2016 Scion FR-S

2016 Scion FR-S Review

It's why you remember Scion exists.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: August 17th, 2015

The Scion FR-S is a no-frills sports car for folks who can't afford a frill-filled sports car. Although it's been spiffed-up a bit for 2016, it remains pretty bare-bones, feature-wise. This keeps all the attention on the driving, which in this car, is where it belongs.

  • Exterior

    The FR-S got some updates for this year's model, but none of them affected the exterior. That's either great news or terrible news, depending on your opinion of Scion's more aggressive take on the Subaru BRZ, which is, essentially, the same car.

    The Scion has the same overall look: very clean, subtle lines, but the FR-S has a slightly more aggressive look, especially with its more pronounced angles and its front fascia that comes to a pair of tooth-like points at the lower end of the grille.

  • Interior

    As with the exterior, the interior remains fairly stripped down. There is, however, one concession to non-stripped-down-ness, and that's the optional 7-inch screen that runs the stripped-down version of Toyota's infotainment and navigation system (in Scions it's called BeSpoke). Aside from that, the interior is distraction free, the only visual interest being the silly carbon-fiber pattern on the plastic dash front and the stitched faux-suede trim that elevates the interior above the Scionosphere (its $26,000 base price is mighty high for an "economy" brand).

    But the FR-S is its own beast (as long as you forget about the Subaru BRZ), and the interior strikes the right note between sportiness and comfort. In other words, it's heavy on the sporty. This car is meant to be driven, so the sport seats and the plain interior help to ensure that you're sat upright, eyes forward, aiming all your concentration on the way the FR-S drives.

  • On the Road

    It's fairly safe to say that if you can't have fun driving the FR-S, there's a good chance you are what some people refer to as "a stick in the mud." We were given the keys to an automatic-trans FR-S, and although we were prepared to find ourselves longing for the connectedness of a good old-fashioned stick shift, we soon forgot all about the lack of a shifter.

    Even with a six-speed automatic, the 2.0-liter Boxer engine uses its 200 hp to maximum effect. Scion obviously knows how this car will be driven, so the automatic trans is tuned for maximum tomfoolery. Shifts come fast and furious when you gun it, and we only found ourselves using the paddle shifters to downshift for an extra boost once or twice during our time with the car.

    As ever, the FR-S corners like a drifting champ, and steering is tight, but road feel is seriously lacking, thanks to the power assist. Still, try to not have fun in this little rear-driven bundle of joy and you're bound to be disappointed.

    Fuel efficiency is impressive, if not earth shattering, but the 30-mpg highway estimate is easy to best if you keep it south of the redline.

  • Conclusion

    If you're looking for a daily driver that can also be used as a track day special, and you're not big on luxury conveniences, the FR-S might just be for you, if you don't choose the BRZ, that is.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: Naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline four

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive

    Power Output: 200 hp / 151 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 20 city / 30 highway

    Base Price: $27,200

    As Tested: $28,100 (incl. $795 destination)

    Available Features:

    BeSpoke Audio Package: BeSpoke Audio system with voice-activated GPS navigation, 7-inch touchscreen, push-to-talk voice recognition, USB port and auxiliary jack, steering wheel controls, Aha internet radio capability

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2016 Scion FR-S, click here: 2016 Scion FR-S.