What It Is
A rear-wheel drive sports coupe.
A true enthusiast car at a great price.
Rear seat is extremely tight.
The 2014 Scion FR-S is perfect for those looking to improve their driving skills and have fun doing it.
We had a weekend with the 2014 Scion FR-S and knew exactly where we would be spending most of our time. The mountain roads outside of Los Angeles offer some of the best driving roads in California, and arguably the country. One of our personal favorites is Glendora Mt. Road. Anything we drive that enjoys a twisty road gets the Glendora Mt. Road treatment. It offers a benchmark for performance for anything that seems to make that right foot heavier. And this $25K FR-S is a star in the canyons and a blast on the track.
What We Drove
The 2014 Scion FR-S is built for the driving enthusiast at heart, someone who likes to slam through gears and become a better driver. The FR-S is a great car to learn the lost art of driving on. It offers plenty of power if you keep it up in the high rpms, and a forgiving manual transmission and clutch really make this car what it is, an enthusiast car. The 2014 Scion FR-S only comes in a single trim and a very limited factory options list, which is an automatic transmission for $1,100. But we feel an automatic transmission takes away from the enjoyment this car offers. Save yourself the money and regret and get the manual transmission. Other than that, you can choose your color. Everything else equipped on our tester were dealer installed accessories like 18-inch wheels, rear spoiler, upgraded brakes, lowering springs, and a Pioneer premium audio system with navigation. On the safety side of features, the FR-S comes standard with stability control, traction control, six airbags, and Smart Stop, a feature that automatically reduces engine power when both the gas and brake pedals are pressed at the same time under certain conditions.
Commuting with this on a daily basis was no problem. Sitting in LA traffic with any manual transmission can be borderline torture, but with the lighter FR-S clutch, it was a welcoming ease for my left leg. The inside cabin had plenty of room for a two-seat coupe. It wasn't roomy, but felt snug, the kind of snug you would want when winding up a canyon road. And with the standard touchscreen display--new for 2014--all of your favorite tracks are just a touch away. All in all, the FR-S was just as great as an enthusiast car in the canyons as it was a daily driver on the streets.
The Grocery Run
Don’t hesitate taking the FR-S to the store for your weekly grocery run. They will fit. With an enthusiast-based 2-door coupe, you immediately associate that with a lack of storage and something not desirable for a grocery run. The Scion FR-S can carry a decent amount of space at 6.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up. A size that’s larger than the competing MX-5, and with both rear seats folded down, the FR-S can fit two golf bags with ease. Parking this at the grocery store is no problem being only 69.9 inches wide and 166.7 inches in length.
The Weekend Fun
The weekend is where this car really shines and where it feels most at home. It was time to ignore the TV and forget about the game. We grabbed our keys and went for a drive. It seems like this car’s sole purpose for existing is to be carving through canyons, slipping through the six-speed manual with a giant smile on your face. Everything else like grocery runs, commuting to work, basically just going from point A to point B stuff, it does well enough at. It gets the job done, but once you get this on an open, twisty road, the FR-S really comes to life. This is the quintessential weekend car!
Overall, the 2014 Scion FR-S is at the top of the sports coupe segment. It's a great car in the sense that it’s a back-to-basics kind of car, something that will you make you a better driver for have driven it. The FR-S is something that you buy your son or daughter just for the reason that you can borrow it on the weekends to go canyon carving. Cars with over $100K price tags don’t offer the same joy that you would get out of this $25K Scion. Covered with electronic aids and fancy software, pricier cars can offer a much faster, smoother ride, but that’s not what it’s all about. The art of driving is becoming a lost art with modern cars, but the 2014 Scion FR-S brings this art to a new, younger generation hoping to carry on the tradition.
EPA City: 25
EPA Highway: 34
EPA Combined: 29
Cargo Space: 6.9 cu. ft.
Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Poor
Estimated Combined Range: 382 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Below average