The 2013 Scion FR-S earns an above average Total Car Score for the Sport Coupes & Convertibles segment.
A completely new car debuting for the 2013 model year, this is a rear-drive sport coupe made in conjunction with Subaru. So that's two newsworthy elements right there, since parent company Toyota is hardly renowned for making enthusiast cars, while collaboration with another company is a rarity.
Subaru's main ingredient is the flat-four -- or "boxer" -- engine. Two pairs of cylinders in horizontal opposition mean a lower center of gravity, a lower nose and (quite often) an interesting soundtrack. Toyota/Scion made some in-house developments to square the problematic circle of decent power output along with acceptable fuel economy.
The chassis has been tuned to reward good driving technique -- meaning plenty of fun to be had for those who understand the physics of a rear-drive machine. The few critics who've been behind the wheel have all filed a "mission accomplished" report in this most crucial of areas. They like the near-perfect weight distribution and balance.
Reviewers also appreciate the stiffness of the body, since it isn't a hatchback but a proper coupe with a trunk (plus flat-folding rear seats). This results in a greater degree of suspension fine-tuning. And the low-slung driving position feels sufficiently sporting as well. For a supposed "driver's car" even the automatic transmission wins praise.
The 2013 Scion FR-S compact coupe has two-plus-two seating. In the real world, this amounts to two proper front seats and a couple of marginal seats in the back that might work best for weekend bags.
Like other Scion cars, this comes in one basic trim level and can then be accessorized.
A 2.0-liter flat-four engine makes 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, sending that drive to the rear wheels via either a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic (with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters), and a limited-slip differential.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, sport bucket front seats, tilt/telescope steering wheel adjustment (the wheel is also trimmed with leather), contrast red stitching, mats bearing the FR-S logo, dual exhaust system, Bluetooth, HD radio, iPod integration and a 300-watt Pioneer audio system. Scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years are also part of the deal.
Various performance parts, like a sports exhaust and air intake, are optional.
Safety equipment includes traction and stability controls, front side and side curtain airbags, ABS with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution, plus Toyota/Scion's Smart Stop feature that allows the brakes to override the throttle should the two pedals be pressed simultaneously.
EPA estimates for the 2013 Scion FR-S with a manual transmission are 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined; auto versions return 22/30/25 mpg. The FR-S uses Premium gasoline.
Total Car Score is not affiliated with, associated, authorized, or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to any of the Expert Resources, nor does Total Car Score endorse any of the Expert Resources, or its affiliates.
Click here to see more.