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Old 10-29-2013, 02:53 AM   #1
m.wood0213
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My BRZ: Build, Experiences, 1 Year Review.

2013 WRB BRZ One-Year Review




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One year ago today (10.29.12) I became the proud owner of a 2013 Subaru BRZ World Rally Blue Limited A/T. This is my story of 1 year.


Condensed Version:
Iíve always been a fan of rare, good handling, and rwd cars. My first cars were 88 and 87 Toyota Supras. Great cars for my first cars, and the first thing I did was the suspension because I wanted something responsive. When the FT-86 was announced and introduced into GranTurismo 5 I fell in love with the car and its image. I first laid eyes on the FRS in TV commercials and loved it. Then at the 2012 Texas State Fair I got to see one in person and sit inside it and thatís when the dream began and I realized I could actually own one. I always feared I was too big, because Iím 6í3Ē 230lbs but I fit comfortably. My research started and I figured out I could afford and be a part of this iconic new sports car. On Monday October 29th, 2012 my mom was off and I wanted to test drive an FRS. However, when I called Scion/Toyota dealers to test drive, they all turned me down and didnít want to talk. So in my last resort I called 1 of the 2 Subaru dealers in my area and they had this WRB Limited BRZ A/T that was a canceled pre order. I didnít want an auto but heard great things and wanted to see for my self. Well, long story short I ended up buying the car right then and there.
One year later I realize how great this car is to drive and on a daily basis. I have yet to experience any set back or malfunctions. Seats are still great, transmission still great and better than I expected, and engine still runs as good as the day I bought it. Iíve put 12,110 miles on it to date and it still feels brand new. When I went back to the state fair 2 weeks ago I was reassured that I made the right choice as the 370z, genesis, and WRX we not right for me.
I plan on keeping the car as original as possible while making subtle changes that arenít apparent from the outside, except for the JDM OEM exhaust tips, and later clear sides. I plan on adding a front pipe, a strut tower bar, and a few engine dress up mods.
If you are reading this and are considering a FRS/BRZ do it I have no regrets itís a fantastic car.
Thanks for Reading please see my full story below.

Full Story


My background:
Iíve always been a car guy but not they typical one. My first car I bought when I was 17 was a 1988 Toyota Supra N/A auto for $1700. I fell in love with this for a few reasons: 1 It was the hero car in the first ďFast and the FuriousĒ even though it was a different generation, 2 because it was RWD (a requirement for me otherwise a WRX), 3 it was not common. You can already see why I own a BRZ. My favorite change I made to this car was stiffer springs and shocks. I loved the firm ride (BECAUSE Race Car). A few years later I rescued another Supra, this time an 87 Turbo targa top. I loved this car. I loved the manual and the increase of power but HATED the exterior because the paint had faded from never being driven or washed for 7 years, and the ride was super spongy. I had said many times I will not own anything but my Supras until I can buy another real sports car like a MK4 Supra, Porsche or a Corvette.
Discovery:
When the FT86 was announced and introduced into Gran Turismo 5 I loved it. I loved the fact it was a tribute to an old Japanese Classic RWD car. Followed the release of this car until the price was announced $25k. I lost interest and I thought IíD NEVER AFFORD the payments or the insurance (I was 21 working part time).
My first sighting of this car other than commercials was at the 2012 State Fair of Texas at the Auto Show they have each year. It was my first time at the fair and wanted to know what was going on in this huge building. The first booth I walk into was Scion, and there was an Asphalt FRS manual open for everyone. I originally thought, ďThere is no way I can fit.Ē I opened the door sat down and said ďOMG this is amazing I fitĒ. (Iím 6í3Ē 230lbs). I loved the interior, the fake carbon fiber trim, the gauge cluster, but the most noticeable feature was the seats. I felt like I was sitting in a molded corner for my body. Needless to say I realized this car could actually happen when I made enough money. A little later I walked past the Subaru section and there was a WRB BRZ roped off so no one could sit or touch it. I like the FRS front end better and it was Toyota, same as my beloved Supra.


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Journey to Ownership:
Needless to say, my persistence and desire to have what I want led me to Scionís and Subaruís website multiple times daily, looking at colors and options. Then driving both in GT5 with all colors and mods, basically I was obsessing over this car. However, I wanted to look at all my options. I NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL WANT a muscle car. I looked at a Z but the lack of backseat, and insurance cost would be too much, even if I bought a used one. Thought of a WRX but didnít want the clichť Subaru, Said NO to the Genesis Coupe because they are the new ďricer civicĒ and itís a Hyundai, I could never convince myself to get past the name. Used Porsche or BMW was financially eliminated due to insurance and cost of ownership. Miata was heavily considered but I am way to big for one and this would be my new daily driver. S2000 was eliminated because of no reason, I just didnít WANT one, I hated the dash, and having to rev to 7k rpm to get power. MK4 Supra was eliminated because getting a loan for a 15+-year-old car would not be cheap at $20-30k. So I told myself, ďFRS or nothing else.Ē
I eventually figured out about Scionís payment calculator online and started to play with numbers. I figured out I could sell one of my Supras for $5-6k as a good down payment, my dad quickly volunteered to buy the turbo Supra for that price to help out. After plugging in the numbers and playing with interest rates and 5-6 year payments I realized I COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD IT. There was one more thing though, insurance costs for a 22-year-old guy on a NEW sports car would be astronomical but pressured my mom into calling our insurance company for a quote.
For the next few days while I waited for my mom to call I started to calculate every factor in terms of money. I calculated gas mileage and how much Iíd spend on gas (FRS got nearly 10mpg more than my Supra), weekly hours at work and my paycheck. I came to the conclusion I could spend $200/month on insurance but I was doubtful. Turns out the insurance was much less than I anticipated but even better I could actually do it.
Buying Experience:
I started to look for an FRS to test drive (I didnít want the BRZ because of money). My mom had the next Monday off and so did I, so I decided I wanted to test-drive one. That day we called every Toyota/Scion dealership in the DFW area looking for one, I didnít want to buy the ones listed online because they were black and both my other cars were black I really wanted to order an Ultramarine. Anyways no dealership in DFW would even talk to us over the phone; they all said ďnoĒ, ďfull payment upfront to order one for a test driveĒ, ďpayment for a test drive when we get one inĒ. No body wanted to talk to us. Eventually someone in Dallas 50 miles away told us we were looking for the hottest car on the market and nobody keeps stock of this car. They arrive and then leave, bang bang. I had one last resort, Subaru.
There was 1 BRZ in DFW, we called and immediately drove there to look at it. It was WRB (Subaru Blue) auto Limited w/ OEM spoiler and Leather/Alcantara interior, but wanted to see how the auto drove. WELL, they never let me test drive it I asked how long it would take to order a MT and he told me March or April. I should have walked away but fell in love with the color and the opportunity and if that wasnít enough they put a $2,500 mark up ďjust becauseĒ and did not want to work with us in house with their financing. Wanted 5% interest w/ just my mom @ 800 credit score. They said once the money was in order we could test drive it, it only had 7 miles and they wanted to keep as many off as possible. This was at 3pm and we drove down the street to Wells Fargo (our bank) to see what we could get a loan for. Needless to say they made Subaru look like a joke I got 4.49% as the lead with my mom's co-sign. The out the door price for this BRZ was $33 and some change (literally). The corporate loan center replied back with $25k approval counter loan, this was perfect since selling my Turbo Supra would cover the remaining cost. Currently it was 530pm called my salesman back said we got the loan, and of course he wanted to beat the rate, I basically said F*** YOU, you had your shot, since it was late in the day and the service center was about to leave I told them to ďstart doing PDI on the car Iím buying it!Ē When I handed them the chahiers check they almost gave us a hard time about the 75CENTS not accounted for. But my sales guy eventually said he'd cover the cents.


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First Drive Impressions:
Needless to say the first thing I did pulling out of the dealership to get gas with my salesman was throw it into M and shift with the paddles. I immediately noticed how quick the steering and transmission was, not slow and dumb like Top Gear makes most paddle shifter seem. Second I noticed the seats held me in very well making a U-turn on the bridge going over I-20. The third thing I noticed is the suspension was PERFECT, just stiff enough and 0 bounce. The final thing I noticed was it was significantly faster than my auto Supra.
On the drive home I noticed the car was confortable but didnít know how to adjust the headlights (salesman didnít know either I discovered the next day how). The car was very quiet, sound system was amazing, Bluetooth worked fantastic, and I felt like it was made for me. I said to myself, ď Iím going to work to lose 1 inch (on my waist) not for my favorite jeans but for my new seats.Ē
1 Year Later:
With in 2 weeks of owning the car I developed two deep rock chips on my hood and nearly cried when I discovered them. Within a month I had my first door ding, thankfully its low and shallow enough itís hard to see but I wanted to kill someone.
I loved driving the car but wanted to mod the car is subtle ways yet, I want it to stay OEM as much as possible (I still feel this way) I started off with the AEM intake. It showed to be different than the rest because of the MAF calibrator. Second the exhaust tips were stupid so I bought them JDM tips from Japanparts.com along with the Blue engine cover. This sparked a new idea of personalization, since WRB is such an iconic color for Subaru and it was the color of the engine cover I wanted to do more in the same color. I bought a can of WRB spray paint from grimmspeed.com and painted the black OEM engine braces, and battery tie down WRB. I eventually want to get the Cusco Strut Tower bar w/ master cylinder brace because of looks and minor function. I want to add as much WRB to the engine bay as possible. I recently painted the plastic pulley covers WRB to finish off my can.


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The Negatives:
All minor and ignorable but the soft paint is the worst. It scratches so easily. Secondly, is the minor and sparse rattles/noises: There is a very random and faint buzz from the drivers mirror at highway speeds and a clunk when going over big bumps from the rear end (I think itís the spare tire cover). Thirdly, are the seats. I love sitting in them but they are a PITA to get out of especially in a tight parking spot where I can't open the door very wide. Finally, I havenít emotionally bonded with it yet. Maybe because its never missed a beat or maybe because I need to mod a little more to get there.
Future Plans:
I plan on keeping this car for at least 3 more years until Iím 25-26. At that time I will have graduated college and insurance will be much cheaper for other cars. I plan on doing some more simple mods: Catted front pipe (P&L, JDL, Motiv, or nameless) to hear the engine a little more, STi side markers (I hate the orange), front strut tower bar (Cusco w/ MCB or FT-86SpeedFactory and paint it WRB), and a tune of some sort except for ECUTek (probably Unichip).
When I turn 25 I plan to evaluate the market, I badly want a Porsche (Cayman or anything with a better backseat), WRX/STi, concept MK5 Supra, or another FRS/BRZ. In the meantime Iím looking to keep it as OEM as possible from the outside (sound and looks, so no catback or body kit) maybe BRZ STi style wheels when these tires go bald. Wilwood BBK if funds suffice (so I can keep OEM wheels).
Conclusion:
I love my BRZ and wouldnít give it up for anything else on the market right now. I love the fact that Iíve never seen another BRZ until 1 week ago in a parking garage. I love the fact that NO ONE knows what it is. I love the color. 1 year and 12,110 miles later itís still as great as it was day 1. Nothing has broken and nothing is going wrong. Itís a fantastic vehicle; it drives great and expresses my views on the world:
I love driving and I donít care what anyone else thinks. I didnít buy this car for others (straight line speed, big engine, loud exhaust, big name, or flashy looks), I BOUGHT IT BECAUSE I LOVE DRIVING IT! END!
ďThis isnít a supercar, itís a sports car. It sacrifices rear seats yes but it just feels alive. Pure, direct, immediate. The other two are going to get all the admiring looks yes, thatís my point. Iím not driving around in this for other peopleís benefit. Iím driving around in this BECAUSE I LOVE DRIVING IT. END!Ē
-Richard Hammond, Top Gear, USA Supercar Road Trip, 2011 Porsche GT3 RS.


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ďThis isnít a supercar, itís a sports car. It sacrifices rear seats yes but it just feels alive. Pure, direct, immediate. The other two are going to get all the admiring looks yes, thatís my point. Iím not driving around in this for other peopleís benefit. Iím driving around in this BECAUSE I LOVE DRIVING IT. END!Ē
-Richard Hammond, Top Gear, USA Supercar Road Trip, 2011 Porsche GT3 RS.
My BRZ
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:43 AM   #2
boxer 2.5
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Well... Uh... Good for you my man, glad you enjoy your BRZ! That wasn't really a review, it was like a diary page haha
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
DrawingWaves
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I'm glad you are enjoying the car, can't wait to get mine in couple of months!
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:44 AM   #4
Killerbee
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Nice write up and nice car :-) Thanks
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:02 AM   #5
imanedrn
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Love your comment about Hyundai. Several people have suggested I should have gotten the Genesis Coupe because more power or gone with Hyundai period, but I just can't bring myself to buy one - no matter how far Hyundai has come.

Cheers! Have fun!
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:19 AM   #6
h4nh
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Great review! Definitely a drivers car with a lot of potential.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
Turbo95eg6
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Pretty nice for the parents to help out. So do you pretty much get to drive and keep your old car?
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