Friday, May 10, 2013
Affordable fun: The 2013 Scion FR-S
Sports cars don't have to cost a ton of money. A recent example of one that doesn't is the 2013 Scion FR-S.
This car takes the youthful approach that Scion has become known for, and adds a bit of race-car styling and performance driving ability to present a cool little package of fun.
Toyota, owner of the Scion brand, worked with Subaru to develop the FR-S, which the latter company also produces under its own badge as the BRZ.
The FR-S is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 151 pounds-feet of torque.
The transmission comes as a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
The test drive model had the manual, and shifting was smooth and orderly.
Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city, 30 highway with the manual and 25 and 34 with the automatic.
Driving dynamics on the FR-S could well be described as peppy and energetic. Behind the wheel, you won't mistake it for a BMW or Audi. But remember, when you make your car payment each month, you also won't mistake it for a BMW or Audi.
Acceleration is smooth, braking is swift and sure and handling is solid.
Toyota made sure to keep the FR-S's weight down to assist its nimbleness.
And the FR-S has a very low center of gravity, which allows you to feel the road, but at the same time you won't be too beat up after a moderately lengthy commute.
However, this is quite a low-slung vehicle, so taller drivers and passengers, or those who have lost a bit of flexibility (we fit into both categories), might not always find comfort in ingress and egress.
The FR-S has four seats, but only two of them are really inhabitable by most humans. Maybe the tiniest of folks could fit in the rear two.
The FR-S starts at around $24,500 and goes to about $27,000.
That's a somewhat reasonable price for a sporty, stylish car. But frankly, we thought that around that price point, you might get a few more "goodies" thrown into the mix.
Overall, however, the FR-S is a good, rear-wheel drive sports car that stands out from the pack, and if that's what you're after, with a reasonable price tag, you get it.