For less than $25,000, the 2014 Scion FR-S offers more fun per dollar than anything else on the market. That’s what Toyota and Subaru were hoping when they decided to collaborate and build a two-door rear-drive sports car. And they pulled it off for a price under $25,000 (not including destination) which is the best part. They produced an affordable sports coupe for the average sports enthusiast. Subaru provided the drivetrain with their Subaru boxer engine and Toyota provided most of the design of the sporty coupe. They came up with a winning formula.
The Scion FR-S carries over into 2014 largely unchanged in its second year of production. It now comes standard with a touchscreen audio system, and Scion has added additional padding to the door panels and the sides of the center console.
The 2014 Scion FR-S is first and foremost a driver’s car, and it just begs to be driven. But before we tell you about its driving dynamics, we’ll climb inside and see what the FR-S has to offer. Scion offers FR-S in a single trim level and this week we’re testing the 6-speed manual version which is the car to have. Why would anyone want this car with an automatic?
Inside, Scion FR-S has a clean and simple driver focused cockpit. This car was designed to be driven on the track and Toyota kept it simple with a easy to reach controls, and a small tilt/telescoping steering wheel that makes it easy to adjust to any driver for a comfortable driving position. The driver and passenger sit low in the cabin which takes a bit of getting used to, but visibility is good for a two-door coupe.
The seats are especially designed to keep the driver firmly planted during spirited driving on the street or track. The cloth upholstery used on the seats is soft and grippy, almost like the pricier Alcantara. The rear seat is not designed for carrying adults, but is really only good for small children and storage. The FR-S comes equipped with a Pioneer 6.1-inch touch screen display Audi with 8 speakers, Halogen headlights, digital/analog speedometer, aluminum sport pedals and one-piece folding rear seat.
On the road with FR-S
This is where it gets fun for anyone who gets behind the wheel of the two-door sports coupe. The FR-S is powered by the Subaru boxer naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces a respectable 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It may not sound like enough, but when paired with the 6-speed manual and well-designed chassis and suspension it’s a fun car to drive. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2014 FR-S are 22/30 mpg city/highway with the manual gearbox.
Subaru and Toyota tucked the boxer engine low and farther back in the chassis which gives the FR-S a very balanced design. This equates to a lower center of gravity for almost ideal balance and handling characteristics. Performance-oriented features include a front MacPherson front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension, and ventilated disc brakes on all four corners.
Designed for the road and track
FR-S has plenty of power for the average driver. It’s not going to snap your neck back with quick acceleration, but what do you want for $25,000? Performance fans have been clamoring for a turbo model, but it’s unlikely to happen soon. On the road, this sports coupe’s power is adequate for most driving situations. We tested the car at high altitude in Colorado which leaves the car a bit underpowered because there’s no turbo here to help generate power in the thin air. But for those living at sea-level, it should be fine for normal driving and passing.
The FR-S comes with a firmer suspension for sporty driving dynamics which makes for a rough ride over speed bumps and rough roads. FR-S comes with 17-inch wheels which could contribute to the rougher ride and some wind noise at higher speeds. Where the rear-drive coupe excels is being extremely well balanced in the corners where we felt nearly no body roll while taking tight mountain corners at high speeds. The FR-S is impressive when pushed hard in the curves. It’s an ideal car to take to the track.
The six-speed manual is the way to go on this rear-drive sports coupe. The shifter strikes a nice balance between easy to shift without feeling sloppy. The clutch is smooth and works in synch with the throttle and shifter for a fun driving experience. With its front engine and rear-drive configuration, Subaru and Toyota struck on the perfect combination for driving enthusiasts.
For those wanting a great commuter car during the week that offers good fuel mileage, and able to take it to the track on weekends, FR-S is the perfect rear-drive sports car. The 2014 Scion FR-S offers track-day fun at an affordable price. Its offers a rear-wheel-drive layout with double-wishbone independent rear suspension and a low center of gravity with the Subaru boxer engine that makes for a very entertaining driver’s car.