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1. Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ ($25,710 for FR-S, base and as tested; $28,265 for BRZ as tested) To me, the highest accomplishment is designing a special car that nearly any new-car buyer can afford. This pair of genuine sports cars — virtual twins jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru — seem destined for a place on the list of affordable classics, alongside the original VW Beetle, Ford Mustang and Mazda Miata. Beautiful, smartly detailed and thrilling, the BRZ and FR-S make their roughly $26,000 price seem like a misprint.

Lawrence Ulrich?s Top 10 0f 2012 - Slide Show -

1. Subaru BRZ ($26,265 base, $28,265 as tested) Like the nearly identical Scion FR-S, the BRZ is a bracing antidote to the technology-encrusted cars that are sanitizing, homogenizing and digitizing the driving experience. The BRZ’s chassis, steering, brakes and manual gearbox are all beyond reproach, and a compact boxer engine helps to keep the car low, balanced and planted on the pavement. It’s all so simple and yet, aside from a clunky optional infotainment system, so close to perfect.

James G. Cobb?s Top 10 of 2012 - Slide Show -

1. Scion FR-S ($25,710 base, $24,955 as tested) Is the FR-S Toyota’s attempt to atone for ruining the Celica? If so, all is forgiven. Tight and precise with more than adequate powertrain performance, a racy rear-wheel-drive platform, stellar handling, a modicum of good looks and a fair price make the FR-S the brightest star of the year. Working together, Toyota and Subaru have produced new models more impressive than the cars they’ve come up with on their own.

Jerry Garrett?s Top 10 of 2012 - Slide Show -
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