For 2013, for the first time in Cars.com's history, the Best of the Year award goes to two models: the 2013 Scion FR-S and 2013 Subaru BRZ. The award doesn't represent a tie so much as reflect the similarity of twins: Nearly identical, from chassis to sheet metal, these models are a joint venture of Subaru and Toyota, with the Toyota version sold as a Scion here in the U.S. The BRZ and FR-S are the first sports cars to win our top honor, and that says as much about the American car market as it does about our criteria. We look for value, quality and innovation for this award, and value is sorely lacking among pure sports cars. With a starting price around $25,000 (for the FR-S), our winners fill a gap between the wee Mazda MX-5 Miata and Nissan 370Z, providing kicks in a 2+2 configuration that can accommodate backseat passengers in a pinch (literally) but mainly provides usable cargo space thanks to a folding backseat. For us, the value starts with the cars' low price but truly shines in their execution. Where's the value in cars as basic and simple as these? Well, the answer is in the question. To fixate on features is to overlook the mission of the sports car, which is to stir emotion. These cars do exactly that, and it's their back-to-basics simplicity, low weight and classic front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout that make them balanced, light on their feet and visceral in ways many supposed performance vehicles tragically are not. Ironically, the automakers innovated by minimizing complexity and saving the high-tech for where it matters most, as in Toyota's fuel system that uses two injectors per cylinder. It contributes to a respectable EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg city/highway for the six-speed manual and 25/34 mpg for the six-speed automatic transmission. Subaru's low-profile, 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine gives the cars an uncommonly low center of gravity, influencing their excellent body control and tractability. From the moment you hit the road in these cars, you know they're something special. Whether you look at their price or their execution, it's clear these two fun, affordable sports cars are exceptions in the U.S. market. Frankly, they shouldn't be. Our awards exist to alert consumers to exceptional cars, but in this case we hope other automakers will get a message, too: More of this, please!