Pros: In the Scion FR-S, rear-drive dynamics draw out the simple, raw satisfaction that comes from operating a pure sports car. The shifter and clutch combo is meaty, holds lots of power, and has plenty of bite. The FR-S is thrilling to put through its paces and relatively comfortable on most highways, too. It’s also very easy on fuel, packs crowd-gathering styling, and is arguably the ultimate driver’s car in this price range.
Cons: A small trunk opening, and tight entry and exit for larger folks are some of the drawbacks of this coupe. What’s more, no sunroof, covered storage console or armrest are available, and knee-room can be tight for longer-legged drivers.
Price and Fuel Economy: For 2016, the lone trim level is priced from $27,490, although a range of options are available to fine-tune the sports model to any driver’s tastes, including an automatic transmission ($1,180). Moreover, Scion offers numerous dealer-installed accessory parts for further customization.
As for fuel consumption, expect a combined 8.4L/100km (city and highway) with the automatic transmission and 9.6L/100km with the manual. Premium gasoline is recommended.
Improvements and Changes: New for the 2016 model year, the Scion FR-S is now standard equipped with a back-up camera, plus fresh designs for interior details – from the door grips and centre console side ornaments to the bezels in the steering wheel and shifter. Also, two bold new colours are available for the exterior including Oceanic (blue) and Ablaze (red).
Powertrain: A Subaru-derived 2.0L BOXER 4-cylinder engine dubbed “D4S” is bolted low and wide in the bottom of the engine compartment to lower the centre of gravity and make for better handling. With 200 horsepower (backed by 151 lb-ft of torque) and a redline well over 7,000 rpm, it’s thrilling to drive hard. Simultaneously, direct injection and variable cam timing, as well as lightweight aluminum construction, keep fuel consumption to a minimum. Both the standard manual transmission and available autobox are 6-speed units.
Cargo Capacity: The small trunk in the back of the FR-S can haul just 196 litres of cargo, so prepare to travel light. Alternatively, since this is a 2+2 coupe, you can resort to the rear seats to stuff more luggage if you don’t use them.
Safety: The FR-S protects its drivers and passengers by way of a highly advanced traction and throttle control system, which includes driver-selectable modes for standard, sport or snow operation. Toyota’s STAR safety system is also on board, networking six must-have safety technologies into a standard, confidence-inspiring package. Tire pressure monitoring, a distraction-reducing Bluetooth interface, and six airbags are included as well.
Direct Competitors: Honda Civic Coupe Si, Subaru BRZ, Ford Mustang, Volkswagen Golf.