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2015 Scion FR-S

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2015 Scion FR-S Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2015 Scion FR-S is this generation's Datsun 240Z or Mazda RX-7. Light, quick and affordable, this little 2+2 sports coupe emphasizes sporty driving, adding just enough refinement to make it an acceptable daily driver. Developed in collaboration with Subaru – which calls its version the Subaru BRZ – the Scion is more affordable, with a starting price that's right around the $25,000 mark, undercutting its Subaru sibling by about $1,000. This year, the Scion FR-S receives enhancements to its suspension designed to make it more stable in corners. Don't worry though, as the Scion FR-S is still a playful, rear-drive sports coupe with decent power and a wicked-looking exterior treatment unlike anything Scion has produced in the past.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2015 Scion FR-S is designed for the driving enthusiast. If you want a car you can drive to the track and back, or if you simply want something that's fun on your favorite mountain road, then there's maybe no better choice for the money.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The FR-S is more about handling finesse than brutal power, so if you're looking for a muscle car, or hoping to win stoplight drag races, then you'll be disappointed. If that's what you want, check out the Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang or even a Hyundai Genesis coupe.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.8
  • 8.3
  • 6.3
  • 8.4
  • 7.8
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#12

out of 13

Fuel Economy

#7

out of 13

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Scion FR-S Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The biggest change to the 2015 Scion FR-S is to the suspension, which has been revised to improve handling stability, which in turn increases driver confidence. The few exterior changes are almost too subtle to notice. There's also a new Release Series 1.0, limited to just 1,500 vehicles.

Driving the FR-S
2015 Scion FR-S Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2015 Scion FR-S gets subtle but noteworthy changes to the suspension, all aimed at making the coupe more stable in corners. It all works, too, and the result is...

... a sports car that feels faster on a track, and more stable out on the road. But have no doubt; this is still a fun and quick car. Keep the engine high in the rev range – you'll want the slick-shifting manual transmission for this – and you're rewarded with quick acceleration, while the more forgiving handling is just what the doctor ordered both for drivers still honing their craft, and those skilled enough to exploit it to its full potential. Around town, however, things are a little different. The suspension is stiff, and there's quite a bit of interior noise, making the FR-S tough to live with as a daily driver for anybody but the young and young-at-heart.

TOUCH-SCREEN RADIO
The touch-screen audio system in the Scion FR-S sounds great, and we're glad to see that it's standard equipment. We just wish it wasn't so confusing and that it came with steering-wheel audio controls.

TORSEN LIMITED-SLIP DIFFERENTIAL
A limited-slip differential is a must in any sports car worth its salt, and the Torsen limited-slip differential in the FR-S is an advanced example. The differential sends power to the rear wheel that needs it most in turns, ensuring safe passage out of sharp curves.

2015 Scion FR-S Details
2015 Scion FR-S Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

"Cozy" sums it up inside the 2015 Scion FR-S, but surprisingly, it's not cramped. Okay, it's not like driving a pickup, but it offers plenty of headroom and legroom, and the seat is extremely supportive around town and in corners. On the other hand, the rear seats are a joke, and it's easier to leave them folded down, pretending the FR-S is a 2-seater. The Scion FR-S offers the essential features – cruise control, air conditioning – and they're easy to use except for the touch-screen audio system. Interior materials are a step above the hard plastics normally found in Scion products.

Exterior
2015 Scion FR-S photo

The 2015 Scion FR-S is smaller than you might think, nearly 16 inches shorter than even the already-tidy Hyundai Genesis Coupe. But rather than implying the FR-S is undersized, it looks purposeful, with no wasted space. It also looks cool, with a hunkered-down stance, wide fenders and sleek headlights and taillights all looking sporty, but not overdone. This year, the short-mast radio antenna is replaced with a "shark fin" on the roof...and that's about it for visual changes. The limited-edition Release Series 1.0 model has unique yellow paint and visual cues that distinguish it from other FR-S models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Scion FR-S comes in one well-equipped trim level. It includes air conditioning, cruise control, 1-touch power windows, power mirrors and door locks, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and an 8-speaker touch-screen audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard. 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

There are two noteworthy factory options for the 2015 Scion FR-S. First is a 6-speed automatic transmission, which includes rev-matching for downshifts. The second is a BeSpoke audio system that includes navigation and Zypr, a feature that lets users access iPhone app functionality with voice commands. Aside from color, the rest of the options are dealer-installed extras such as 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, lowering springs, a rear spoiler and other items. The 1,500-unit Release Series 1.0 adds a big helping of TRD hardware, including a custom body kit, exclusive Yuzu yellow paint, LED headlight accents and push-button start.

Under the Hood
2015 Scion FR-S Engine photo

The only engine available in the 2015 Scion FR-S is a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, connected to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. That engine is part of the reason the Scion FR-S feels so zippy, not because of its relatively modest 200 horsepower, but because the lower center of gravity helps enhance handling by keeping the weight of the FR-S at a lower point. While enthusiasts will likely gravitate to the excellent 6-speed manual transmission, they should skip the TRD short-shift kit, which ruins the feel of gear changes. The 6-speed automatic matches revs as you click the paddles for a downshift, and is notably more fuel efficient than the manual, returning 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 2015 Scion FR-S carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $25,600, including the $755 destination charge. If you want the automatic transmission, you'll spend another $1,100, and if you want the BeSpoke audio system, you're adding $1,200. If you're looking to save fuel, the automatic is a good choice, but otherwise we think the manual transmission is more engaging to drive. The Release Series 1.0 will cost about $30,700 and include quite a bit of extra equipment for the price. That's about the same as sports-car competitors like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but quite a bit more than a base-model Ford Mustang. To see what others are paying in your area, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price. Scion cars generally hold their value quite well, and we expect the 2015 Scion FR-S should maintain that tradition.

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2015 Scion FR-S Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 33 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Great Value

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

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
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great driving experience with out sacrifice"

Cons: "Slightly rougher ride as a daily driver"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Fun to drive, looks good, comes with expected level of tech in a new car. This car is obviously targeted to a certain buyer, If your reading reviews about it, your it.. and you'll love it. So stop reading and go get one. I really cant think of many complaints, like all others id like it to be a bit faster but its still a lot of fun to drive as is. It also does suprisingly well in the snow if you slap some winter tires on it, the traction control system is excellent."

Its reliable, looks great and eco friendly

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Looks, MPG, Character, Sound, Feel."

Cons: "Interior is okay, doesn't kill mustangs."

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

"I owned a FJ before this car, when i first saw one in the lot I couldnt keep my eyes off of it. within a week I traded in my truck and got me my FRS. I love it and a week doesnt go buy that someone I dont know comes up to me to look at it and tell me how nice my car is. Its not a drag burner and I am okay with that. 0-60 is fine and seriously in the real world those things dont matter what does is your experience. I have owned mine for a year and even now when I get out of my car i cant help but look at it and smile. Dont get me wrong, the dash center vent padding started to peel up and the dealer took care of it under warranty. The fuel pump chirps if you buy cheap fuel. The back seat, what back seats? I have taken road trips in my car and they went great. As long as you understand that this car is small, noisy and not a drag strip burner then you will be very happy."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Own S2000 and FR-S. Both Are Wonderful Cars

By on Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, comfort, gas mileage, smooth shifter"

Cons: "Wish it had another 50 horsepower"

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

"FR-S is all about corners. The FR-S is a much more comfortable car than the S2000. Both handle excellently and both are cornering fools. Both are rock solid reliable. S2000 is faster, but FR-S handles better when pushed very hard in corners on a track. I have driven both cars on long distance road trips. The FR-S is infinitely more comfortable, but the S2000 shines when you need high altitude horsepower. Both get very good gas mileage, though the FR-S consistently got 32 on the interstate, with the S2000 getting around 28."

13 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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