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Tag war? Toyota 86 v. Scooby BRZ

2013-05-06 19:27

WORTH THE CASH? The Toyota 86's sibling, the Subaru BRZ, has been on sale in SA since March 2013 - with a price tag R100 000 more than the Toyota. Image: Quickpic

Subaru has launched its Toyota 86 sibling, the BRZ, in South Africa. While the cars sell for the same price in the UK at the equivalent of R350 000, there’s an almost R100 000 price difference locally.

Launched in South Africa in August 2012, the Toyota 86 currently has a starting price of R298 000, including a four-year or 60 000km service plan with the top-of-the-range model going for R351 900.

PRICEY BUY

Subaru SA’s first BRZ models went out in March 2013 and they’re selling for R389 900. The company’s marketing manager, Ashley Lazarus, said the major differences between the two cars were the front-end styling, instruments and dashboard material, and the suspension.

“Suspension forms the main point of difference between the BRZ and 86," he ssaid. "The Subaru’s suspension is slightly firmer at the front, with stiffer springs and damper (shock-absorber) valving. The rear suspension is identical to that of the Toyota 86 but with the stiffer front end the BRZ is tuned to be less tail-happy in corners."
 
The rear-wheel drive BRZ has a front-mounted boxer engine and a six-speed manual gearbox – identical to that of the Toyota 86 – pushing out 147kW/205Nm. Standard features include bi-xenon headlights, keyless access and start/stop button, a premium audio system and 17” alloy rims. BRZ-specific features include an aerodynamic rear spoiler and a performance exhaust system.

The R389 900 tag includes a full-maintenance plan for five years or 105 000km, along with the standard three-year or 100 000km warranty and Subaru Assist package.

SPORTS EXHAUST

Lazarus said the price difference between the two cars related to standard features included on the BRZ which would cost extra on the 86. “The BRZ maintenance plan of five years or 105 000km is standard compared to the four-year of 60 000km service plan of the 86. Upgrading the plan on the latter would cost the customer an extra R36 867."

He added that the BRZ also came with a sports performance exhaust and rear boot spoiler.

"If you take the Toyota 86 and add on the TRD high-response muffler (R19 950), the accompanying muffler garnish (R1995) and the rear boot spoiler (R4655), plus the maintenance plan, the Toyota 86 High manual comes to a price of  R397 967," he said.

However, the base 86 model is still cheaper at R298 500.

BIG BROTHER

Toyota South Africa's spokesperson said the brand was selling around 75 units of the sports coupe per month.

"The price difference is largely due to the economy of scale and the fact that Toyota is a local manufacturer where Subaru is purely an importer bringing in smaller volumes and distributing from fewer dealers," he added. "We also benefit from the rebate system and naturally those benefits are passed on to the consumer."

Subaru SA sold only 23 units in March and three in April. Lazarus said: "As the cars are still in short supply only five BRZ units come into SA each month but this is another advantage over the 86 - there are limited numbers of this car."

So, which would you buy? And why? Tell us in the Readers' Comments section below.
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