Why the Scion FR-S?
Powertrain performance: This is a powerful, but efficient high output 2.0 liter engine. It is not turbocharged, which maximizes longevity and reliability. Straight line performance is strong but not outstanding.
Fuel economy: This car, with a frugal driver, achieves mpg far in excess of EPA estimates. With the 6-speed manual, the FR-S is rated at 22/25/30 achieves 26 in congested suburban driving, 31 in mixed and 37+ on pure highway trips.
Handling: The handling of the FR-S is its leading strength. The car confers tremendous confidence to the driver, whether at ordinary touring speeds, highway speeds, or when taking corners quickly. The steering has absolutely no slack - it goes where you point it.
Front seat support & comfort: Although form-fitting, the seats are incredibly comfortable, even for the big and tall crowd. The car fits like a bespoke suit. The back seat is suitable only for toddlers.
Safety & braking: The FR-S has a host of safety features, including a lot of high-strength steel, powerful vented discs on all four wheels, and sophisticated and independent traction and brake-control systems. The car achieve 5-stars in IIHS crash testing.
Why Not the Scion FR-S?
Ride smoothness: The car has a taut and active suspension. If you like well-engineered, engaging cars, you will like it. If you like a serene, smooth ride over rough roads, this is not the car for you. The car is so well engineered that the ride is stiff, but never harsh.
Quietness: Although, with its superb aerodynamics, the FR-S generates very little wind noise, there is a fair amount of road noise, particularly over rough pavement.
Cargo capacity & towing: The rear trunk is quiet small, but can be enlarged by dropping down the rear seat. This is a car for two people and some luggage, but little else. The car has only a tiny amount of interior storage.
Feature availability: The FR-S is marketed as a basic, pure sports car, in the tradition of cars of the 50's through early 80's. As such, it is very sparely outfitted with a minimum of features and luxury touches. There are very few accessories available as of 09/2012.
Driving position & visibility: The FR-S driving position is excellent for both tall and short drivers. Forward visibility is superb. Backwards visibility is limited due to the high rear window. Visibility to the back is far from ideal, but excellent side mirrors help a lot.