A rare sports car in the traditional sense, the Scion FR-S delivers pure driving enjoyment and charming simplicity at a friendly price. Now in its fourth model year, the youthful coupe receives some visual updates and equipment upgrades to bolster its appeal.

Pricing and Equipment

In keeping with its back-to-basics mission, the FR-S comes in a single trim level:

  • For $26,075 you get all the usual necessities, plus an eight-speaker touchscreen sound system, a rearview camera and a first-aid kit.
  • The only factory option, a six-speed automatic transmission, adds $1,100 to the sticker.

Scion dealers offer an array of accessories, from dress-up items to performance kits. An upgraded sound system with navigation is available for $900.

Performance Pros

2016 Scion FR-S Rear Quarter

The rear-drive FR-S is powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine good for 200 horsepower. That's not a lot by today's standards, but the engineers have kept weight to a minimum, allowing the FR-S to hit 60 mph in a reasonably quick 6.8 seconds.

Performance highlights include:

  • Transmissions: The standard six-speed manual certainly enhances the fun factor, but we enjoyed driving the automatic model nearly as much. Both are well-suited to the car's energetic character.
  • Steering/Handling: We found the FR-S to be incredibly quick on its feet and easy to toss about without getting into trouble. It's a refreshing departure from full-blown performance cars that require more skill to control.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The automatic is the clearly the choice for economy, delivering an impressive 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in combined driving. With the manual, you can expect 25 mpg combined, merely average for a car of this size and weight.

Performance Cons

  • We sometimes had to stand on the gas pedal to really draw out the four-cylinder's power. Response was good, but it did feel like we were flogging the car.
  • The electric power steering unit, like many we've tested, doesn't permit as much road feel as you might expect in a sporty car.

Interior Pros

2016 Scion FR-S Interior
  • Front passengers enjoy plenty of legroom and comfortable seats with excellent support.
  • The FR-S is a legitimate four-seater with room for two adults in the back when the need arises.

Interior Cons

  • All models look exactly the same on the inside--all black with red stitching.
  • The dashboard receives some silver accents this year, but it's still a sober affair that might bore you over the long haul.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Build quality is commendably high inside and out. We saw no evidence of cutting corners to achieve an affordable price.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The lack of factory options means no leather seats, sunroof or automatic climate control. That will make the FR-S seem too basic in the eyes of many buyers.

The Bottom Line

The supremely entertaining ride with a dose of practicality, the FR-S will ensure that your daily commute is never dull.