Car Review: 2016 Scion FR-S

The Scion FR-S is one of three models in a series of sports cars developed jointly by Toyota and Subaru. It’s known as the Toyota 86 outside the US and as the Subaru BRZ worldwide. I had the FR-S for a week through some mild November weather and was pretty disappointed to give it up.


I’m impressed with the understated design of the FR-S with its clean, aggressive lines. It’s not gaudy at all and the designers resisted any impulse to go overboard. The low stance and aerodynamic shape fit the FR-S perfectly and I like the front headlights as well. The car looks great from every angle.


I also love the basic, stripped down interior for the FR-S as it fits this sports car perfectly. The lean and mean feeling gets you in the mood to fire it up and accelerate with the manual shifter. I like the addition of a rear-view backup camera but that’s the only interior feature that doesn’t fit the profile of a classic sports car.

The low-mounted, deep front seats are comfortable even if getting in and out is a little difficult as you would expect from a sports car. I also liked the leather-trimmed steering wheel. With the 2+2 seating configuration the rear seats can fold down flat for more space.

The 2016 FR-S comes standard with the STAR Safety SystemTM which features an Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control and Smart Stop Technology. It also comes with six standard airbags, including driver and front passenger dual-stage advanced airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear passenger side curtain airbags.


I felt comfortable with the six-speed manual transmission right away and came away impressed with the acceleration. The FR-S features a 2.0-liter, flat boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. That’s some impressive power for the size of this car. I also came away impressed with handling as the 2016 model has been enhanced with a more rigid front suspension and re-tuning of the rear shock absorbers. The engineers aimed for less body roll and a more communicative driving experience and my experience indicated they achieved their goals.


The FR-S is a very affordable sports car with an MSRP of $25,305 with a six-speed manual transmission or $26,405 with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management technology (with delivery fee of $795).

Anyone looking for a fun, affordable sports car should test drive the FR-S. You won’t be disappointed.