Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2016 Scion FR-S: A Fun And Spirited Performance Vehicle


Highlight: The Scion FR-S shares a platform with Subaru's BRZ.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $27,200

Seating Capacity: 2+2

Standard Safety Features: airbags; daytime running lights; vehicle stability control system; traction control system; ABS; electronic brake force distribution; tire pressure monitoring system; First Aid Kit; automatic headlights; LED taillights; and a rear view back up camera

Standard Equipment: 17-inch tires; a manual transmission; power exterior mirrors; manual adjusted front seats; cloth seats; air condition; aluminum sport pedals and scuff plates; a manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel; power windows; and power door locks

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: none

Other Trim Level: none

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle:  a 300-watt, 8-speaker AM/FM/HD

iPod connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/200-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New: With the exception of a rear view camera and 7-inch touchscreen, the vehicle is basically a carryover. 

Pros: Unless there is a limited volume special edition model, the rear-wheel drive Subaru-based FR-S is usually only available in one trim, with one option and one engine choice, a super-peppy 4-cylinder engine, which pumps out 200 horses from the chrome tip dual exhaust pipes. With the FR-S, one can opt for a manual or an automatic transmission. The automatic transmission is approximately $1,100 more than the fun-to-drive straight shift transmission.

Moreover, with the exception of the soon-to-be government mandated back up camera, the FR-S lacks many of the driving aids and convenience feature offered in many of today’s vehicles. Some of those features include a keyless ignition system, an automatic rear view mirror, a navigation system, an electronic blind spot system, and a forward collision braking system.

Two major advantages of not having these features are that it drives down the cost and reduces the chance of something going wrong with the vehicle.

On the other hand, the sporty two door was outfitted with power steering, air condition, power windows and power door locks.

The FR-S is the perfect vehicle for the young at heart or for those attempting to recapture their youth, again.

Overall, the FR-S is a fun-to-drive vehicle that yearns to be pushed, as it easily accelerates, while zipping the back roads or the highways. We must note that the folks at Scion are offering a limited edition Scion for 1,000 enthusiasts that will have such premium features as HID lights and a keyless ignition starter. See a dealer for more details.

Cons: The two-door FR-S is only capable of comfortably seating 2 adults. Unless one is transporting infants, there is literally no room in the rear for adults.

Moreover, in an age where the majority of today’s vehicles are equipped with speed-activated door locks, the Subaru-based FR-S lacks the feature. As a result not having the feature, we had to constantly be reminded to lock the doors.

Furthermore, the vehicle lacked a navigation system, a CD player and a satellite radio.

Topping that off, we  were required to use premium fuel only.

And, unlike the FR-S, the Subaru BRZ, is available in three trims. Buyers can also opt for leather seats and a power sunroof too, all of which aren’t available on the Scion FR-S.

Lastly, being that this is a pure sports car, don’t expect a magnetic ride control system. The FR-S offers one type of driving characteristic, firm!

Verdict: The Scion FR-S runs down the same assembly line, as the Subaru BRZ. While the Subaru is available in three trims, the Scion is only available in one trim. Scion separates the two by including a 2-year or 25,000-mile maintenance-free warranty.

So, for those seeking an affordable, spirited, fun-to-drive compact in either a manual or an automatic, the Scion should be place on your shopping list.

Competition: Subaru BRZ

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