2014 Scion FR-S Review

Cars have personalities. I don’t care what you say, it’s true. Like pets and humans, cars have character. From the way they’re designed to their engine and exhaust notes, they are individuals, which also means they have a perfect match in a driver somewhere.

The key is to find that match.

Now, when it comes to the 2014 Scion FR-S, I am not a match. While we had a fabulous week together and share some really cool experiences (laughed, cried, screamed, giggled), I know the FR-S is not for me and vice versa. However, the Scion FR-S is undoubtedly packed with personality, and for that I would recommend it to a few of my vehicularly single friends.

What is the Scion FR-S?
Born of a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru, the Scion FR-S is a lovechild of great sport coupe proportions. New to the automotive scene, the Scion FR-S, known as the Toyota GT86 outside of North America, only appeared a few short years ago, and it hit the ground running.

Much anticipated, the FR-S/BRZ twins were designed and engineered by Toyota and Subaru combining the two company’s expertise. With a Subaru BOXER engine, Toyota transmission and Subie suspension, this truly is a joint venture.

2014 Scion FR-S Price and Specs
Like any good sports car, the 2014 Scion FR-S comes with very few options and only one engine and drivetrain set-up, at a starting price of $26,450. Extras and options include things like fog lights, a rear spoiler, and TRD (Toyota Racing Department) exhaust system and 18” alloy wheels.

The 2014 Scion FR-S’ 2.0L 4-cylinder Flat-4 BOXER engine is a gem, producing 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission (there is an autobox available, but why would you care about that?), the 2014 Scion FR-S is the ideal weekend track monster (and gives the Mazda MX-5 a serious run for its money). Power is sent out the rear wheels, as it should be.

Driving the 2014 Scion FR-S
With 20cm of fresh snow on top of already icy road conditions, my week behind the wheel of the 2014 Scion FR-S was spent sideways more often than not — and that’s just grand.

This is not a fast vehicle. Sure, it’s got 200 horses and only weighs about 2,700lbs, but there are times when more torque would be nice. What the Scion lacks in power, however, it makes up for in eagerness. This ride is eager to please, eager to swing the rear out, and eager to make a racket (in a good way) while doing it. The wail of the BOXER engine is music to the ears, and the 6-speed is a pleasure to manipulate.

The suspensions eats up corners and can feel harsh on rough surfaces, but is stellar otherwise. The 2014 Scion FR-S feels squat and close to the road surface at all times, no matter how you throw it about.

With six gears working for me, I think a taller 6th gear would have made sense; while cruising at around 110-115km/hr on the highway, revs sit at 3,000 rpm and that makes for a bit of a noisy journey as well as being a bit of a gas-burner.

Speaking of gas burning, over a week of combined highway and side-street hooniganisms in the snow I averaged just under 9L/100km. Scion claims the FR-S can do 8.2L/100km combined, which is almost spot on. Clearly, they know how their customers will be driving their car…

Inside and Out of the 2014 Scion FR-S
Look at it. The Scion FR-S (and by association the Subaru BRZ) are perfect. The proportions are spot on, the edges, angles and body lines ooze sex appeal, and the stance is mean.

Step inside the 2014 Scion FR-S and things are a little less perfect. I’m a smaller individual, so I’m quite at home in the cramped, tight cockpit of the FR-S, however, such is not the case for most. The racing seats are wonderfully supportive, but not everyone is taken with the red inserts.

Oh the stereo. Best just to leave it off and not bother with it. It is, by far, the worst HMI I have ever used, and the speakers themselves aren’t particularly good either; best just to listen to the engine and exhaust note.

While this is considered a 2+2, the rear seats are more than a little cramped. A compact child seat fit well, and my 2-year-old was comfortable, as long as no one was in the passenger seat in front of him, in which case he lost all available legroom.

There is also very little trunk space with just 196 liters available. Travel light and all will be fine.

Comparing the 2014 Scion FR-S
Luckily, we were able to put the Scion FR-S through its track paces when it was first launched and we pitted it against the likes of some other hot rides like the Mazda MX-5, VW GTI and Hyundai Genesis.

Of course, the Scion’s twin wasn’t far behind it. The Subaru BRZ is its biggest competition, and with near identical set-ups, it’s the price, suspension calibration and brand loyalty that will swing a buyer’s favour.

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