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Old 06-13-2013, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The American Dream: My New Scion FR-S

On Saturday, I purchased a sports car with nothing but my good word I'd pay (and a sizeable down payment), and threw myself into considerable debt for the next 4 years. If you ask me, I'm livin' the dream!

Social commentary aside, I walked out of the dealership with a brand-spanking-new Scion FR-S, with the optional "Whiteout" color. It's that pearlescent white that Toyota has. I love that color...

Firstly, pics!







Yeah, already dirtying up the floor mats. Such is life:










And now for my thoughts on the car!

First and foremost, this is my first manual transmission car. That was on my list of requirements for my next car; a list which this FR-S filled out perfectly. Basically, I wanted a manual, RWD, customizable sports car that I could fit in (6'3", 230 lbs). The Toyobaru 86 series offered several subjective benefits as well: aesthetics, "mojo," and driving character.

There are some less-than-thrilling quirks about it, though. I may be new to motoring proper, but even I wish it had some more punch. Fortunately, there is already a sizeable aftermarket that can satiate that hunger before too long. On the flip side, the ~200 hp ~160 ft/lb boxer motor definitely feels ample for its 2,700 lb curb weight. Continuing on, several reviews I've read mentioned the cheap-feeling interior, and I'll echo those thoughts. I suppose Toyota had to cut costs somewhere to keep this guy affordable, and it shows up in chincy trim. Fortunately for me, I didn't buy this car for interior amenities, so as long as I can prevent cracks and rattles, I'll be happy.

As for drivability, well, this guy delivers by the truckload. The steering is sharp, the suspension is firm but not painful, the shifting is quick and easy for a newbie like myself, and the little Prius tires break traction oh so wonderfully. It's just damn fun. A complaint I do have, however, is the clutch. I probably would never have noticed had I not read about it, given my lack of experience, but it's super smooth. There is almost no engagement feedback, and for a newbie, that may present some challenges getting the feel for it. I'm picking it up well enough, though.

I'll update this post with complaints/praises as they arise!
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Last edited by Magoo; 06-20-2013 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Updated Post
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Or get a Subaru BRZ. Same exact car (literally) as the FR-S, just with a Subaru badge. And according to my parents, never, ever let a dealer know how much money you have/can make until you've haggled with them as much as possible. Also, check for dents and small scratches before you sign anything, you'd be amazed what some new cars look like driving off the lot.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Or get a Subaru BRZ. Same exact car (literally) as the FR-S, just with a Subaru badge. And according to my parents, never, ever let a dealer know how much money you have/can make until you've haggled with them as much as possible. Also, check for dents and small scratches before you sign anything, you'd be amazed what some new cars look like driving off the lot.
It's only mostly the exact same car. The weight distribution is slightly different between the two and personally, I find the BRZ lacks the impact in the looks department. Same frame and same drive train, other than that the cars aren't the same. But you have a point, I would buy the FR-S because I like the looks better, if I liked the BRZ better I would probably buy a BRZ.

The other thing that I have observed from my parents at the dealer, if you don't like or want the extras that are on the one on the lot, don't pay for it. You may actually end up taking the in stock one home for the same price as a lower accesorized vehicle. Also watch out for some hidden fee's and make sure you research them. When my father bought the new car there was a fee for security lazering, the dealer tried to say that it was mandatory for them to do it, but none of the other dealers in town had this. He didn't want it and they ended up conceding that gouge.

I'm going to try to follow this thread closely, I am looking at doing the same thing (same car) in a year or so once I graduate and have a job.

On a mild aside: It's exciting to see that Crawford Performance has taken a big interest in the BRZ/GT-86. They have a built one with something like 500hp! I was looking on their web site and for the entire build minus the turbo set up (doesn't seem to be listed yet) was only (LOL only, mind you there are some guns on here that cost less) some $4.5k.
Basically for, what I would guess to be, an additional $12k you enter Veyron power to weight territory.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was considering the BRZ as well, naturally, but it was a few grand more expensive and had standard features that I didn't want, so I'm going for the FR-S. I do like the more subdued looks of the BRZ though, to be honest. It's amazing how flipping the front grille around can drastically change the looks. That's the only real visual difference.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was a Sales Manager for a car dealership for a year. Nothing wrong with buying a New vehicle, you'll do a little bit better on the interest rates. Anyhow, here are a couple tips:

There is very little room on a new vehicle. If you walk in expecting to get 3-5thousand dollars off a new vehicle, you're going to be extremely disappointed. At best, see if you can negoiate the dealer to pay your taxes and to waive docs fees. (Doc fees are a joke. Most dealerships charge $350-$599 for "doc fees". I can fill these out in about 10 minutes. It's simply DMV paperwork.

Find out how long the vehicle you're looking at has been on the lot. If it's closing in on 90 days on the lot, it's approaching their dealership floor plan. IE: They will have to start paying interest on the vehicle. There is more incentive to sell a vehicle to prevent it from hitting their floor plan.

Buy a 2012. If there is still a 2012 sitting on the lot, opt for that. Chances are, there are some outstanding incentives for them to move the rest of their inventory. Technically, they can sell the vehicle at a loss, and make it up with the incentives from the manufacturer.

Sales people are your friend, not your enemy. Your sales guy is going to be your biggest advocate, not the manager. Your sales guy has something vested in the sale. The commission. The dealership manager just sees you as another unit. Some people have this crazy idea that you should just talk to the manager. That's a joke. No one will go to bat for your as much as a sales guy will.

If you have any other questions, just hollar.

Last edited by docholiday; 06-14-2013 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I do not like playing a lot of games when buying things. My advise is make it very clear you are willing to travel to buy this. Get solid out the door quotes from a handful of different dealers for the car you want. Let them know you are price shopping it, do not intend to haggle, and simply want the best price - and again do not allow them to discuss anything but out the door prices.

This works exceptionally well if you are paying cash or financing yourself.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's the low down: My mom was a marketer for Toyota before she retired. She has some friends who are still working. Through their referral to a specific dealer, I am likely to get better deals. Another reason I'm picking Scion. That said, Scion will not let the dealers haggle. They have a "MSRP is what you pay" policy, so while there's no dealer up-pricing, there's also no haggling lower. The best I can do, I figure, is bonus add-ons and waiving hidden costs and fees. The contact at the dealer is the fleet manager, so I worry about the detachment that Doc referenced.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magoo View Post
Here's the low down: My mom was a marketer for Toyota before she retired. She has some friends who are still working. Through their referral to a specific dealer, I am likely to get better deals. Another reason I'm picking Scion. That said, Scion will not let the dealers haggle. They have a "MSRP is what you pay" policy, so while there's no dealer up-pricing, there's also no haggling lower. The best I can do, I figure, is bonus add-ons and waiving hidden costs and fees. The contact at the dealer is the fleet manager, so I worry about the detachment that Doc referenced.
We have two tCs parked in the garage, so you can probably guess my feelings toward Scion; and yes - the 'no-haggle' aspect just makes the whole process easier.

A couple things:

1) if you even suspect that you'll ever be upside-down on your loan, opt for the GAP coverage; like most such policies, you hope you never need to use it, but if you do you'll be very glad you have it; make sure that it has a) deductible coverage, and b) they use the insurance settlement in their calculations and not NADA retail value

2) an extended warranty will extend the warranty... but it will be effective the date you purchase the car; so that the policy won't give you any benefit until you're out of the factory warranty period;

3) someone mentioned security/anti-theft lasering or "etching;" while such policies can offer a nice settlement in the event your vehicle is stolen, many dealers attempt to slip this cost in under the radar; often, when dealers receive a truckload of new cars, they 'etch' all of them (doesn't really cost them anything) and then try to force the customer to pay the fee; if you do not opt for this coverage, the dealer will simply refrain from sending the registration certificate to the appropriate administration company; always check the buyer's order/purchase order closely, as fees/costs such as this show up there

4) pre-paid maintenance... i mean, it's a Toyota - change the oil/filter, rotate your tires, top-off any fluids; it might be 'pre-paid,' but if it's added to the amount financed on the loan, you're paying interest on that policy/plan

5) remember - you can always refinance at a lower rate after the purchase, providing you locate a lender (check credit unions) that can offer you that better rate

6) pay your monthly payment in-full and on-time every month; i just dealt with claim where the customer financed almost $16000 in 2008, and, as of this past April, the loan balance was only down to around $14800 - missed/deferred payments, late fees, and accrued interest can be a PITA
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Someone I know bought one on release - all I can say is; if you're comfortable spending the money, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just buy the whip and beat the brakes off of it. You're not going to negotiate a Toyota dealer and the scion's are normally very reliable cars.

You seem to already have you're mind made up anyway.
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