The 2012 Scion FR-S and/or the 2012 Subaru BR-Z…a Good Buy Pre-Owned?

2012 Scion FR-S

I’m hoping that this article will lay the debate about the Toyobaru twins, the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BR-Z to rest…at least for this generation of vehicle.

For the most part, most enthusiasts will agree on two things:

1) It’s overpriced (sorry, but Toyota said that it was going to start under 20K. Last time I check, 24K is more than any number under 20K).

2) It’s underpowered. It was “suppose” to have around 250 bhp, but…it doesn’t.

Both parts, as well as others, have been argued to death…but this article isn’t about any of that.

It’s about what’s to come in the future, whenever Toyota and Subaru release the next generation. Now, I’m pretty sure that there will be a plethora of performance accessories to live out your Fast and Furious fantasies (unless you despise that movie franchise, then no). And I’m also pretty sure that anyone with a ounce of common sense will wait until the factory warranty expires before bolting on at least a turbo or supercharger, as well as an exhaust, new chip, new CAI, etc.

So, in about three to four years from now, we can expect to see pre-owned examples start to trickle into the pre-owned dealerships and auction houses across America, unless the owners absolutely hate them, in which case, we’ll start seeing them a lot sooner. With that in mind, the question begs to be answered:

Will you buy an pre-owned version of the Scion FR-S, or the Subaru BR-Z?

Now, let’s create a hypothetical situation here. Or better yet, let’s create an actual situation. Namely, my own. If you have read my “About the Editor-in-Chief” page, you will know that I drive a 2007 Honda Civic LX Coupe on a daily basis. I’m looking to replace that in a couple of years, once I replace my wife’s current daily driver (2003 Toyota RAV4 L). I’m looking at a budget of roughly 20-25,000, and figure that my car will be worth roughly 7-8,000 by the time I trade it in, or sell it outright.

Currently, in my region, it “books” (wholesale) at around $10,500 dollars. By the way, both cars are paid for. Realistically speaking, if I trade in my Civic in a couple of years tops, I can expect to pay around 12-18 thousand dollars in trade difference. That will give me a monthly payment (factoring in around 5% interest on a pre-owned car) of around 150-250/month (with about five grand down). Of course, there are a number of factors that come into play here, but I’m simplifying it for the sake of this article.

Now, I figure that the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BR-Z will retail for around 15-20 thousand dollars, and that’s if the pre-owned market corrects itself. In case you were wondering, most cars are booking about 3-4 grand more than what they’re actually worth, due to the low supply of quality vehicles that are available. This is due to the recession four years ago, as well as people holding on to their cars longer, until they see a steady change in the economy for the better. I predict that we’re about two to three years away from that starting to happen to where people will go out and start buying more new cars.

But I digress.

So we will have a few Scions/Subarus to choose from…I figure that I can get one within my budget. If I have to, I’ll throw some more cash at it to make it happen. Now, if I do get one, I will of course what to add on a few performance accessories to make it to where it should have been.

Here’s what I’m thinking…just keeping it simple:


New chip


New CAI (Cold Air Intake)

New rear anti-sway bar

New wheels, or at least new tyres (someone better than the tyres that they stole off of the Toyota Prius, which would be anything else…I tend to lean towards Michelin and Yokohama).

I figured that if I get all of this (eventually, working my way up from the bottom of the list), then I will have the car that Toyota should have came out with, for less than 25,000 dollars (in 2012). Or…I could just get a pre-owned C6 Corvette for the same amount of money (in 2012 dollars) that I would have spent fixing this Scion FR-S up, and have something that would absolutely destroy it in every single way. Plus…I wouldn’t have to deal with the Toyota dealerships…

2006 Chevrolet Corvette


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