Toyota wants to bring back some excitement in the form of the Scion FR-S. Is it everything we've hoped for, or was all the hype for nothing? We take a drive and find out if the FR-S is the real deal in our latest video road test.
We'll forgive you if you confuse the FR-S it for its twin, the Subaru BRZ, since there are just a few minor differences. The design is simple, with a low front end and minimal fuss, with "86" badges to let you know where it's coming from (that's actually the model name in some other markets). Dual-exhaust outlets and LED taillights finish off the rear end.
The cockpit is just as straightforward. It's filled with carbon-look trim and solid, durable-feeling plastics. It's basic, but modern.
The front seats are grippy and great, and room is fairly good for such a small car--the cabin's like an oversized Miata. In back, seating is so short on leg and head room, it's almost unusable for anyone but kids.
The FR-S shows its Subaru roots under the hood, where it fires up a 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder rated at 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It's noisy, and low on low-end power, but 0-60 times are pegged at around six seconds. The rear-driver offers a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The FR-S even gets good gas mileage. It's rated at 22 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway with the six-speed manual. Opt for the automatic and the ratings rise to 25 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway.
Safety wise, the FR-S hasn't yet been rated by the IIHS or NHTSA, but it does offer all the modern safety equipment you would expect, such as stability control, traction control, six airbags. And the limited-slip differential helps keep it safer when you're tapping into its sports-car capabilities.
Our base FR-S came with no options and stickered at under $25k. Standard features include a Pioneer audio system, a Bluetooth hands free system, keyless entry, USB and auxiliary inputs, and cruise control. The only real option is a BeSpoke audio system that enables apps like Pandora, and comes with a 5.8-inch LCD touchscreen. A huge list of accessories includes paint protection, fog lights, and TRD performance upgrades.
At the end of the day the FR-S is the real deal, a sports car built simply at an affordable price. There are faster, better-handling, and prettier cars out there, but only the Miata comes close to its handling for anywhere near the price.
To learn more about the 2013 Scion FR-S, be sure to read our full review.