Scion FR-S Review
The 2014 Scion FR-S ranks 1 out of 10 Affordable Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Scion FR-S, as well as reliability and safety data.
The automotive press says the 2014 Scion FR-S offers nimble handling and unadulterated driving enjoyment at a great price. Because it has the best combination of positive reviews, price and long-term ownership costs in its class, we named the 2014 Scion FR-S the Best Sports Car for the Money.
The Scion FR-S’ four-cylinder engine isn’t the most powerful in the class, but test drivers say it has enough juice to launch the lightweight car with ease. Test drivers say the standard six-speed manual transmission is easy to shift, which adds to the FR-S’ fun driving dynamics. The available six-speed automatic is also quick to respond, especially in sport mode, reviewers note. According to the EPA, the FR-S gets up to 25/34 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a sports car. Reviewers report that the Scion FR-S is especially nimble on a twisty road, and that its athletic reflexes are bolstered by accurate steering, responsive brakes and a low center of gravity.
Auto critics report that the 2014 FR-S has a straightforward cabin that’s built with plastic materials, but they say that’s appropriate considering the car’s emphasis on performance. The front seats are very comfortable and nicely bolstered for spirited driving, test drivers note. While a lack of space is a common complaint about sports cars, reviewers report that the rear seats are especially cramped in the 2014 FR-S. There’s not a lot of cargo room, either, and rivals like the Ford Mustang offer substantially more cargo space. The 2014 Scion FR-S comes standard with an eight-speaker Pioneer audio system, which includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a USB port, Bluetooth, HD Radio and an auxiliary input. Also standard are cruise control, keyless entry and power locks and windows. Reviewers say that the gauges and controls are clearly marked and easy to interpret and they like the simple, driver-centric feel of the cockpit.
- "The Scion FR-S is almost in a class by itself. It has respectable performance credentials, a fun-to-drive personality, and surprisingly modest pricing.” -- Consumer Guide
- "The FR-S is not your friend's boxy Scion. Sleek styling, rear-wheel drive and sharp handling make the 2014 Scion FR-S one of the most appealing and attainable performance cars sold today.” -- Edmunds
- "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. … The FR-S is fun, but not terribly fast. If straight-line performance and brutal torque define driving fun for you, you'll be much happier in a Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang or even a Hyundai Genesis coupe.” -- Kelley Blue Book
- “‘Natural’ is the operative word with the FR-S, as every action and reaction feels like you expect it to. The car's chief virtue is its simplicity." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
- "The allure of Scion's rear-wheel-drive coupe isn't power or speed, but balance. The compact and lightweight two-door is a well-composed harmony of horsepower, gearbox, chassis balance, steering and suspension." -- Autoblog (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Mustang comes with a more powerful V6 engine, and it’s available with features like a backup camera, which the FR-S does not offer. The Mustang also has a lot more cargo space, and reviewers say the Mustang’s optional Recaro sport seats are some of the most comfortable in the class.
If you prefer a convertible, the base Mazda MX-5 Miata costs a bit less than the FR-S, and it gets great fuel economy for the class. Like the FR-S, the Miata also earns praise for its lithe handling and fun driving dynamics.
Details: 2014 Scion FR-S
The 2014 Scion FR-S seats four and has rear-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission are standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The FR-S comes in one trim level and hasn’t changed much since it was introduced last year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.