This sporty little twin of the Subaru BRZ offers the same light, fun to drive platform but in a bit more spartan, budget-minded form. The marriage of affordability and sports car-like driving is a successful one in the 2013 Scion FR-S, giving those who might not have the wealth for a higher-end driving experience the opportunity to tool around town in a flashy, well-styled piece of engineering genius.
Standards abound in this model with power windows, locks, and mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, A/C, cruise, traction control, and Smart Stop (this cuts power to the engine if the brake and gas are accidentally depressed simultaneously). Optional upgrades include a 5.8” touchscreen with navigation, a better audio system, 18” wheels, lowering springs, and a spoiler on the back.
Changes for 2013
The FR-S is an all new offering for 2013; the product of a collaborative effort involving Subaru and Toyota.
What We Like
The superior handling and sleek, sporty exterior make this a fashionable and enjoyable ride. The Torsen limited slip differential not only offers improved cornering on the daily commute but the ability to play with drifting on a closed track. As a bonus, Subaru logos are tucked away throughout, offering a bit of fun off the road, like a little treasure hunt.
What Concerns Us
The rear seats – while they do exist – offer no comfort to any self-respecting full-grown adult. If hefty horsepower is your drug, you’ll get more out of a Mustang or Hyundai Genesis. The stock audio system is less than intuitive, and as might be expected you’ll only get just under 7 cubic feet of grocery space.
The FR-S is available in either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic equipped with paddle shifters. The rear wheels are channeled and get their power via a 2.0L flat 4-cylinder. There’s 151 lb.-ft. of torque, 200 HP, and the FR-S gets 22/30 mpg in the manual and 25/34 mpg in the automatic.
There have been two recalls on the 2013 Scion FR-S. One, issued in July 2012, involves misinformation in the owner’s manual, incorrectly stating the classification and operation of the front passenger’s side restraint system. This could result in injury in the event of a crash. The other, issued in May 2013, involved mislabeling of weight limitations. In both instances the company notified owners and offered correct manuals and labels.
The most common complaints by owners involve grinding of gears in manual transmissions when shifting between first and second, and moisture getting into the taillight assembly.