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2014 Scion FR-S Review

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2014 Scion FR-S Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

For reasons unknown, Toyota and Subaru joined forces to create a fun, fast and relatively affordable 2+2 sports coupe known collectively as the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. Although nearly identical, the Scion version puts less emphasis on features, helping to keep the price in the $25K neighborhood. The result is a playful, rear-drive sports coupe with neutral handling, decent power and a wicked-looking exterior treatment unlike anything Scion has produced in the past.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're all about driving dynamics, rowing your own gears and putting your skills behind the wheel to the test, there is no better car to prove yourself in than the 2014 Scion FR-S.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The FR-S is fun, but not terribly fast. If straight-line performance and brutal torque define driving fun for you, you'll be much happier in a Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang or even a Hyundai Genesis coupe.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.9
  • 8.4
  • 6.4
  • 8.5
  • 7.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#7

out of 9

Fuel Economy

#6

out of 10

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Scion FR-S Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Changes to the 2014 Scion FR-S are limited to the addition of a standard touch-screen radio and front-seat knee cushions added to the doors and center-console sides.

Driving the FR-S
2014 Scion FR-S Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The Scion FR-S for 2014 is built to excite the driving enthusiast who believes driving is more than just mashing an accelerator pedal and hurtling forward as fast as humanly...

... possible. In the FR-S, the driver gets to practice the lost art of driving, not just steering. Keep the rpm high and the throttle response is magical. A slight input to the steering wheel sends the FR-S exactly where you want it, and although the rear steps out slightly, it doesn't require much correction to keep it in check. Those still gleaning their skills will find the FR-S is very forgiving, making it an excellent car to practice with on an enclosed track. Power from the 2.0-liter flat-4 isn't bad, and the 6-speed manual is so good it could very well be the poster child that inspires a "shift-for-yourself" revolution.

TOUCH-SCREEN RADIO
We love that Scion has made this feature standard on the FR-S. Now if we could just get some steering-wheel audio controls to go along with it.

TORSEN LIMITED-SLIP DIFFERENTIAL
A must in any sports car worth its salt, the Torsen limited-slip differential in the FR-S evenly distributes power to the rear wheels in the turns, ensuring safe passage out of sharp curves and tempting the "Tokyo Drift" crowd to come play (on a proper track, of course).

2014 Scion FR-S Details
2014 Scion FR-S Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The interior of the 2014 Scion FR-S is as big as it needs to be but no bigger, resulting in a cabin that feels cozy but comfortable like a fitted T-shirt, at least it is for those sitting in the incredibly supportive front seats. In contrast, the rear seats offer very limited headroom and nearly nonexistent legroom, limiting their use to desperate situations. Flipping down the rear seatbacks expands the small 6.9-cubic-foot trunk creating a useful, flat cargo space. Though compact, the interior feels smartly designed, excluding the confusing audio system, with nice materials elevating it above typical Scion fare.

Exterior
2014 Scion FR-S photo

Pictures of the Scion FR-S can be deceiving. In person, Scion's sports coupe is smaller than one might expect – 15.6 inches shorter than the not-particularly-large Hyundai Genesis Coupe. In person, those tidy dimensions serve to enhance the visual charm of the FR-S's shapely exterior. With pronounced fenders, a planted stance and a sleek profile, the Scion FR-S for 2014 projects an appropriately sporty image without looking overdone. Helping distinguish the FR-S from its nearly identical Subaru BRZ sibling are a revised front fascia, unique fender adornment and, of course, Scion badging.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Headlining the standard-equipment roster are air conditioning, cruise control, 1-touch power windows, power mirrors and door locks, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and an 8-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs. On the safety front, all FR-S's feature stability control, traction control, six airbags and Smart Stop, a feature that cuts engine power if the brake and throttle pedals are pressed at the same time.

Optional Equipment

The Scion FR-S is sold as a single trim, meaning factory-installed options are limited to an automatic transmission and the buyer's choice of exterior color. All other add-ons come in the form of dealer-installed accessories including a rear spoiler, 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, lowering springs and a sporty body kit. Buyers can also add a 340-watt Pioneer BeSpoke Premium audio system that includes navigation, a 5.8-inch touch screen and Zypr, a feature that lets users access iPhone app functionality with voice commands. Get it, it's worth the money.

Under the Hood
2014 Scion FR-S Engine photo

A 2.0-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder is the lone engine offered in the 2014 Scion FR-S. Due in large part to the "flat" layout of its engine the FR-S boasts an extremely low center of gravity, a feature that helps enhance handling. Transmission choices include an excellent-shifting 6-speed manual and a similarly charming 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters, although the latter's hesitance to downshift in manual mode can be annoying during spirited driving. Interestingly, buyers looking for the best fuel economy should choose the substantially more efficient 6-speed automatic, which returns up to 34 mpg on the freeway.

2.0-liter flat-4
200 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
151 lb-ft of torque @ 6,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (manual), 25/34 mpg (automatic)

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Scion FR-S coupe starts right around $25,500 including destination. Thanks to Scion's simple "1-spec" ordering system, the only factory option is the automatic transmission, a feature that adds $1,100 to the bottom line. Both the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Mazda MX-5 Miata cost about the same as the 2014 Scion FR-S, while the Ford Mustang can be had for several thousand dollars less. When it comes to resale value, Scions have traditionally held their worth well over time, a tradition we expect the FR-S to carry on. For the latest pricing and residual value information on the Scion FR-S and its competitors, be sure to check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price.

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2014 Scion FR-S Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 22 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best value in the Fun-to-Drive category.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "The FR-S will restore your love of driving."

Cons: "A bit more midrange torque."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

You need to test-drive this car, really.

"I've owned my FR-S for about 18 months. I gave it 10s almost across the board because it's almost the perfect car for what it is, especially considering price. The fun-to-drive factor is off-the-chart. The driving dynamics (handling, road feel, steering, brakes, shifting, etc.) are outstanding. It's truly a driver's car. And it's great to look at, too! Cons: I would like more midrange power, though the FR-S can hit 60 mph in 6.2 seconds from a standing start, so it's hardly a slouch. I'd also like to see radio controls on the steering wheel because it's hard to change the station when you're carving corners on a bumpy mountain road, which I do a lot on my commute. I'll need to move on to another car before too long because it's getting hard at my age to get in and out of a car that sits as low to the ground as the FR-S does. There are also times when it would be helpful for someone else in my family to drive it but I'm the only one who can drive a stick-shift. And sometimes I need to haul more stuff than an FR-S can carry. But there's no doubt that this will be the most fun car I've ever owned, by far."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

You need to test-drive this car, really.

can be a fun car,poor build though

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "great handling,head turner"

Cons: "poor build quality,no low-end"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"its a fun car to drive. not a street rod,you'll get embarrassed,this car has no low-end torque.Great handling though,fun for a curvy road. My biggest complaint with my car is the build quality. Both door panels rattle, rear deck rattles,trunk lid rattles, rear window vibrates on rough roads nose and hood panels do not fit properly at seal resulting in an ongoing corrosion problem I'm fighting with. Driver airbag cover is not centered on wheel. moisture gets inside door panels(i.e roll the windows up and down 2 days after a rain and the windows will be wet) can't be good for any door electrical components. mechanically I've had fuel pump issues and ecu problems My car is 1 and 1/2 years old. MY advice if you're looking to buy, go over it with a fine tooth comb and make sure all service bulletins are C/W"

14 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Best handling car I have ever driven.

By on Saturday, March 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "almost everything"

Cons: "tail light condensation (very common problem)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Extremely good car, with the exception of the usual condensation in the tail lamps. There are cheap fixes for this available on the interwebs though. The handling and balance of this car is amazing. Just driving "normally", you won't have to learn how to drive the car. However, driving competitively or agressive street driving requires one to shift around 7300 rpm. Takes some getting used to, but its a lot of fun."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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