All You Need to Know About Scion FR-S

Table of Contents

Overview of Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S was first launched in 2012 and attracted the hearts of millions of sports car enthusiasts for being a sporty yet affordable option. This vehicle was developed in collaboration with Subaru and was later rebranded as the Toyota 86. Scion FR-S are fun and well-designed sports cars featuring high performance and affordability. Even if we see a lot of limitations in FR-S, it’s still one amazing sports car that can be given a second thought in used car markets. Undoubtedly, this aggressive-looking sporty is the best choice for the money. Overall, Scion FR-S can be summarized as appealing, fun to drive, and lightweight.

Let’s see what this vehicle started as and where it stands now.

The Origin and History of Scion FR-S

The two well-known Japanese automakers, Toyota and Subaru, collaborated, resulting in the existence of the Scion FR-S. The major aim of Toyota was to produce a sports car that is affordable and offers the enjoyment any sports car would give. Subaru, on the other hand, brought its boxer engine technology expertise to the table.

Introduced in the United Kingdom, Scion FR-S made its first debut in 2012 under the brand Scion, which was Toyota’s youth-oriented brand. With this vehicle, we witnessed the revival of the rear-wheel-drive sports car segment and the lightweight. Other than that, the balanced chassis, timeless design, and dynamics of this car played a role in grabbing the attention of sports car enthusiasts.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

When we see under the hood, we will find a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) four-cylinder engine across all models of Scion that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Customers have the option to pick from a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters and a 6-speed manual transmission.

FR-S was not really meant to be fast. It’s supposed to be nimble. Moreover, the lightweight chassis used in FR-S allowed for equal distribution of weight that allows predictable and sharp handling. For this reason, Scion FR-S remained the drivers’ favorite due to the exceptional balance, handling, and connection that it allows between the driver and the vehicle.

When it comes to aftermarket support, we are pleased to say that there’s a wide range of performance upgrades available, which includes suspension enhancements, brake upgrades, and turbocharger kits. Since owners have the freedom to make performance modifications, Scion FR-S remained everyone’s favorite.

Interior of Scion FR-S

The interior of Scion is a reflection of the two automakers, Toyota and Subaru. You will see a blend of their switchgear and material. The materials used are quite durable and functional. It also reflects the main purpose of the car, which is affordability.

2016 Scion FR-S Coupe Dashboard

The seating and steering wheel also give that sporty look. You will see those front bucket seats in FR-S that give amazing lateral support and keep the driver and passengers firm in place, even during sharp turns and challenging roads. When it comes to rear seats, we are disappointed due to the very limited legroom. Those seats can be used for additional storage.

Interior Color Options

Depending on the model and trim level, different interior colors are available in Scion FR-S. Here’s what you will commonly see:

  • Black – a classic choices
  • Gray – gives a neutral look
  • Red – adds a bold and sporty touch
  • Two-tone, like black and red

2016 Scion FR-S Interior

Cargo and Space

Since FR-S is well-known as a compact sports car, we can already figure out the emphasis will be little on cargo and spacing. Scion FR-S is for driving enthusiasts, so the focus is entirely on the fun driving experience.

That said, you get a modest amount of cargo space in FR-S, usually in the trunk. Only a limited amount of luggage and groceries can be carried in the car. When it comes to passenger accommodation, there are seats for up to four passengers. However, the rear seat space is limited and usually tight on headroom and legroom.

Navigating the Infotainment Technology in Scion FR-S

The emphasis of Scion FR-S was more on the simplicity and driving dynamics than on the advanced infotainment and safety features. For this reason, the infotainment features we see in these vehicles are very limited. However, you could find a significant-sized touchscreen display and audio controls, like radio stations, volume adjusting, etc. Other than that, there are also USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth connectivity features, and smartphone integration. Most FR-S also have a navigation feature, allowing you to input destinations and access turn-by-turn directions.

What’s more? In most models, you will find steering wheel controls, allowing you to control certain settings without moving your hand off the steering wheel.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Though this car is not equipped with many advanced safety features, it still presents some safety components that ensure the safety of both driver and passenger. Let’s shed light on some top components:

  • A comprehensive set of airbags provides protection during collision.
  • The vehicle features stability and traction control systems that prevent loss of control during challenging driving conditions.
  • In most later models, the rearview camera is available for additional assistance during reversing and parking.
  • FR-S contains standard anti-lock brakes that prevent wheel lockup during hard braking, increasing stability.

Scion FR-S’s Stand Among Competitors

The Scion FR-S has a distinctive appeal and stands out due to its commitment to delivering an authentic, enjoyable driving experience at an accessible price point. Undoubtedly, most of its competitors hold better horsepower and many advanced features, but FR-S stands out due to unwavering balance and handling. It has an RWD configuration and perfect balance distribution, making it stable on the road. Other than that, this vehicle has strong aftermarket support that allows car owners to make changes and modifications according to their preferences. It is indeed a compelling choice for many when most other sports cars go out of reach.


✓ Strong aftermarket support for modification

✓ All-year-round capability

✓ Rear-wheel drive adds to driving fun

✓ Affordable ownership costs and price


✘ Less spacious trunk

✘ Limited infotainment features

✘ Modest horsepower and torque


Trim LevelPrice
Release Series$29,510

A Step Forward in Sportiness – The 2016 Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S achieved a good reputation ever since its launch in 2012. This legacy continued until this series’s later model: the 2016 Scion FR-S. We can clearly see some top-notch enhancements and notable updates that help it achieve a good status among sports car enthusiasts.

First things first, we could see subtly effective styling revisions, including that of LED headlights, a front bumper, and new alloy wheel designs. Other than that, a new audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen was introduced in 2016 Scion FR-S. Improved material in seating added more to comfort and overall feel. There are some suspension tweaks as well that resulted in crisper steering response and enhanced road feel.

The two limited edition models of Scion FR-S, that is, the Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 and the Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 Monogram Series, featured premium amenities, a few interior touches, and some amazing paint colors.

Overall, this model was more advanced, refined, and well-rounded than the previous FR-S models. The enhancement in its looks and suspension system, while retaining the affordable price, made this car an even more attractive choice for enthusiasts.

Automotive Journalist Review

Scion’s new little sports car is at its best in a series of tight turns, but low torque leads to power lulls. (Wayne Cunningham, cnet)


As previously mentioned, the Scion FR-S is not the perfect sports car, but it provides a great price value and gives drivers lots of fun on the road. FR-S is more than just a car. It is a complete embodiment of performance and driving passion. You can also consider it a modern-day automotive icon, capturing the essence of comfort, thrilling experience, and affordable driving. The lightweight chassis, rear-wheel drive, and sleek design make these cars unique. The interior of FR-S emphasizes functionality and simplicity. It was indeed the low ownership costs and affordability that attracted more sports car enthusiasts over time. Nevertheless, the later iterations of Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota 86 continued the legacy and left permanent marks on the sports car market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How has Scion FR-S evolved over time?

Scion FR-S was first launched in 2012 and continued up till 2016. It was later rebranded as Toyota 86 in 2017. Though the name was changed, the core attributes remained the same.

Q: How is Scion FR-S unique compared to other sports cars?

The rear-wheel drive layout, lightweight chassis, and balanced handling were some key features of the Scion FR-S that make it stand out among other sports cars.

Q: Can Scion FR-S be used for daily driving?

Though introduced as a sports car for driving enthusiasts, Scion FR-S is used by many owners as a daily driver. The major reason is practicality and comfort.

Written by: Motorcardata

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