The 2014 Scion FR-S and 2014 Subaru BRZ already stand right near the top of our recommendations for those wanting a simple, light, and nimble sports car—with a more visceral driving experience than more higher-horsepower sports cars of today.
Simple and lightweight don't always add up to the highest crash-test ratings and occupant protection. But in this case, buyers of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S sports cars (and shoppers considering these great sports cars) have another reason to rest assured that their car will protect them in case of the unthinkable: Both cars have earned a top five-star Overall Rating in the federal government's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That includes a four-star rating for frontal impact and a five-star score for side-impact protection, as well as a five-star score in the rollover category.
The results for both cars are based on a test conducted a couple of weeks ago, of a Scion FR-S Coupe. Both cars are structurally identical, with minor variations in suspension tuning and feature content.
Those ratings aren't all top-notch however, and there's clearly room for improvement. While the BRZ and FR-S performed extremely well in the side pole rating, as well as with a smaller (female) size rear passenger, they earned a less admirable three-star rating with an average male-size test dummy in the driver's seat.
The BRZ and FR-S had already earned top 'good' ratings in all the main categories of testing from the other major U.S. organization conducting crash-testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, they haven't yet been run in the stringent new small overlap frontal test.
In all, knowing that these two small sports cars have respectable safety scores only adds to their appeal. As we say of both, they capture the essence of what a sports car should be: honest, inexpensive fun.
(c) 2014, High Gear Media.