By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Steve on Friday, June 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By whiteout on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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
By Kare on Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "roller skate on ice/snow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love this little sports car...beautiful design and great handling, except on snow and ice. At that point, even with the "snow" button pressed, this great little car turns into a roller skate! I've added 180 lbs. of sand bags to the trunk to help, but results are not more than minimal. Other issue is climbing out of the glove-like seats...must be an agile person. I would recommend this for a three- season driver for a younger person."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By MarkinTempe on Monday, January 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had literally over 100 used cars (went through the phase of buying and selling rust free classics out here in Arizona). My favorites have been the Datsun 240z's and early Miatas. I have to say this if you took the best parts of both cars, coupled it with some modern technology, you'd have the Scion FRS. I bought the 10th anniversary edition as I loved the color and some of the little options. Anyway, absolutely perfect car and with the seats folding down it has surprising trunk capacity. Thank you Toyota/Scion, you created a modern sports car waiting to be crowned a classic. Just please don't make too many of them... lol I like being unique."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Djavol on Thursday, January 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive; Cheap; Fast; Good MPG; Handles well"
Cons: "Poor audio system; NO modern technology"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"This car is fun to drive, sporty, and quick. A pleasure to drive. My friend's 2002 Civic however, has more technology in it than my FR-S. No steering wheel controls for the audio system. The voice command doesn't work well (relies on your phone's voice command if it has one). Speakers sound like they're about to blow at low volume and the EQ adjustments are better on my college clock-radio. If you just want to drive, get this car. If you like modern technology... go for ANYTHING else built after 2000."
5 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Arnie on Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun drive, brilliant handling, 29mpg combined !!"
Cons: "Back seat is a joke, bad interior design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"When I got my first job, I started hunting for a sports car that I can afford, yet without compromising too much on quality. I test drove almost all the cars in the market in my price range( around 30K). I drove Genesis, Camaro, Miata, 370Z( I liked that the best but it was over my budget). Finally I decided on FR-S becuase of the following:- 1. Brilliant Handling, low Center of gravity. You won't realize how easy it is to make those turns at 65-70mph that you can never make in other cars. It sits low and sticks to the ground. 2.For a sports cars, and 200 hp , my combined gas mileage is 29.5MPG ! That is really impressive when compared to even a Miata, leave alone other cars like Camaro. 3. It is very comfortable to sit in for long drives. 4.Huge trunk space for a car like this and gets bigger if you fold the back seats. ( Back seats are a joke !, don't be fooled by it !) 5. Spare tire, miata doesn't have it. Bottom line is, if you drive one of these, you will know what I am talking about, and please buy a stick shift, transmission is so smooth. My cousin who never drove one, picked it up in 7 days !! P.S.:- You can really push this car, I drove it 120mph without feeling any discomfort or turbulence Have Fun !"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful