Highlights: Subaru offers a version of the F-RS. FR-S stands for front engine, rear-wheel drive and sport.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $26,055
Seating Capacity: 2+2
Standard Safety Features: airbags (front and side); ABS; electronic brake distribution; Traction Control; a vehicle stability control system; daytime running lights; a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment: 17-inch wheels; manual operated seats; cloth seats; manual controlled a/c; aluminum sport pedals and scuff plates; tilt and telescopic steering wheel; keyless remote for the doors and trunk; chrome-tipped dual exhaust; power windows; power door locks; and cruise control
Standard Audio: 8-speaker, 160-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD/HD
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
iPod Connectivity: Yes
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/200-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/34-hwy
What’s New: The FR-S, which is all-new to the Scion line up, is the brand’s first rear-wheel drive vehicle.
Seat Comfort/Support: Very Good
Pros: The all-new FR-S is a pure, no nonsense sports car. Unlike most of today’s high-tech vehicles, this one isn’t. It’s just a true economically priced sports car. Now while most of today’s vehicles are being optioned out with an array of available features to over compensate for what they may be lacking, the FR-S has managed to remain pure. By ‘pure’ we mean no back-up camera, blind spot protection, satellite radio, automatic day/night mirror or navigation system is available in this pocket rocket.
And although the FR-S has only been around for just a few months, it has easily become Scion’s halo vehicle. In fact, Scion’s first high-performance sports car is available in one trim level, with either a manual or an automatic transmission. The sculpted free flowing lines of the sporty exterior design could easily wear a Lexus badge. So Scion buyers are definitely getting a lot of bang for the buck.
Overall the rear wheel drive FR-S is the perfect size for a sports car. The FR-S has excellent road manners; it’s nimble and handles well, too. The 200-horsepower engine, which is packed underneath the hood of this rear wheel drive vehicle, easily zooms from 0 to 60-mph in less than 5 seconds.
Cons: Although Scion categorizes the FR-S as a 2+2 seater, there is no way anyone will be able to fit into the rear. In fact, the rear folding down seat is better suited for additional storage. And unlike its sibling the Subaru BRZ, the vehicle lacks a navigation system, a rear spoiler, a push-button keyless starter or a satellite radio.
Also, Scion does not offer a sunroof in this vehicle probably due to structural soundness. However, we wouldn’t mind if the engineers incorporate a manual pop-up sunroof.
The Verdict: The FR-S easily reminds of what a true sports car is without being outfitted with the latest high-tech gadgets. And yes, because of the spirited drive the rear wheel drive vehicle affords one, the only item we really miss is the satellite radio just due to the limited choices from terrestrial radio. Overall, we would buy this well-built, super nimble pocket rocket over any other sports car on the market, if limited to a budget. In our eyes, this is an affordable alternative to the Corvette, Porsche and 370 Z. In fact, this Scion gives both Toyota and Lexus, the fun factor that their line up has been missing for years!
Competition: Hyundai Genesis; Hyundai Veloster and Subaru BR-Z
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.