The 2013 Subaru BRZ and 2013 Scion FR-S—jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota—are already well known for providing true rear-wheel-drive sports-car performance at truly affordable prices: The former, slightly more upscale offering comes in at $25,495, while the latter can be had for $24,995. And now, those MSRPs also include Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
That means both scored top grades in the IIHS’ evaluations of front, side, rear and rollover crash protection. Well, at least one of them did. Because the two are so closely related, the Institute only sacrificed the Scion in its comprehensive safety evaluations. On the other hand, the dynamic duo does put the spotlight on protection in different ways, which, combined, add up to a singularly impressive safety story.
2013 Subaru BRZ: Subaru’s Clean Sweep
For the 2013 BRZ, Subaru puts the safety focus on five notable features:
- Its proven Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame, providing a robust structure for both withstanding and safely distributing crash forces
- The automaker's signature boxer-style engine, which is more compact than traditional powerplants and offers more crush room in case of a collision
- High-strength front seat frames that were designed to provide enhanced whiplash protection
- An Advanced Frontal Airbag System that leverages dual-stage driver and front-passenger airbags; side pelvis/torso and side-curtain units are standard as well
- Vehicle Stability Control with five different driving modes for a variety of different surfaces and environments
- Four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock brakes, complemented by electronic brake-force distribution, brake-assist, and brake-override technology
Also notable: Now that the 2013 BRZ has been added to the list, every one of the company’s current products has been recognized as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, including:
Subaru WRX and STI
(The all-new 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek hasn’t quite launched yet, but the automaker expects another Top Safety Pick here when it does get tested.)
2013 Scion FR-S: Featuring the Scion Service Boost
As you’d expect, the 2013 Scion FR-S provides the same sort of safety advantages as the BRZ, but here the spotlight falls on the car’s STAR Safety System, which is a comprehensive suite of technologies that is standard on all products from Toyota. The STAR setup includes an anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, brake assist, vehicle stability control and a “smart-stop” feature. First introduced to the industry by Toyota, the smart-stop system automatically reduces engine power in certain scenarios when the driver presses both the gas and brake pedals at the same time.
The Scion tC, Scion xD and Scion xB are all 2012 Top Safety Picks along with the new 2013 Scion FR-S, and all also provide another significant safety enhancement from the brand’s complimentary Scion Service Boost Program. It covers all scheduled factory maintenance for two years/25,000 miles, to ensure vehicles are in tip-top shape, and adds a two-year 24-hour Roadside Assistance program for potential situations in which they aren’t.