy, car nut with a high income. I’ve also done a lot of business in Manhattan, If I worked in Manhattan, I would live in Manhattan and I wouldn’t own a car – it is stupid…in Manhattan.

            Young people hate cars? Gee, and here are all these analysts, surveys and market reports saying the under thirty crowd want to buy cars but crushing student loan debt and stagnant wage growth is a barrier, but what do industry analysts know.

            If they completely hate car ownership, who exactly is buying all those B and C segment cars? Why are all these young buyers snapping up CLAs, A3s, and other near luxury models?

            Sorry – you’re the one who doesn’t get it. The FR-S has well documented quality issues, CR has it as a black dot queen, and the better package tC sitting next to it on the showroom is cheaper. Young buyers I believe see cars as appliances, and the tC is the better choice, and clearly, as sales numbers don’t lie, Scion buyers agree.

        • 0 avatar

          Today’s kids are not ricers, they are a dying breed. Yes this car is priced out of their reach. Our local college’s parking lot is full of their parents hand me downs. Primarily older Explorers, Cherokees etc. Less common are cars purchased second hand such as Camcords. I have not seen one Brz/Frs. I can only imagine what the insurance would be for this toy.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      “The average car buying slob has no idea what an AE86 is.”

      Or you’re a weirdo like me that knows what they are, but doesn’t find them very interesting.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    What is wrong with the FR-S? The under 30 crowd views cars as a necessary evil.

    Older people have an emotional connection with a vehicle, and views a vehicle as a statement of their success. Detroit preys off this crowd. Detroit is able to unload less reliable vehicles with poor resale at a premium price by establishing an emotional connection with older people.

    The young crowd see a vehicle as a commodity. Detroit is unable to play the emotional card here. The young crowd demands value. They want cheap and reliable. Detroit has no answer for this crowd. The FRS is not value. The FRS is something that would appeal to 20 year olds 20 years ago. The young crowd would rather go for the used Corolla.

    Detroit has a real problem. When the current 20 year olds reach 40, Detroit will be bankrupt again.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      The FR-S/BRZ have nothing to do with Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Although I agree with you, this car was not built in Detroit. Detroit’s performance cars are designed to appeal to the older demographic and because of that, they actually sell. Once that demographic wanes, the sales will go the same way as the FRS/BRZ sales.

      If I were in product planning at a car company, I would be looking into getting an affordable electric with a realistic range (150 miles) and fun to drive factor (such as the chevy spark electric), and mostly be touting its environmental and frugal aspects, as that would appeal to a young demographic.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      While the FRS is a Toyota, there are lessons for Detroit. Emotional marketing does not work with the young crowd, and that is what Detroit relies on. And FRS does not work for Toyota because it is the not value which is demanded by the young crowd. In the future, cheap, base and reliable is the formula. FRS is not that. Detroit business model does not provide that.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I think you would be surprised what many junior military officers drive. Hint: From Detroit and great big V-8’s. Residue from a testosterone based job/society. Fighter pilots in a turbo-charged something from Germany? Or; heaven forbid, a Camcord? I think not.

  • avatar

    The original appeal of the two-seat sports car was whimsy. Devil may-care, fly-away hair, disregard for convenience and disrespect for convention. Shocking the neighbors while skittering around corners and blipping blatt-blatt from the exhaust. The advantage of nimble performance was lost in the technical age when lowly hatchback sedans began to beat little foreign roadsters over the valley and through the woods. The romance was over when air-conditioned coddling and power-everything accessories were perceived to be necessities by would-be enthusiasts of the breed. Manual steering and double clutching could no longer endure. Perhaps you can recapture the moment with a motorcycle and maybe a Miata. Not much else can come close.

  • avatar
    probert

    Many comments show that many people who fancy themselves as car buffs don’t know what sports car is, and simply want a cupholder with wheels.

    Anyone with a Mustang should be banned from commenting – enough already – you like mustangs – good for you – it’s not a sports car.

    The sales seem pretty good to me, all things considered.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I have to think practicality has a lot to do with it. I see a lot of WRXs running around with child seats in the back. The reality is that enthusiasts are spoiled now when it comes to practical but fun cars – the Ford ST twins, Minis, Civic Sis, the GTi, the rex’s, Mazdaspeed3’s (in previous years). Yes, all lack the RWD, which remains the Scion’s trump, but all still offer loads of fun with far more practicality. Scion had gotten my hopes up when they were talking about a sedan version, as that could’ve gotten my attention (although a hatchback or Z3 style breadvan is really what I would’ve wanted).

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      The first manufacturer to come out with a sporty RWD sedan at a realistic price is going to eat BMWs and all these other FWD performance car’s lunch. GM almost did it before they axed Pontiac and decided the ATS should be a Cadillac (with Caddy pricing) at Pontiac level quality. The rumor mill is claiming that Dodge is going to come out with a sporty RWD midsizer that share’s with alfa-romeo–I look forward to seeing it! If it doesn’t happen, I’m stuck with another pony car, which is annoying as I’m not a coupe fan at all.

      • 0 avatar
        fatalexception04

        I’ve always wished that mazda would make the 3 rwd. It would set itself apart from them other compact players out there. Lets face it most people don’t know which wheels drive their car, so they are already buying the 3 and then those that want rwd would only add more to the sales ledger.

        What killed the frs is overhyping by the automotive press like this car was the second coming. How could any car live up to the hype?

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          When the time comes to get a new car, if Mazda made its 3 and or 6 RWD, it would be the first and likely last place I would being shopping. Currently, I’m torn between making my next car a used 2013-2014 mustang (I don’t like the new ones) or an even older used RWD BMW/Jag/Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Nickoo – If you’re thinking of taking the used BMW plunge do it soon. The e90 328 is the last chance to own the definitive BMW with a NA straight six and proper BMW driving dynamics and especially steering. That being said, there is a downside to owning a car like this. I have this issue with my 330i zhp. I recognize I will never be able to own another car this good because they simply aren’t made. No one will ever again produce a car with this sort of comfort, luxury, and space combined with it’s level of performance, driver involvement, not to mention that glorious straight six motor. I love this car. However, once I use mine up, it’s gone for good. I love the car so much that I don’t want to drive it so it will last forever.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            E39 530i was the last great BMW straight 6

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @lie to me – I’ll arm wrestle you over that one. The E46 was produced a couple years longer than the E39, the 330i used the same m54b30 engine, and I think it still deserves the “proper BMW” designation (then again, I’m biased). The E90 had all the elements, but I will concede it wasn’t as good as the older ones. I test drove both e90s and e46s, and liked the e46 better, hence my purchase decision.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Ok, I just preferred the look and driving dynamic of the E39 530i over the E46 (I too am biased) My lasting memory of that car was I always referred to it as “my hot knife through butter” Everything about it was smooth, seamless and effortless

  • avatar

    I’d buy one of these if my current 2-door car were totaled (and I weren’t badly injured). As it is, I’m off the market, and I’m getting concerned that I’m going to sit out FR-S/BRZ’s entire production run, while reading all the retarded kvetching about the lack of power.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Better to drive a slow car fast my A$$!

    Not when you’re paying fast car money. Slow-car-fasts need to be $200 CRX rollovers you bought from the impound auction with a salvage title, you turned into a sp!der with a sawzall and welded the doors shut.

    Prospective FRS/BRZ buyers may never cross shop or be caught in Mustangs, but they don’t need to be reminded of what lousy performance they got for the money every time they see mustangs and such.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    It never ceases to amaze me how many trolls and haters surface on TTAC forums every time there is an article about the Toyobarus and Scions in general. Finally, Toyota brought a little enthusiast oriented car that’s affordable and different from everything else on the market. Yet, all we hear is incessant whining from the demographics who were not meant to be in the market for such a car in the first place. The first group, which I call “the drag racers”, will never get the concept of a balanced sports car. All they want is a big engine, two pedals, and a super size cup holder. The second group, which we can call “the arrogant well-to-do adult men” which also can be called “Mr Family man” or “Mr Practicality” always relish a chance to crap on a car that was meant for those who are young, single, and aloof. See, in the formers’ book, a car that’s designed to be fun for the high school, college, and post-college demographic does not have a right to exist. Silly kids, why don’t they just drive mom’s Camry or at least a used Mustang. Don’t they know that those cars have more powar and back seat room which are the ultimate measure of every car’s worth?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Its not like we just want to hate it, it’s irrelevant because it’s overpriced more than anything. What non-lux compact starts in the $25k range before discounts?

      It’s priced in pony car territory, cars that no longer require straight lines, it cannot compete with 2/3 the power, 1980s GM interior, and few options.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        The affordability of Mustang or front-wheel sport compacts is not a proof that Toyobarus are overpriced. There are millions of Americans who want to own a pony car with a relatively big body and oversize engine. Those were part of the automotive culture going back many decades. Ford sells Mustangs by millions and hence it can recoup the R&D and tooling costs while offering the base models are laughably low prices. On the other hand, no matter what price, Toyobarus would never sell by millions, no matter how low price is. Even at 20K, which many posters here claim is a “fair price” for Toyobaru, the Toyobarus wouldn’t sell anywhere near as well as Mustangs.

        So it’s not like Toyota is duping the customers by selling an “overpriced” sport compact. The high MSRP reflects the costs of developing and tooling for this car, which have to be recouped even with Scion/Subaru-level sales volumes. A more reasonable cross-shopping comparison for the Toyobarus is not Mustang or WRX, but a Miata. Let’s be honest, a BRZ is a Miata with a roof, and I see about as many Toyobarus as recent Miatas on the roads. Both belong to the “so impractical that only dedicated enthusiast will daily drive them”. Nonetheless, that’s a valid market demographic. And if you look at the base price Miata, you’re not getting a whole lot in this case as well. A base model Miata has slightly lower MSRP than BRZ/FRS, but comes with 5-speed MT and no cruise control. I am sure it has a lot other things deleted compared to the version most people want to have. Either way, a Miata or Toyobaru that most people want to have is going to sticker in the upper 20s. Yes, they’re not a great value. Neither of the two was meant to compete with pony cars.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        I also doubt it could compete with a 1980s camaro…I would wager on an IROC-Z around a road course over the FRS. ESPECIALLY if the FRS was on stock wheels/tires. The car just has so many fails baked in as offered, I don’t see the appeal at all.

        • 0 avatar
          ELnNH

          Subaru BRZ (Manual) 0-60 mph 6.1 Quarter Mile 14.
          1985 Chevrolet IROC-Z28 0-60 mph 6.9 | Quarter mile 15.0
          1970 Chevrolet Corvette 427 0-60 mph 6.0 Quarter mile 14.1
          1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 0-60 mph 6.4 Quarter mile 14.7
          1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 0-60 mph 7.0 Quarter mile 15.2
          1975 Pontiac Trans Am 455 0-60 mph 7.7 Quarter mile 15.9
          2000 Toyota Celica GT-S 0-60 mph 6.5 Quarter mile 15.0
          1996 Toyota MR2 Turbo 0-60 mph 6.1 Quarter mile 14.7
          1964 Shelby Cobra 289 0-60 mph 5.8 Quarter Mile 13.7

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      There’s just not much else to hate today. I mean, who’s ogre enough to really unload on the poor, stillborn Elio?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Jacob, it was nice of you to compartmentalize us all into nice neat little packages. Old-guy Mustang lovers here, truck lovers over there, but what transcends your in-depth analyzes is that no matter your age or demographic the one thing everyone wants is value. The FR-S just doesn’t have that. There are just too many sports cars that offer more for the money Toyota wants for this car. There isn’t even prestige involved that can often overcome a car’s shortcomings

      All this car is saying is you didn’t do your homework, because if you had you probably would have bought something else

      • 0 avatar
        lonborghini

        Jacob nailed it. Lie2me is more interested in sound systems, touch screens, heated seats and probably CVTs. Buy a Prius and pretend its a sports car Lie2me.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Yep, keep nursing that inferiority complex.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          You totally missed my point and quit being so insecure about your car choice. At your age it makes you look silly. What do you care what other people think about what you drive?

          I’ve had a lot of cars that made others scratch their head and go WTF? I never cared, because it was what I wanted

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        “All this car is saying is you didn’t do your homework, because if you had you probably would have bought something else”

        It’s all a matter of perspective. For you that may be true but for me there is nothing on the new car market right now that fits my needs and wants better than an FR-S. I won’t take the time to go into the nitty gritty details, but I think it would be concise to say that I miss driving my Miata but I am at a phase in my life where I need a back seat. I admit the “wants a Miata but needs a back seat market” is slim, but we do exist.

        Unfortunately for Toyota/Subaru I could not be more thrilled with my existing 2006 Acura RSX-S. It needs some work done to it this year: new tires, replace a bent rim, 110k mile service, new front brake pads, and new passenger side CV boot. But, let’s see, spend $1500 on a car that I like or $25k on a car that I like? I think I know which I will spend and sorry Toyota it’s not an FR-S.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @Jacob – I probably am the customer demographic Toyota wanted. I’m a 30 year old single male who has watched international motorsports for over a decade, played Gran Turismo and Forza on my consoles, drives a stick shift e46 BMW, and makes a comfortable lower middle class income for a single adult. Doesn’t change the fact that I still have to consider practicality. Granted, I’m a bit unique in that my job (Firefighter) requires me to carry a lot of stuff to work, so I place an extra emphasis on both space available and ease of using that space. I’ve had a Focus hatchback for the week and have loved the ease of use of the available space. My rear seats have been folded down the entire time.

      Even those in other professions find themselves needing the space for other activities. I’m into biking and kayaking, activities that would be challenging with an FR-S. People who like camping fishing or surfing could also find themselves challenged. As a new homeowner, I need to be able to run to Costco and Home Depot. It’s not impossible to live with a smaller coupe…my sister daily drove her Miata for many years and made it work, but when the time came to buy a new car, she as a single childless woman was seduced by the packaging brilliance of a Honda Fit.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        They may have wanted you, but they didn’t realistically expect you. As you’ve said, you prioritize practicality for your outdoors activities so anything smaller than a 2 box hatchback is going to be a tough sell to you.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @Quentin – I guess I should’ve expanded further, but this is where the issues with the car get to be a whole series of things. This car is a good car, but it is essentially a toy car because of its size. The problem is, there are a lot of other toy cars out there. If I end up with a Honda Fit and I get rid of the BMW, you better believe there will be a toy car in my future. This won’t be it though. It’s not as fun as a MIata. The powertrain isn’t as inspring as a (used) M3, 370Z, or Mustang GT. Then again, as others have pointed out, at $20k instead of $25k, that math changes a bit. Hell, I’d sacrifice 50 hp for a $5k price cut, although I realize most of the cost of this car is the chassis. As it turns out, Toyota did find a niche for the car, but intentional or not, its a very small niche. It’s for an enthusiast who needs more space than a Miata, but not as much as a GTi or Civic Si.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I wish the FRS/BRZ had used a Toyota engine with Subaru suspension, but they did it the other way around. I don’t like boxer engines.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    deleted

  • avatar
    dwford

    Let’s face it, there is only so much demand for RWD sports coupes. And there is even less demand for marginally attractive, very small, low power sports coupes. Only so many people take personal pleasure in knowing for themselves that they bough themselves a technically correct sports coupe with low center of gravity, and great handling. That’s not why most people buy sports coupes. People buy sports coupes to be seen and heard coming in a sexy body style. The FR-S does none of that.

    Fix the interior, and add the optional turbo – even better make it a kit so the kids will get the pleasure of tuning it themselves (I mean, swiping their credit card in the service dept for the techs to install the kit).

    Toyota has a history of overthinking their sports coupes and coming out with something the engineers like but the buying public does not. The FR-S is just the latest.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ya, there isn’t any demand – that’s why Challenger and Camaro sales keep growing and the Mustang holds the line (sales slowed in 2014 with the hype of new model coming). RWD coupes all – Toyota screwed up, plain and simple.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Just goes to show you that perhaps it’s just not that good of a car, or it has limited appeal – OR the demographic it’s aimed at just doesn’t have the income to afford it as a toy, especially if one has to support a family.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts.

    I do know this as an almost 64-year-old: A Camaro appeals to me, this Scion doesn’t.

    What do I know? Just my one-cent’s worth…

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      As a 65 year old whose son is a sales manager at a nearby GM store, i don’t care much for Camaros. He would have loved to sell me a Camaro and tried. For the first time in nearly twenty years i had to go elsewhere to buy the car i wanted. I love my FR-S. He likes it too, but at 6’4″ it’s a bit of a tight fit on him.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    No surprise at all. A used 350z is the real competition and will win every time.

    More power – yes. But also it would be great if they would leverage the platform better. A lengthened RWD toyota sports sedan for about the same cash would sell like hot cakes. Using a standard Toyota engine like a AR series would have been cheaper even if not ideal packaging. Without scale this car was always going to be low volume.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yeah sure let’s all bow to the Subiyoda gods and all, but let Subaru keep their flat 4 and low CoG. The FRS should run the Tacoma V6 and manny tranny. And update the drivetrain when ever the Taco does.

      I always cons!dered the regular cab Tacoma the last affordable compact rwd 2-seater sports car with a huge trunk bonus. Except no V6 unless extra cab. Catback turbo???

      Edit – akatsuki – I didn’t mean to reply to you exactly. Just a general response.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        My thought is that by spreading the dev cost across more, the whole thing becomes much more justifiable. Plus a RWD sedan that was cheap would sell a lot better.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          That’s exactly right. I’m not sure why Japanco moved away from sporty cars that shared their compact pickup drivetrains. So did Big 3 OEMs, but now just run fullsize pickup drivetrains in pony/muscle cars.

      • 0 avatar
        kuman

        Hahaha, truck based sports car, with turbo diesel torque monster, body on frame and live axle ( optional 4WD with low range and towing capabilities) I like it XD

        Toyota Tundra sports coupe, racing on the track after towing your caravan there.

        Heck it can be the all encompassing sport vehicle, with different set of tranny, suspension parts and tires it can cover ranges from track days to drag racing to rock pit crawling

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s not a joke. The awd Syclone (Sonoma) pickup was the fastest car you buy when it was new. I didn’t say the fastest around a track, but the early Celicas/Supras ran pickup drivetrains, including live axle. And what do you have against live axles? It’s the most efficient way around a track. Many sports cars, including the M3, couldn’t keep up with the Boss 302 around a track.

          But it’s mostly a very cost efficient way to build a rwd sporty car, especially if the pickups you already build are the only rwd parts on the self.

          The 240sx, Starion, and probably a few others I’m forgetting, ran pickup truck powertrains. Better to have these than not. And pickup truck drivetrains, tuned/geared for speed, already have the tough commercial durability, reliability built in.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “No surprise at all. A used 350z is the real competition and will win every time.”

      Yep… that’s what I bought. I was interested in BRZ/FRS but as mentioned countless times its just too short on power to be “fun”. And the second problem: the lack of a hatchback. The hatch alone would make it a totally different vehicle compared to the Miata, Mustang and Camaro. Since small RWD cars are pretty compromised to being with adding the hatch gains back some functionality for daily use. The real crime was the lack of a turbo, especially considering the boxer engine came from Subbie and they knows turbos. The weak output of the engine is a huge disappointment.

      I see plenty of BRZ/FRS on the track, way more then my 350Z for sure, so they are popular. However let’s face it: there is a very limited number of people that buy a NEW car for track duty.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I used to own an original Eagle Talon, so was interested in the FR-S when it came out. I Expected a somewhat similar experience with 200 hp and less weight.

    A couple of minute drive revealed a car with no power to climb the hill outside the dealership in third, an engine that sounded like a garburator, absolutely zero sound-deadening, and consequent feeling of abject tinniness. To find out it weighed the same as a Civic Si while being touted as “lightweight” (what a laff),cemented my rejection of this totally underwhelming product.

    It isn’t half the car my old Talon was, in fact less than that. It is not selling, because a test drive by a reasonable person will come to the same conclusion I did.

    Now drive an STI, and you’ll get the same giggles as driving the Fiat Abarth, with a couple of OMGs thrown in for good measure. Sure, it’s $10K more and worth every penny.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    jimmmyy wrote:

    … Emotional marketing does not work with the young crowd, and that is what Detroit relies on…

    Honestly, this is just preposterous. Watching the football games today:

    2016 Acura ILX – Lightning in a Bottle

    you tube dot com / watch?v=Ez6fTgyhpBk

    2015 Toyota Camry – Bride Breakout

    you tube dot cot / watch?v=9aaDK4aM4GM

    2014-2015 Nissan Rogue – Winter Warrior

    you tube dot com / watch?v=FhUqPG4g1gU

    And since the topic here is Scion, specifically, lets look at Scion advertising:

    2014 Scion – Make Everything Epic

    you tube dot com / watch?v=rZR4N499uHA

    2013 Scion FR-S – Driving Is Back

    you tube dot com / watch?v=bTcRWzAwL70

    And lets add another Toyota one from last year:

    2014 Toyota Prius Family – Everyone Hum

    you tube dot com / watch?v=iCRiRa64HVY

    =======================================================

    All of these are “emotional ads” with emotional themes. To say that Detroit markets on “emotion” and no one else does – sorry but that simply isn’t true.

    With that said overall, as Derek has written often, auto manufacturers advertising has been very tone deaf in general – that’s a different issue.

    Another emotional ad – from Detroit – the Chevrolet Colorado – Back IN Black Ad

    you tube dot com / watch?v=8lN5yZd1YPY

    jimmyy – everyone does it – and there are a lot of reasons why. And you can play on emotions in advertising for different reasons. All of these ads I’ve posted to have different messages – the Prius family ad and the Scion FR-S ads in particular are about as far apart as you can get from messaging – but they’re emotional to the core.

    The two “fact based” car ads I saw were for the new Kia Sorrento and the one ton Ram. The one ton Ram it can tow 30,000 pounds more than anyone else and that’s all we’re telling you was the most “emotional” un-emotional ad of them all – well – you’re still technically right – Ram is “Italian” now.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Lets do a little summary.
    2012: On sale for half the year, the BRZ and FR-S combined to outsell the WRX by a significant margin, outsell the GTI, 2x the 370Z sales, and 2x the Miata sales.
    2013: With a full year of sales, the BRZ and FR-S combined to move 10k more units than the WRX, 2x the GTI, and 3x both the 370Z and the Miata.
    2014: The all new WRX on sale for 9 months of the year moves 4k more units than the BRZ and FR-S. The all new GTI on sale for 6 months trails the BRZ and FR-S by 4k units. The Miata moves roughly 1/4th as many units as the BRZ and FR-S.

    Considering the practicality that you give up and the fact that the WRX and GTI got some major reworking, why are we flipping out at the volume level of the BRZ and FR-S? The sales trend seems to be following the normal sports car trend of hot at the beginning and a steep drop off a few years later. The Miata did the same thing when the NC came out but no one is out here writing the eulogy for the ND — which just so happens to get less powerful and even smaller — things could get ugly for it despite the drop in curb weight. You have to consider that with small sports coupes, a lot of people get them early and the the niche is mostly satisfied. When they start appearing on the used market with low miles and little wear and tear, going new is tough to justify. Again, the Miata exactly shows this scenario. I remember car shopping for S2000s and Miatas in 2010 and finding 3 year old NC Miatas for 1/2 off the original MSRP was easy. Why would I consider buying new?

    Anyway, I took delivery of my FR-S in august. It is the most enjoyable car I’ve ever owned and is among the most enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven*. It fits me like a glove, has just enough space for my daughter in the back when I’m flying solo on the parenting duties. The seats are great, the steering wheel feels great, the shifter is smooth and precise. I test drove the 2015 WRX and 2015 GTI and they were fine automobiles. There aren’t going to be many people that I say that the WRX or GTI was a bad choice compared to the FR-S/BRZ. Those cars truly are amazing at being jacks of all trades. They are totally different animals, though. They feel tall and you feel like you are sitting on top of the chassis. The FR-S/BRZ make you feel like part of the chassis. If you don’t have great, twisty roads, this feeling is largely unnoticed/unvalued. The Miata is the other car that feels like that (in the affordable range, anyway). If you want a slightly more practical Miata, it is hard to beat the FR-S or BRZ.

    *I’ve driven a V10 M5, CTS-V, 997 911, IS-F and there is a large element of fear, especially concerning one’s ability behind the wheel, with cars with that much forward thrust. On the street, those cars are so capable of going so far outside of the normal street driving envelope that I can’t ignore that fear. I feel like the FR-S strikes an amazing balance of being able to drive spiritedly without being a complete menace to those around me.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I’ve driven a V10 M5, CTS-V, 997 911, IS-F and there is a large element of fear, especially concerning one’s ability behind the wheel, with cars with that much forward thrust.” How odd, many of us don’t have that element of fear.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        It’s not the fall that kills you…

      • 0 avatar
        inthedriveway

        There’s a lot of bragging when it comes to horsepower (sometimes more bragging than actual driving), but the bottom line is that you can only use so much in everyday driving. If you ask professional drivers, they will tell you that they may not fear high horsepower, but they sure do respect it. I’ve driven some cars — the 550-hp Jaguar XK-R comes to mind — that are so jittery and sensitive that you really don’t want them in everyday driving. However, there are a bunch of fast cars that do just fine on the street. Still, you’re never going to use all the horsepower, so why pay for it and the gas it consumes?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “why are we flipping out at the volume level of the BRZ and FR-S”

      Because whipping boy.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Well said Quentin. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to buy it; but why must they pretend no one else is buying it when it’s been selling quite well for the segment it’s in? It’s not practical enough for me, and if I’m buying an impractical extra car I’d rather have the Miata. Big deal, I still like the FRS/BRZ twins from divorced parents.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Another thing to consider is plant capacity. I’ve seen pictures of the XV Crosstrek and the BRZ/FR-S coming down the line nose to tail. I believe that the WRX comes down the same line as well. If you are the product planner on that line that is running capacity, at the beginning of 2014, do you shift more of the volume to the brand new WRX and hot selling XV while cutting the BRZ/FR-S/86 volume or do you hold the volume steady from your 2013 numbers? It makes financial sense for capacity constrained Subaru to build the most of what they can sell for the most money. Flooding the market with BRZs and FR-Ss when the market is generally satisfied makes little sense when there are buyers chomping at the bit to get a new WRX since the previous model was using old, thirsty engines. There aren’t entire lines or plants dedicated to building this car (nor is there a market to support that short of the domestic pony cars). This is why you see it built with 1 engine, 2 transmission choices, and trim lines that amount to base, premium (base + nav,HID), and limited (premium + leather,push button start, heated seats) instead of 4 different engines, 2 transmissions, convertible or hardtop, and trim packages out the nose.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    The 86/BR-Z/FR-S’s problem is about 30-40 horsepower. I can explain this quite simply, without comparing to rental Mustangs and all those other non-sports cars:

    The right amount of power to make a RWD car enjoyable on most roads–without getting into trouble too easily–is about 240-270 hp.

    With around 200 hp, the 86 needs a particularly tight sort of mountain road with short straights. On any road that opens up for too long, power becomes an issue. This is especially true for the Mazda MX-5.

    I happen to live near a popular mountain road that has everything from tight hairpins to longer straightaways. An S2000, base Boxster or Cayman has the perfect amount of power for this. They are a little overpowered for the tighter mountain runs, but when the road opens up you can still feel the push and let the engine sing, without doubling the speed limit…..too often.

    With a little extra power, you can let the car carry you for a bit instead of having to thrash it every single moment. That gets tiring when you aren’t on a track.

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      “The right amount of power to make a RWD car enjoyable on most roads–without getting into trouble too easily–is about 240-270 hp.”

      No, actually the right amount of power for a rwd car is 203.14286 hp.

      • 0 avatar
        superchan7

        I should have written “in my experience.” I used to have a 250hp sports car, and it would have been perfect for the mountain roads if it had 30 more HP. That means it was perfect for public roads, since it takes longer to get to troublesome speeds and you get to wind the engine up to redline.

        I now have a 400hp sports car, and to be honest it’s complete overkill for public roads. It sounds great, but you step on it, and just like that you’re at double the speed limit…whatever that limit was. I can’t put a price on realising childhood fantasies, but the actual ownership is what it is.

  • avatar
    Nick

    If you found a wrecked one, do you think you could swap the engine and transmission into a Bugeye Sprite?

  • avatar
    Broo

    While I’m not in the market for a coupe, I sat in the FR-S last year at an auto show. Seems like I’m too tall for this thing. Even with the seat as far as possible from the steering, my knees were squeezed against the console, door or steering depending on how I managed to place them. There was more space in the late Celicas.

  • avatar
    inthedriveway

    These are great, affordable cars in the style of the original Mazda RX-7. They fit like a glove, perform exceptionally well on the track and have enough horsepower for me. Most of the horsepower complainers are probably bench racers who wouldn’t know what to do with a 707-hp Dodge Hellcat if they owned one. The FR-S and BRZ have ample power for everyday driving and for most driver events.

    With that said, there’s a very lonely gray 2014 BRZ Limited that’s been sitting on the lot of my Subaru dealer for many months. No matter what the dealership tries, no one is buying. The service manager says his customers are more interested in all-wheel drive and more practicality, both of which can be found in a WRX. If I had the garage space, I’d scoop up this little beauty in a heartbeat . . . and probably at a bargain.

  • avatar
    m42orca

    I used to own a 1985 Toyota Celica/Supra. You know the one. MKII? Normally aspirated in-line 6 with about 160 or so horses and around 140 foot pounds…

    I loved it but I sold it when I needed a “family” car. That is a huge mistake.

    Then I see the Scion FRS (or BRZ whatever). It’s a Toyota, like my 1985 was. It’s very similar in presentation to the RWD 1985 Supra/Celica I used to have in my 20-30s. Toyota-ish. So I leased it, cause I wasn’t sure, but I loved the test drive.

    20 months later, it’s basically like my 1985 Supra/Celica all over again. Only more power, much better and tighter handling, WAY better mph, similar good looks and if I buy the lease it did not cost a lot like so many me too overdone sports cars. It’s simple and basic inside, no nonsense. The motor is not as pretty sounding as the inline 6 1985 but it has it’s own character. Oh and the 1985 Supra did not have crap on it’s steering wheel either. Hell it did not even have a air bag in the steering wheel. I remember some recent born human, something like 1990 or some $hit like that, saying I should of got the BRZ cause it has navigation. Wow what an idiot. My 1985 Supra/Celica did not have navigation. And if you need navigation in a BRZ/FRZ, then you are driving the wrong car…get a mini van. The point of a FRS/BRZ is to get lost and have fun and lose yourself in the experience. Then use your damn smart phone to find your way out.

    So I’m very happy with the FRS at 45 years old. I got my ’85 back, only it’s an “86” now.

    To each their own. I don’t care what other people think about my Scion FRS. I’m happy and they’re complaining. Who’s winning that debate?

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