Small, rear-wheel drive, manually shifted coupes can be exciting, no? Fun and zippy to drive, and because of their tighter dimensions and lower weight, they tend to be easy on the gas, right?

2013 Scion FRS - silver - front three-quarter viewWell, in the case of the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, maybe not as much as we'd have hoped. Sure, they have smallish 2.0-liter four-cylinders and six-speed manual transmissions, but their hunger for gasoline is just average. Official EPA fuel efficiency numbers are in, and the BRZ and FR-S with manual transmissions net 22 miles per gallon city and 30 highway on premium fuel. Still, that's about the same as the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with the four-cylinder and manual tranny which gets 21/30 on premium, and it's better than the aging Mazda MX-5 Miata which returns 21/28.

The BRZ and FR-S chug less fuel if you outfit them with the optional automatic transmission. They probably won't be as much fun, but they will return numbers close to 25 city/34 highway.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 115 Comments
      flammablewater
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why the manual vs auto discrepancy in fuel economy? They must be using very different gear/final drive ratios.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @flammablewater
        [blocked]
          DyanRucar
          • 2 Years Ago
          that's an interesting theory, and i hope you're onto something here, preferably something not too far from the truth!
      Edward
      • 2 Years Ago
      Driven conservatively, my '06 6 speed Miata gets almost 28 MPG on regular, city. But who wants to drive that way? I say the low mileage figures are based on final drive gearing. If they used Corolla ratios, they'd get much better results. But who wants to drive that way?
        phatality
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Edward
        I agree, my 03 Miata will get 28 in the city if it is driven sanely. I have also gotten upwards of 34 on the highway. I am positive a tad more can be achieved, but where is the fun in that?
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Edward
        Interesting. My dad drives his '06 Miata like he stole it, and gets 30-31 mpg mixed on premium.
      csrecord
      • 2 Years Ago
      Prices?!
      Dreez28
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would expect much more hp with those kind of fuel economy numbers. Especially considering how low the curb weights are on these. I can buy a used Pontiac GXP or Saturn Sky Redline that gets better mpg's than this (with a manual, not quite as good with the auto) with more horsepower and more torque. I love the boxer engine, but if this is all that engine can muster for mpg's it's overdue for a serious update. Especially considering Ford, Chevy, and even Hyundai offer more efficient, smaller, turbo engines that generate the same amount of power. The Ecotech 1.4l from GM has much more potential, considering they haven't used direct injection or an aluminum block yet, and they're already getting 40+ mpg's out of that. Since GM has introduced the TRU 140 concept to compete with these, I'd say these cars are way out-classed. I hope they have tons of updates planed to stay ahead of the curve. I want to like these cars, they're a great idea. They're just too 5 years ago in terms of fuel economy and performance.
        Jeff
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dreez28
        What are you smokin'? Solstice GXP is EPA rated at 19mpg City and 28mpg Hwy, which is 3mpg City and 2 mpg Hwy lower than the BRZ ratings. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=25396 Also the 1.4 Ecotec motor is NOT delivering anywhere close to the mileage promised on the window stickers. Several mags that did long term tests on the Cruze reported much lower than EPA ratings for their observed fuel economy. Also had lots of negative feedback on the auto transmission shifting.
          dan1malk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jeff
          Autoblog themselves exceed EPA numbers in Cruze Eco when they did that comparison thing a while back. So the "not anywhere close" thing is something you read in one review and are just making broad assumptions. Also, the factory tune on those 2.0 Ecotecs in the Chevy/Pontiacs/Saturns that gives ~260 hp does INCREASE fuel economy over an un-tuned version of the same car. I don't think it's enough to put it over the Boxer engine here, though, but it closes that gap a bit. The fact that those GM Turbos are so close to this cars EPA mileage, yet so much older says either a lot about those GM engines or not much about Subaru's. Whatever...Fuel economy is not the point of any of the cars we are talking about anyway.
          Dreez28
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jeff
          Well I own a Cruze Eco, so I know first hand that I get much better than the EPA ratings. I have averaged 42-43mpgs during the summer, and about 38-39mpg during the winter. Emphasis on AVERAGED, because I have seem all highway trips over 50 mpg, and city trips with a 4 healthy American adults in the low 30mpg range. I've NEVER got less than 30 mpg, I'd have to drive it like I stole it for an entire gas tank to do that. My overall point is simply that I don't think they went far enough on the economy side for these to be as good as they could have been. Also like I said, I think they're great cars, and I'm sure they're a blast to drive, but when the competition comes in with similar models with better gas mileage, people will gravitate away from these. Again, they didn't really set the benchmark, they just jumped into the game behind the already popular Miata. That said, I'm sure they'll still hit sales targets, I just wish they would have pushed the envelope a bit.
      jase.s
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe most gasoline engines (above 1.5 liters in capacity) approaching 100hp/liter require the use of higher octane fuel to prevent pre-ignition. Also, direct injection usually operates better with higher octane fuel. With any engine that's designed around using premium fuel, if you switch to a lesser grade you will usually see a hit in performance and response. Plus, if the timing is retarded, you could probably see a rise in fuel economy.
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      must be gearing. id expect that 2.0 DI to be pretty efficient
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      Huh, I can remember when manual used to be more fuel efficient on all cars.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dennis Baskov
        [blocked]
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dennis Baskov
        It's the EPA test regiment. A slush box is much more consistent, and be programmed to shift so as to maximize the EPA numbers.
      rem
      • 2 Years Ago
      While this mileage doesn't sound great compared to say... a Veloster or even a Sonata turbo - I've found that the way the car 'feels' seems to affect mileage even more than actual straight line performance. If you want a car with instantaneous throttle response that's geared to always keep you in the power band of a reasonably high revving naturally aspirated motor, you're just NOT going to get the kind of efficiency numbers you'd get out of a car with a lower specific power output and heavily damped throttle plate. The considerably higher mileage on the automatic probably came with a lot of concessions that are masked by having an automatic transmission. Personally, I haven't driven a manual car in the last 5 years that I'd want to try to live with on a daily basis. I have a feeling the BRZ is a rare exception to that.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rem
        [blocked]
      prettycool_huh(ಠ_ಠ?
      UM HELLO????????????? V6 MUSCLE CARS GET 30MPG, AND ARE MUCH BETTER LOOKING & FASTER. SOMEONE TELL ME WHY THIS CAR IS BETTER.
        ctsmith1066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @prettycool_huh(ಠ_ಠ?
        These cars aren't intended to compete with muscle cars. And as for their looks... to each their own.
        A_Guy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @prettycool_huh(ಠ_ಠ?
        I won't speak until you stop yelling.
          prettycool_huh(ಠ_ಠ?
          @A_Guy
          SO YOU CAN HEAR ME TYPE??? i wont stop YELLING untill you stop whispering. btw, loud machinery is in my background
      Stuart Anderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      And yet the 300 HP mustang returns 19/29 in stick form without premium. Pathetic.
        Mike Gaudiello
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stuart Anderson
        http://jalopnik.com/5869650/why-do-2011-ford-mustang-driveshafts-keep-exploding Also, this.
        fivesix7eight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stuart Anderson
        19/29 MPG in the new v6 Mustang must be a myth, I rented a 2011 (AT) while on vacation for a week and couldn't get over 19 MPG combined! I was not willing to sacrifice booze money for gas money so I drove very conservatively. There was 65,000 miles on that rental and I returned it with an additional 2,000 on the odometer. On a trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas we barely managed 19 MPG with the windows down and AC off: two people in the car with one carry-on each in the trunk. The MPG was a bummer but I thought it was a nice car that was pretty fun to drive, otherwise.
        Matnik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stuart Anderson
        And the 300HP V6 Mustang has a pathetic 2.76:1 final drive ratio in order to obtain 29MPG HWY. The V6 Mustang does not get anywhere near 29MPG HWY with the optional 3.31:1 final drive ratio (Ford does not even publish MPG figures with the optional 3.31:1 FD). The FR-S/BRZ has a 4.1:1 FD on the manual tranny and probably a 3.7:1 FD on the auto tranny (which would explain why the auto gets better fuel mileage). I for one welcomes the 4.1 FD ( I wish my 06 WRX had 4.1 FD or even a 4.4 FD instead of the stock 3.7 FD that it has now).
      PatrickH
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pretty piss poor, given that the Genesis coupe has a turbo and weighs more than 500 lbs heavier.
        Slideways
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PatrickH
        A person who wants a driver's car would care less about fuel economy...
          ChrisH
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Slideways
          A person should no have to make that compromise and I bet in a few short years they won't
      zanarditypes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Silly ads from Hyundai and many other automakers have everyone believing that every 4cyl gets 40mpg. And I must be no exception, as my first reaction here was disappointment. But in reality, the other sporty 4cyls - VW GTI and Civic Si - are rated 21/31 and 22/31 respectively. So a RWD sport compact rated 22/30 is right on the money. Besides, as everyone knows, "your mileage may vary." Some will get less than 21, some will get more than 31. That's just how it is.
        bobmarley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @zanarditypes
        good points
        Ron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @zanarditypes
        Don't think anyone was seriously expecting 40mpg, I think the point of the comparison with the Genesis coupe is that the numbers are just disappointing. The Genesis Coupe 2.0T makes over 75 additional horsepower, 125 additional ft. lbs of torque, weighs more, is larger, is port injected, and still gets better mileage; http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=32215 The Hyundai Veloster turbo 1.6L turbo makes 201hp, 195 ft lbs or torque, is GDI, weighs more, and an estimated 27 city, and 38 highway...
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