Review: 2013 Scion FR-S
This is the Scion FR-S, and it's a sports car.Finally, someone at Toyota realized that while Camry’s still make them a ton of money, that some people (including myself) would rather scoot to work on their asses then have to sit behind the wheel of a Toyota sedan. So then, some engineers got together and decided the revival of the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car was in order. And now we have it, the Scion FR-S. Right out of the block, we have a huge problem with the Scion. It’s a Scion. Nothing against the good folks over at Scion, but really Toyota? Celica, Supra, 2000GT, anything would have been better than sticking a Scion badge on it and calling it front engine, rear wheel drive, sport (FR-S), aka, the most uncreative name in the world. It’s like they sat in the office and said, "Ya, let’s make a sports car, but if we screw it up we can blame it on the Scion people." Good for Scion then that it’s not anywhere near screwed up. It’s actually pretty amazing. The Drive We’ll start off with what everyone was thinking, withe a 0-60 sprint of 6.2 seconds and 200-hp. The Scion FR-S is not a fast car, but in reality it doesn’t need to be. The 2.0-L Boxer engine paired to a lightweight body give it a power-to-weight ratio that’s damn near perfect.
Heading onto an empty onramp (with traction controll off) the FR-S gives you more than enough room to be immature. Drop it into second and slam on the throttle and the FR-S will go sideways even for the most unskilled of driver, but will be forgiving enough for you to survive. The rigid suspension pitted with a low center of gravity and minimal tire grip allow maximum satisfaction at the hands of the driver.
Back to the suspension; while I can attribute most of my discomfort to our highway system’s failing infrastructure, the twisty roads and uneven pavement made the Scion -excuse my French- a complete bitch when it came to driver and passenger comfort. On rough roads, the chassis destroys your spine, the lenient traction control pitted with some low-rolling resistance Michelin tires (the same ones on the Prius), albeit fun, make the back end too easy to get out for your run-of-the-mill driver. So everyday driver? Eh, maybe not so much.
Thank god the sports car looks like a sports car. Let’s face it, the second generation Genesis is a bit bigger than we would like, and the expansion of the Eclipse is what truly led to its demise. So, it’s a breath of fresh air when the FR-S comes with zero rear passenger room. Hell, we would’ve liked it even more if it didn’t have any back seats.
In the looks department, it’s attractive. Smooth, sweeping lines and a sharp front end give it an aerodynamic look, and if you don’t get it in a red paint job, it’s pretty much pointless.
Inside, it doesn’t feel so Toyota-ish, either. Some durable and good looking materials make up most of the dash. While we could’ve done without the cheap cloth faux racing seats, the red and black trim does add a bit of “sportiness.”
The final results led us to this, the FR-S is a peach when it comes to some good ole sports car sideways-iness. It's all around good looking, and the most fun car on the market (with a bargain price of $25K). We absolutely love it. The only problem is, we still can't get over the fact that it has a Scion badge on it. Especially when in today's age of automotive incompetence, the Scion name still ushers the occasional "who?" or "what?"
With the use of Scion as a money making tool, Toyota limited their market for the FR-S dramatically. Like with all Scions, it's inevitably aimed at a young guy with too much testosterone and not enough common sense. What really matters to any Scion buyer is that the FR-S will get him laid, do some sweet burnouts, and can be easily replaced after it’s inevitably wrapped around a tree.
Base Price: $24,930
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylinder, Boxer
Torque (lb-ft): 151@6,600
See more of the 2013 Scion FR-S here