2013 Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ
Double your pleasure, double your fun.
For the first time since 1997, when the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique shared, one car sold under two different marques has claimed a single 10Best award. The differences between the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are some exterior colors and trim, and the BRZ comes standard with a navigation unit, equating to a $1310 premium over the $24,955 FR-S. Critics of the Scibaru are quick to point out its unrefined and buzzy shortcomings. We hear the buzzing, and even a little interior rattling, as the backing track to a constant reminder that chassis development took the lead during this car's gestation. Electrically assisted steering that actually communicates and a chassis balance that ebbs and flows between understeer and oversteer with brake or throttle applications are hallmarks of its personality. It is a lot like the Porsche Boxster in that regard, but for about half the cost. With only 200 horses and a 6400-rpm torque peak, there's no power cushion to adjust the mid-corner pace. The Subion challenges drivers to maintain speed and when apex velocity is maxed out, so is the driver-satisfaction gauge. Entertainment, value, and execution of the intended purpose are the 10Best commandments: This one (okay, two) nails 'em all.