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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I currently own an '06 Cayman S and my buddy owns an Exige S. We have both been extremely curious about the FRS/ BRZ and took one for a drive today.

Since our Cayman S has been repeatedly touted as the benchmark for the development of this car, you may be interested in my impressions. At least, I have been extremely curious to see how this sub 30k car compares to our P-cars.

Let's start with some pictures.





Certainly the FRS's dimensions are extremely attractive. It does not take up much more space than the Cayman, but has two extra rear seats reminiscent of my 997C4S, and even has a cavernous trunk which was super impressive. I love this trunk! I am a hobbyist photographer and it will fit all of my gear, which the Cayman cannot do.

It also looks much better in person than in pictures. I did not like the front bumper nor the rear diffuser in pictures, but they look fine in person. It's a very attractive, tight looking package.

So, some driving impressions:

- Extremely good suspension. Firm yet supple at the same time. This is BMW territory. It's so much more comfortable than my lowered Cayman S with H&R and reminds me of the best BMWs like the 3 series.
- Very balanced feeling in the corners. The front feels very effortless to turn in, and the rear feels quite adjustable with the throttle provided you're in the powerband.
- Steering is very quick, but the feel on-center is a bit vague (does not feel locked on like the CS or hyper connected like the Lotus, and does not have as much feedback as either). It's a good feeling steering, but not great. However, it is at least as good as my previous AP2 S2000. In this price range, it does not compare well to the NC Miata. But the Miata also does not come in coupe and does not have as stiff of a structure as the FRS.
- I wish I could've tried the manual, but the auto was not bad. Rev matches on downshifts but it's still got a torque converter so that hurts throttle response. I think a manual would feel better so I would reserve judgement on that.
- The engine is not bad at all for power. We had four people in the car (4 dudes, actually) and I did not feel it was slow. Very decent actually. Yes, the engine won't come alive until 5k rpm+, but in a manual it should feel better and without a full load it should also feel better. No way is it Cayman S torquey, and no way is it Exige crazy, but it is plenty powerful enough for street use. In fact, if you drive within the powerband, ie 5krpm +, it will be mighty fast.
- It is way torquier than say the original WRX.
- What I did not like was the noise. It's rough, coarse and unrefined. Reminded me of my '02 Impreza's motor.
- The interior looks good in pictures, but the materials are quite nasty in person. Seat material, dash material, everything feels very cheap. However, this car IS very cheap. Maybe the Subaru is better. However, for what you get in suspension, chassis, handling, it is well worth the asking price.
- In summary, this is the best car I have EVER driven in the sub $30k price. I have never ever found a car that has handling this good, looks this good, is this practical, or has this much polish in the driving feel as this FRS.

Am I ready to sell my Cayman S and get one of these instead? Not yet.

The Cayman is faster, torquier, more polished and refined, has a better interior, and has the Porsche badge. Also it steers much better, to the contrary of a review I just read which said that the FRS has better steering than a Cayman. This is false.

But if I were in the market right now for a car, any car, and if I were ready to leave the Porsche brand behind, it would definitely be the FRS.

But if you already own a P-car, no reason to get worked up. ;) You still get what you pay for, but the law of diminishing returns seem to side quite favorably in this little Toyota's corner provided that all you care about is handling and driving fun without regard for brand, looks, prestige, refinement and don't mind the young punk image.
 

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Thanks for the nice review :)
I was wondering how the frs would stack up against our cars, since a lot of reviews say it is truly a fun car to drive.
Hahaha i am wondering how the salesman explained the car to you guys.
"uhh i know this is a nice car but compared to what you guys have... Ummm.... Ummm... Yea this is also fun to drive. :)"
 

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Nice review :thanks:.

Got to see one in the flesh for the first time on the highway last week, it was been driven for a test drive since the car still had the window sticker.

Planning to wait for the STi version of the BRZ before test driving one, maybe it will it turn out to be an affordable track car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice review :thanks:.

Got to see one in the flesh for the first time on the highway last week, it was been driven for a test drive since the car still had the window sticker.

Planning to wait for the STi version of the BRZ before test driving one, maybe it will it turn out to be an affordable track car.
I think it will make an incredible track car while you keep the P-cars minty at home!
 

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Thank you for the review. My girlfriend has been wanting to get a sportier car, so we've been considering a Miata--this sounds similar and it is in her price range. Thanks again.
 

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This is good news for guys like me with 4 kids getting dangerously close to college.

No. They will not be getting cars. I am talking about me not being able to afford a Porsche any longer.

The goal is for my R to depreciate as quickly as possible so that is is only worth $30k. Then I can keep her.
 

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The goal is for my R to depreciate as quickly as possible so that is is only worth $30k. Then I can keep her.
This sounds like a great excuse to drive your car everywhere and put about 100k miles on it :hilarious:
 
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Or how does it compare to the Hyundai Veloster? Sounds like the Veloster has a nicer interior although I haven't seen the FRS in person yet. Sounds like the FRS has more power. Sounds like they both handle about the same, both carry 4 passengers, the FRS may have more storage not sure again haven't seen them in person to compare. The Veloster gets 40mpg, not sure about the FRS. Veloster starts at 17K and goes up to 23K fully loaded, what's the price range on the FRS? Does the FRS only seat 2 in the back due to a center console or is it a bench seat in the back that could fit 3 kids?
 

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I would love a comparison of 370Z to this/BRZ.......closer to similar price range. And, Japanese concept of materials and design.
Having never driven the FRS/BRZ, I think I can say with certainty:

1. FRS will handle quite a bit better, be more fun, and sip the gas.

2. 370Z sounds better at low rpms (better than a Porsche, IMO) and has a fun low end, making it a great street car.

3. Autocrossers and track junkies will continue to bash the 350/370 for its porkiness, high consumables cost, average handling, pad knockback issues, and love-it-or-hate-it looks.

4. Everyone will continue to praise the BRZ/FRS because even though it missed the initial targets on weight, hp, and cost, it is still the best car out there for most budgets (including mine, if I was sane).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Or how does it compare to the Hyundai Veloster? Sounds like the Veloster has a nicer interior although I haven't seen the FRS in person yet. Sounds like the FRS has more power. Sounds like they both handle about the same, both carry 4 passengers, the FRS may have more storage not sure again haven't seen them in person to compare. The Veloster gets 40mpg, not sure about the FRS. Veloster starts at 17K and goes up to 23K fully loaded, what's the price range on the FRS? Does the FRS only seat 2 in the back due to a center console or is it a bench seat in the back that could fit 3 kids?
The Veloster is front wheel drive... battle lost!

I think the only one that gets close is the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
 

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Incidentally, my friend also has a silver Exige (just wrecked it!) and I have an atlas grey CS. This weekend, we went and drove a copper FR-S (no BRZs are available here yet).

My review in summary: keep your Cayman.

The FRS was surprisingly good-looking in person (though not as nice as a Cayman), and I thought the interior was ok. Handling was good, as expected, but 200 hp just did not feel like 200 hp. And there was no Subaru burble.

I concur with rosso-corsa's review except that I do not think the engine is even torquey enough for fun on the street. Seriously, my 1989 240SX was more fun (with 50 hp less, but about the same torque).

The clincher for me was the attitudes and piss-poor service from both of the two local Scion dealerships (Larry H. Miller and American Toyota). The first dealer claimed they had two in stock and that we could drive them. When I showed up, they first told me that they would need a $500 deposit before taking a test drive. Then they decided that they in fact had none in stock.

The second dealer had one car on the lot, but "Ron" said that we could not test drive their car because it was "new." The salesman (Ron) then pretended that this was standard policy for new cars, insinuating that I must not have ever bought a "new" car before. Then I did something that I read on Edmunds: I popped the hood. According to what I've read, this triggers a hormone that only car salesmen produce that turns on their mouth and turns off their brains. It worked. I have never heard so much BS about one car in my life. Within 2 minutes, the FRS was better than a Ferrari and a Lamborghini because of it's low center of gravity. It turns out that Subaru chose not to move the engine *back* all the way to the firewall because that would hurt the low center of gravity. Also, the Milky Way Galaxy revolves around the FRS's low center of gravity. But wait... there's more. The car uses the Prius' tires because those are the "most tested tires in the world." And there's a TRD exhaust for it that "sounds really good," but we can't order it yet because "Toyota hasn't designed it yet." Yes, Ron truly knows his product. It would have been funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Eventually, my friend convinced Ron to let us take it out for a roughly 2 mile test, which was enough to find out that the chassis is really far, far ahead of the engine. I know that works for the Miata, but it's not going to work for the FRS.

So maybe wait until they come out with an STi version.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha, thanks for sharing your experience. The dealer snobbery is quite laughable and seems to happen every time a new, inexpensive performance car hits the market. :hilarious:



Incidentally, my friend also has a silver Exige (just wrecked it!) and I have an atlas grey CS. This weekend, we went and drove a copper FR-S (no BRZs are available here yet).

My review in summary: keep your Cayman.

The FRS was surprisingly good-looking in person (though not as nice as a Cayman), and I thought the interior was ok. Handling was good, as expected, but 200 hp just did not feel like 200 hp. And there was no Subaru burble.

I concur with rosso-corsa's review except that I do not think the engine is even torquey enough for fun on the street. Seriously, my 1989 240SX was more fun (with 50 hp less, but about the same torque).

The clincher for me was the attitudes and piss-poor service from both of the two local Scion dealerships (Larry H. Miller and American Toyota). The first dealer claimed they had two in stock and that we could drive them. When I showed up, they first told me that they would need a $500 deposit before taking a test drive. Then they decided that they in fact had none in stock.

The second dealer had one car on the lot, but "Ron" said that we could not test drive their car because it was "new." The salesman (Ron) then pretended that this was standard policy for new cars, insinuating that I must not have ever bought a "new" car before. Then I did something that I read on Edmunds: I popped the hood. According to what I've read, this triggers a hormone that only car salesmen produce that turns on their mouth and turns off their brains. It worked. I have never heard so much BS about one car in my life. Within 2 minutes, the FRS was better than a Ferrari and a Lamborghini because of it's low center of gravity. It turns out that Subaru chose not to move the engine *back* all the way to the firewall because that would hurt the low center of gravity. Also, the Milky Way Galaxy revolves around the FRS's low center of gravity. But wait... there's more. The car uses the Prius' tires because those are the "most tested tires in the world." And there's a TRD exhaust for it that "sounds really good," but we can't order it yet because "Toyota hasn't designed it yet." Yes, Ron truly knows his product. It would have been funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Eventually, my friend convinced Ron to let us take it out for a roughly 2 mile test, which was enough to find out that the chassis is really far, far ahead of the engine. I know that works for the Miata, but it's not going to work for the FRS.

So maybe wait until they come out with an STi version.
 

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Incidentally, my friend also has a silver Exige (just wrecked it!) and I have an atlas grey CS. This weekend, we went and drove a copper FR-S (no BRZs are available here yet).

My review in summary: keep your Cayman.

The FRS was surprisingly good-looking in person (though not as nice as a Cayman), and I thought the interior was ok. Handling was good, as expected, but 200 hp just did not feel like 200 hp. And there was no Subaru burble.

I concur with rosso-corsa's review except that I do not think the engine is even torquey enough for fun on the street. Seriously, my 1989 240SX was more fun (with 50 hp less, but about the same torque).

The clincher for me was the attitudes and piss-poor service from both of the two local Scion dealerships (Larry H. Miller and American Toyota). The first dealer claimed they had two in stock and that we could drive them. When I showed up, they first told me that they would need a $500 deposit before taking a test drive. Then they decided that they in fact had none in stock.

The second dealer had one car on the lot, but "Ron" said that we could not test drive their car because it was "new." The salesman (Ron) then pretended that this was standard policy for new cars, insinuating that I must not have ever bought a "new" car before. Then I did something that I read on Edmunds: I popped the hood. According to what I've read, this triggers a hormone that only car salesmen produce that turns on their mouth and turns off their brains. It worked. I have never heard so much BS about one car in my life. Within 2 minutes, the FRS was better than a Ferrari and a Lamborghini because of it's low center of gravity. It turns out that Subaru chose not to move the engine *back* all the way to the firewall because that would hurt the low center of gravity. Also, the Milky Way Galaxy revolves around the FRS's low center of gravity. But wait... there's more. The car uses the Prius' tires because those are the "most tested tires in the world." And there's a TRD exhaust for it that "sounds really good," but we can't order it yet because "Toyota hasn't designed it yet." Yes, Ron truly knows his product. It would have been funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Eventually, my friend convinced Ron to let us take it out for a roughly 2 mile test, which was enough to find out that the chassis is really far, far ahead of the engine. I know that works for the Miata, but it's not going to work for the FRS.

So maybe wait until they come out with an STi version.

WTF, hahahaha, I hate dealers!!!!:hilarious:
 

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Or how does it compare to the Hyundai Veloster? Sounds like the Veloster has a nicer interior although I haven't seen the FRS in person yet...
My friend has a Veloster that I get to drive at least once a week. I don't like it very much. Yes, front wheel drive. Super lazy/slow transmission, very weak engine with unpredictable throttle response. Console and steering column seem off kilter. etc. etc.
 

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Quick video closing on a off the showroom floor stock Scion FRS at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. Hot day with ambient temps in the 105-108 degree F, track surface temps around 125-128 degree F.

The lack of grip and power on the stock FRS was aparent since I was able to close the gap very quickly on my Cayman R on R comps with a passenger driving at 8.5/10th after sighting the car about 1/4 of a mile away.

As many reviewers have posted seems that the FRS can be tossed around (in other words it's loose at relatively low speeds)

Hopefully Subaru will release a Turbo version of the BRZ with lots of cooling (intercooler, bigger rad, good set of brakes, etc) of the car in the future for it to be a track friendly car.

BTW: I was giving a ride to the owner of the FRS :cool: during the session, the FRS was being driven by one of his buddies so the owner enjoyed seeing his car in action from the outside :).

 
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