Scion FR-S: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

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The Scion FR-S is a scalpel among sports cars, capturing the imagination of the “I learned to heel-and-toe before I walked” crowd from the moment it was announced. What do you need to know before you buy a Scion FR-S? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you in our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

Rear wheel-drive. Manual. Lightweight. These three essential ingredients have graced the world’s greatest drivers’ cars for decades. And for the longest time, neither Toyota nor Subaru offered a car that met these criteria. In fact, Mazda’s Miata has had almost a monopoly on this territory for the longest time. But all that changed when Toyota and Subaru teamed up to build a vehicle whose handling is as nimble as a fish and precise as a surgeon’s scalpel. Their combined efforts led to the creation of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, both of which launched for the 2013 model year.

Lauded by auto enthusiasts around the world, the BRZ and FR-S are simple driver-focused cars that are impossible not to like. They don’t try to look flashy, they don’t attempt to rip smokey burnouts, and they don’t envelop their drivers in plush luxury. But what they actually do is create an enormous smile on the face of their drivers. Chuck the little cars into turns, mash the pedal, and you’ll feel like you’re going 100 miles an hour, even though you’re probably not going half that. The little sports cars make do with less, and as a result, Toyota and Subaru built a package that offers tons of excitement and solid fuel economy. The back-to-basics approach of the BRZ and FR-S put them in an exclusive class of truly dynamic budget sports cars, and for that reason, they’re among our favorite cars on the market.


What’s New About The 2015 Scion FRS:


The 2015 model isn’t much different from last year’s car. There are a few new paint options, the suspension has been retuned a bit, the exterior has seen a few minor updates (exhaust tips and antenna have been modified slightly), the interior has been slightly revised to look more carbon fiber-y, and automatic headlamps are now standard. Also, a new special edition, the Release Series 1.0 debuts for 2015. It’s a sportier looking FR-S with a body kit, lowering springs, and new exhaust system.

Powertrain Breakdown

The FR-S is not meant to be fast. It’s meant to be nimble. Which is why its 2.0-liter boxer engine only pushes out a modest 200 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Most of the power is high in the rev range, so you really have to wring it out to get the full performance, but that’s all okay. The way the FR-S handles in the twisties makes for such an exhilarating ride, the 2.0-liter is more than enough.


2015 Scion FR-S Engine Options

EngineMax Horsepower (hp)Max Torque (lb-ft)
2.0L Boxer 4200 @ 7000 rpm150 @ 6400 rpm

Fuel Economy Breakdown

2015 Scion FR-S Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)

2.0L Boxer 4

Fuel Economy - Manual


Fuel Economy - Auto


Trim Level Breakdown

All FR-Ss (FR-Sie?) come with electric power steering, 4 wheel ventilated disk brakes, and fully independent suspension- MacPherson strut up front and double wishbone in the rear. Trim levels on the FR-S are bone-simple. You have two options: basic and slightly less basic but still pretty basic.

  • Base: Starts at $25,695. Notable standard features: 6-speed manual transmission, limited slip differential, 17” aluminum wheels with 215/45 summer tires, projector beam headlights, dual exhaust, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, power mirrors, 6.1” screen for audio system, front and side airbags.
  • Release Series 1.0: Starts at $29.990 Notable standard features over Premium: Dual zone climate control, HID headlamps with LED running lights, aero body kit with spoiler, smart key with push button start, unique seats and interior trim, TRD lowering springs, TRD quad exhaust, TRD shift knob, TRD steering wheel, unique exterior color.

Which One We’d Buy


There aren’t many options when it comes to specing out your FR-S. We’d recommend that you buy one with a manual transmission to get the most enjoyment out of driving. Aside from that, you can’t go wrong buying this car.

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $25,695 - $29,990 Top Speed: 140 MPH [est] Acceleration: ~7.0 to 60

MPG: 25 city / 34 hwy / 28 combined [auto] Engines: 2.0L flat-4

Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, RWD

Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic