Tag war? Toyota 86 v. Scooby BRZ

2013-05-06 19:27

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.


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.


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.


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.

  • Keith Monale - 2013-05-06 20:42

    I am a Subaru fan but this is a bitter pill to swallow. An Impreza WRX goes for 439 000 ...a measly 50K more than the BRZ. Performance wise, is the BRZ really within 50K of the WRX?!? I doubt it. BUT there are reports that Subaru is pulling the WRX and STi out from the UK market due to low sales. So, because I fear they might do the same here in South Africa, and I really do want to ALWAYS have the Subaru option when buying a new car, I would take the BRZ ..just to keep the sales numbers encouraging ..but I would give my money over with clenched teeth! Come to think of it though, this engine needs hard driving to keep it on the boil, a maintenance plan might just relax those teeth muscles over time ...

  • Jacques Shepperson - 2013-05-06 20:45

    Toyota... you have a much bigger dealer network.

  • Hennie Mayer - 2013-05-06 20:56

    How much extra power does the performance exhaust give the BRZ? Does the exhaust give the engine a better, more sporty sound? Even so, does it justify the price increase? Personally I think this is how daylight robbery looks like.

      Chris Shield - 2013-05-07 12:17

      Indeed! What the hell is a "high response muffler" anyway? And why does it cost 20 grand? Marketing gobbledegook aimed at the mechanically inept with more money than brains imho...

      Dewald Lucé - 2013-05-07 15:01

      Funny thing is Chris is that the TRD back box is indeed 20k. No performance increase, and no sound benefit. And people buy it. As I said the complete system from subaru is 4999. And it sounds amazing!

  • Christie Lombard - 2013-05-06 22:16

    You buy a white brushed cotton shirt with label (lets call it Blue River for arguments sake) in collar at typical chain store off the hanger for R180. The SAME shirt but with brand (lets say POLO for arguments sake) embroidered on the chest pocket and label in the Collar in a brand specific shop wrapped in a very fancy plastic packet with collar stiffeners and pins to hold all in place for R650.....WHY !? The point is...the argument goes both ways....

      chrisX - 2013-05-07 12:19

      "A fool and his money are soon parted" It's the only logical explanation...

  • Graeme Stockwell - 2013-05-07 07:24

    I hope they dont sell any. Everyone that buys one deserves the book value to drop to Toyota levels the minute it leaves the dealers - how much extra are they adding to the Impreza range? me thinks they could be R100k cheaper if the Subaru marketing department all got fired.

  • LiveYourOwnLife - 2013-05-07 08:13


  • Henk Roux - 2013-05-07 08:50

    They must think we're all a bunch of idiots. And those that do buy these BRZs in fact are.

      Mogo Naut - 2013-05-07 13:37

      Just buy a blue 86 and others would think it's a BRZ hah.

  • Riotous Ramohlale - 2013-05-07 09:31

    Badge for badge's sake, yes, I would buy the subaru if I was in the market for coupe. I have never been a Toyota buyer. Not to be confused with a Toyota fan. I love and respect Toyota but there is something about a Subaru.

  • Johan Visagie - 2013-05-07 11:20

    It probably boils down to Toyota having export credits that can be used to offset import duties on the Toyota 86. Subaru doesn't have a vehicle export program and would have to pay the full import duties

  • Warren Bosch - 2013-05-07 12:04

    So how does the UK sell both for the same price? The fact remains that in SA dealers can name their price as South Africans are prepared to pay it. Period. We are ranked in the top most expensive countries when it comes to new car prices and it's us as the consumers that fuel the fire unfortunately.

  • Oliver Rivett-Carnac - 2013-05-07 13:24

    Having an STi and having to deal with Subaru SA, I would take the Toyota any day. Subaru SA are pathetic. Besides, buy the base model Toyota 86 and you have R100K for some coilovers, TE37's, and maybe a small turbo :)

      Sean Hearder - 2013-05-07 14:07

      THIS I have to agree with. I also was told, when buying my Scooby (2005), that they would trade a better price with Subaru when I am ready to buy a new car. In fact I got a BETTER trade in price from ALL car dealerships OTHER than Subaru. I went with Audi. I like the Scooby BUT I won't buy one again - EVER.

  • Dewald Lucé - 2013-05-07 14:46

    The "performance exhaust" from Suabru is R4999. So the comment is not justified. Many 86 owners has already fitted the system.

  • Nico Basson - 2013-05-07 15:49

    In Canada the BRZ is about $2000 more...

  • Stuart Robinson - 2013-05-10 23:16

    the 86 has heritage

  • George Halls - 2013-05-15 09:56

    Why do Subaru do a same design as toyota? It's still hard to swallow this! And besides the BRZ is described as a super car like Impreza WRZ sti but it doesn't have a turbo! I'm a subary fan and no hard feelings but this idea is completely out of the line! You're bringing the value of Subaru down!!!

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