2016 scion frs reliability

2016 scion frs reliability DEFAULT

When it comes to comparing similar cars, there are some that we generally acknowledge are basically the same car. This happens for cars that look identical, share similar features, or have a lot in common. When we talk about cars like the Toyota Supra and how it’s closely related to the BMW Z4 we look at all of the parts that were created in collaboration between the two. When we look at cars like the BRZ and FRS, it’s hard to distinguish if they actually have any differences.

BRZ and FRS Styling

When it comes to appearances, the Subaru BRZ and Scion FRS have a lot in common. In fact, if you didn’t know any better from looking at the badge, you might be inclined to mix them up. The BRZ and FRS have similar headlight shapes which makes it harder to distinguish between them in low light or at night. Their front bumpers aren’t twins, but they aren’t far enough from each other. In fact, their front bumpers are so similar that it just looks like they are different trim packages of the same car.

The BRZ and FRS have similar, if not the exact same, body lines that follow from the aggressive front ends over the back of the car and to the trunk. The stock wheels of both cars are almost completely identical as well, but many owners opt to put aftermarket wheels on these cars because they are incredibly customizable. The rear taillights of the car are also very similar and, much like the headlights, you probably couldn’t tell if you were coming across a BRZ or FRS if it was getting dark outside.

They also share the same exact trunk lid, rear bumper, diffuser, and exhaust tips. From the front view, side view, and rearview, the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ could be identical twins. Subaru and Scion thought they could change it up simply by moving the badge placement on the trunk lid and we wouldn’t notice.

Okay, so they do have some differences

The Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ do have some mechanic differences that set them apart. The BRZ, for example, has a softer suspension than the FRS, which means it goes over bumps more smoothly. The FRS, on the other hand, has a stiffer suspension so you feel more of the bumps in the road. The chassis of both cars are not only the same design, but they are also both made at the same factory.

So, you might be thinking…at least the interiors are probably different…right? Kind of. They have the same steering wheel and share a similar dashboard and center console layout that makes the interiors seem identical. The materials used on the dashboard and center console can vary in color options and slightly different in way of the radio and size of the climate control knobs, but they are otherwise very similar.

Altogether, the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ could easily be different trim levels of the same car. They have very few differences and the differences they do have are so small and insignificant that it’s genuinely hard to tell the difference between the two.

Sours: https://www.motorbiscuit.com

Used Vehicle Spotlight: 2013-2016 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ


The early 'Toyobaru' twins are becoming very affordable

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S front view

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S headlight

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S fog light

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S wheel

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S badge

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S taillight

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S badge

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S rear diffuser

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S engine

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S interior

  • 2013 Scion FR-S
  • 2013 Scion FR-S front seats

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S rear seats

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S steering wheel stitching

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S instrument panel

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S shifter

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S sill plate

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  • 2013 Scion FR-S door controls

The 2013-2016 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ were landmark cars for the enthusiast community, arriving at a time when car lovers were mourning the loss of lightweight, rear-wheel-drive options that were inexpensive enough for young buyers to consider. The FR-S also marked Toyota's first return to the enthusiast space (through its youth-oriented Scion brand) after abandoning the MR2 Spyder and Supra nameplates years before. For Subaru, the BRZ was a significant departure from its rugged, all-wheel-drive approach to practical transportation, and a refreshing one for many enthusiasts. 

These coupes are now starting to become genuinely affordable options for buyers who either want a fun, entry-level enthusiast car that offers enough practicality for day-to-day life or a reasonably priced second car for track, autocross or drift events. Or, for that matter, even just some weekend driving.

Why the FR-S and BRZ?

The real question is, "Why not?" And the answer is pretty simple: Power. The Scion FR-S and BRZ are excellent enthusiast cars. They're lightweight, rear-wheel drive, and an absolute blast on a curved road, but straight-line monsters they are not. Both offered just under 200 horsepower with no significant power upgrades from the factory. If you're used to the V8 power of a Ford Mustang GT or Chevrolet Camaro SS, the FR-S and BRZ probably aren't for you. 

But if you like fun, lightweight performance cars with lots of potential for modification and personalization, these are great choices. Both have proven to have at least average or better reliability, too, which is good news for those who want something inexpensive and dependable. 

Subaru or Scion? What options do I want?

The answer to the first question is pretty simple: It doesn't really matter. If you have a preference for the styling of either model or the colors offered, there's really no other compelling reason to pick one over the other. Both the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S were eventually offered with some version of a performance package that adds stickier summer tires and a track-tuned suspension, but keep in mind that these cars were meant to be tuner canvases. If you find a car with the right color and transmission but the wrong suspension options, the aftermarket offers diverse solutions for basically any budget. 

Both were offered with either automatic or manual transmissions, and while the former is functional, the most rewarding way to drive one of these coupes is with a manual gearbox. Just about everything with these cars comes down to taste. Want better sound? Navigation? They're out there. Whether they're worth the premium is entirely up to you. 

You should also know that the Scion brand no longer exists, and the FR-S received a small makeover and was rebadged as the Toyota 86 for the 2017 model year.

The most important thing to look out for, especially when shopping the earlier years or models that may have been neglected, is a valve spring recall campaign that was conducted fairly early in these cars' production run. A valve spring failure will leave you by the side of the road, so make sure you know the status of the vehicle you're considering when you make the purchase. If the seller can't confirm whether the recall was already performed, contact your local dealer; they can run the car's VIN and tell you. 

Availability and listings

The two things that make the Toyobaru twins desirable as new-car purchases make them great used buys too: They're affordable and plentiful, and apart from a few things to look out for in early years (namely the valve spring recall we pointed out above), both models have proven to be reliable and dependable used buys. 

Prices for these (especially some of the limited editions) can be all over the map, but at the time of publication (March of 2021), Kelley Blue Book values for early FR-S and BRZ models are hovering in the $10,000-15,000 range. Beware of suspiciously low prices, as affordable, rear-wheel-drive cars with enthusiast credentials will inevitably fall into the hands of inexperienced drivers who might have dinged them up a bit. Make sure you check their accident histories.

Our used vehicle listings can be helpful to find a good deal near you. Narrow the offerings down by a radius around your ZIP code, and pay attention to the deal rating on each listing to see how a vehicle compares with others in a similar area.

What else to consider

The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ occupy a somewhat unique space. They're hardtop 2+2 coupes with small, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engines, which makes them anomalies in the enthusiast market. Most other 2+2s (we already mentioned the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro) are larger and offered with bigger, more powerful engines. Even the turbo-four variants of the American pony cars are significantly larger than the twins, so you're paying a heavy price for that extra power. 

Another commonly considered alternative is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It's smaller (seating just two), has even less power and there's no fixed roof available, but Mazda's little roadster is stupendously reliable and offers even more aftermarket support than either the Scion or Subaru. You might also consider some front- or all-wheel-drive alternatives, such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Volkswagen GTI or even Subaru's own WRX. All offer similar power (or more, in some cases) compared to either the FR-S or BRZ, plus significantly more practicality — if that's important to you.

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Scion FR-S Information

Scion FR-S


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Car insurance for a Scion FR-S

Toyota and Subaru’s partnership created the Scion FR-S, one of the most enjoyable sports coupes on the market. However, the cost of car insurance for sports cars is understandably more expensive than your average sedan. The national average cost of car insurance for full coverage on a 2019 Toyota Camry is $1,674 per year. If you are wondering how much the cost of car Insurance for Scion FR-S models will set you back, Bankrate has reviewed the average annual rates as well as factors affecting insurance premiums below.

First, it is important to note that the Scion brand was discontinued by Toyota and the FR-S was rebranded as the 86. However, older FR-S models are still popular in the resale market. This review of the Scion FR-S will shed some light on rates for the original 2016 model and its reinvention as the Toyota 86.

How much does it cost to insure a Scion FR-S?

The average cost of car insurance can greatly differ based on your location, driving record and level of coverage, in addition to the type and value of your vehicle. Premiums for a sports car are typically higher than other makes, such as a compact SUV or sedan. Contributing factors include the sports car’s total value and perceived risk associated with the driver’s likelihood to speed, in addition to the following:

  • Crash rate statistics: There is no crash-related data specifically for the FR-S. However, the IIHS reported that the sports car death rate for 2017 was 36 on average, and in the mid 80s for some models.
  • Price of parts: Original manufacturer parts are still available for 2013 to 2016 models directly through Toyota. However, they tend to be expensive, on the whole.
  • Safety features: Standard safety features you will find when shopping for a pre-owned Scion FR-S include front and seat-mounted airbags for driver and passenger, front and rear side curtain airbags, electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist, anti-lock brakes (ABS) traction control and stability control. Depending on the provider, this may result in lower rates or even discount opportunities.

If you are considering buying a Scion FR-S and interested in knowing how much car insurance will factor into your overall expenses, the most accurate way to determine the cost to insure a Scion FR-S is to get quotes from several car insurance companies. Many companies offer an online quote option to simplify the process; obtaining a quote typically does not take more than a few minutes from start to finish. In some cases, you may even receive a discount if you purchase your policy entirely online.

For a ballpark comparison, Bankrate evaluated the average rates for Scion FR-S insurance based on quoted annual premiums from 2021, as indicated below.

Car insurance for a Scion FR-S

Average rates for the Scion FR-S are higher than the national average for vehicles, but are not outrageously expensive. While sports cars typically cost more to insure, you could save on your premiums by shopping around for coverage and taking advantage of available carrier discounts.

Although the FR-S was discontinued, parts are still available through Toyota and the aftermarket. Repairs may not be as expensive due to the availability of parts at this time, which could be a contributing factor to why rates are not as high for this sports car model compared to others, like a Tesla or Corvette. Here is how much you might expect to pay for insurance on a 2016 Scion FR-S. Remember that your rate may differ based on your location and driving history, among other factors.

Scion FR-S car insuranceAverage annual premium
Minimum coverage$501
Full coverage$1,883

Cheapest car insurance companies for a Scion FR-S

Finding the cheapest Scion FR-S insurance starts with a comparison of the best car insurance companies available in your area that offer the coverage you need. To find the best rates, collect quotes from several providers to compare. Bankrate reviewed some of the top car insurance companies by market share and evaluated quoted annual premiums to help get an idea of how much it costs to insure a Scion FR-S. The following carriers were included in our review of the best car insurance companies and have corresponding average annual rates for this model.

Average annual full coverage premiums by company

Scion FR-S features that impact insurance costs

Sports cars are typically more expensive to insure, based on the speed at which they can travel and their safety ratings. However, the Scion FR-S has numerous safety features, which could potentially affect the average cost of coverage for the model depending on whether or not a company provides lower premiums for these safety features, or if discounts are available. IIHS’s safety rating for the 2016 model awarded it with a “G” for Good in all categories except for the small overlap in the driver front, which received an average rating. Later models (Toyota 86) include the following safety features which can lower the likelihood of an accident and reduce driver and passenger injuries:

  • Six airbags
  • Hill start assist control, which prevents the vehicle from rolling when switching from brake to drive on a hill or incline
  • Vehicle stability control
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Traction control
  • Brake assist
  • Electronic brake-force distribution
  • Smart Stop Technology

Other car insurance coverage for Scion FR-S

Most states require drivers to carry at least liability coverage. However, liability insurance does not pay for damages to your Scion FR-S. You will likely be more financially protected with full coverage car insurance, which adds comprehensive and collision coverage to your policy. Both work together to pay for damages to your car from a number of perils, such as a crash, striking an animal, or damage due to flooding or a severe storm.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be mandatory in some states as well. Even if it is not, adding the coverage gives you added peace of mind knowing that if someone else is responsible for an accident and they do not have any or enough insurance, your carrier’s UM/UIM policy will step in.

You may also want to consider other insurance add-ons such as accident forgiveness (which may prevent your premiums from increasing after one at-fault accident), roadside assistance and towing (in case your FR-S breaks down) or extended glass coverage, which pays for repair or replacement of a damaged windshield and windows.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2016 Scion FR-S, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Sours: https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/scion-fr-s-insurance/
Review: 2013 Scion FR-S


The fruit of a partnership between Toyota and Subaru, the Scion FR-S revived the small sports car segment. Its architecture – a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive – was perfected by Toyota, while Subaru took care of the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed 4-cylinder that deploys 200 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. The FR-S can be equipped with a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic.

News, reviews, videosRatingsSpecificationsUsed vehicles

Detailed ratings

The Car Guide rating 73%
Fuel economy6/10
The Car Guide rating 75%
Fuel economy8/10
Sours: https://www.guideautoweb.com/en/makes/scion/fr-s/2016/ratings/

Frs 2016 reliability scion

Clean Retail Price

The MT clean retail price reflects a reasonable asking price by a dealership for a fully reconditioned vehicle (clean title history, no defects, minimal wear) with average mileage.

5-Year Cost to Own / Rating
$25,305N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$25,305N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$26,405N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$29,510N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$30,610N.A.N.A. / N.A.

Scion FR-S Expert Review

Stefan Ogbac


  • Fun to drive on winding roads and on the track
  • Plenty of personalization options


  • Engine has little low-end and mid-range torque
  • Not much space for people or cargo
  • Boy-racer image may not appeal to everyone
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Ford Mustang
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Subaru WRX

The 2016 Scion FR-S gains a standard rearview camera and a seven-inch touchscreen audio system with voice command. Two new exterior colors, Ablaze and Oceanic, have been added to the FR-S' color palette.

The 2016 Scion FR-S is a rear-drive sports coupe with a 2+2 seating configuration.

A high-revving 2.0-liter flat-four with direct- and port-injection is the only engine available and generates 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard while a six-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy estimates for the 2016 FR-S is 25/34 mpg city/highway with the automatic and 22/30 mpg with the manual. The Subaru BRZ is essentially the same car but with more standard features, slightly different handling characteristics at the limit, and an updated front end design compared to the FR-S.

While there are technically seats for four in the 2016 FR-S, the rear positions are next to useless for adults due to the lack of headroom and nearly nonexistent legroom. Additionally, trunk space is limited at 6.9 cubic feet but can be expanded by folding the rear seats. Navigation can be added to the standard infotainment system as a dealer-installed accessory.

Standard safety features include dual front airbags, front-side airbags, and side curtain airbags for both front and rear passengers. The NHTSA gives the 2016 Scion FR-S a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars) while the IIHS considers the 2015 FR-S a 2015 Top Safety Pick.

Standard features include a rearview camera, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, Pioneer audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, 17-inch alloy wheels, and fold-flat rear seats. Navigation is available as a dealer-installed accessory and comes with internet radio compatibility and social media access.

Scion offers an array of dealer-installed accessories so owners can personalize their car. For the 2016 FR-S, these accessories include lowering springs, anti-roll bars, exhausts, air intakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, performance brake pads, and quick-shift kit for cars with the manual gearbox.

Even though it isn't the fastest sports car, the 2016 FR-S remains fun to drive because of its excellent handling. In a 2013 First Test review, we said that the FR-S was one of the most playful cars because of its impeccably-tuned chassis. While the car stays flat on corners, it's also easy to put it in a drift, making it extremely satisfying to drive. In a comparison test that also included the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Subaru BRZ, Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and Mazda MX-5 Miata, the FR-S placed second because of its engaging handling. However, the lack of convenience features and a plain interior design prevented the Scion from taking the win because its value proposition was weaker than that of the BRZ.

Key Competitors

Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/scion/fr-s/
This Is Why The FRS/BRZ/86 Is A Perfect First Car! - In Depth FRS Review

Day 1

Funny what a couple of years can do to a car, or at least what it can do to one's perception of a car. When the 2013 Scion FR-S was launched, everyone was praising it like it was the second coming of the lord. But as time as progressed and the car has become more popular the praises have started to wane and sales started to die off as well.

I know at least two people personally that have bought and sold their FR-S in the past year -- that's fairly high turn over for a sporty car from enthusiasts, odd indeed. The question is why? For some the ride is just too firm for an everyday driver, others the power just isn't what they hoped for.

Those things said, the FR-S is still a looker and the 2016 model has been given more content in the base model to entice those buyers that may be comparing it to the new-comer Ford Mustang. For 2016 a back-up camera is now standard, as is the upgraded stereo system with touchscreen. The interior has been revised slightly as well with some additional silver trim to spruce it up a little. The exterior colour of my tester is also new, Oceanic is the name.

Last time I drove one of these cars I was excited for a new sports car in a world where the affordable sports car was dying off, now that I get another shot at this car will I still love it?

Pricing: 2016 Scion FR-S
Base Price: $27,490
Freight: $1,695
A/C Tax: $100
Price as Tested: $29,295

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Honda Civic Si
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Mazda MX-5
Mini Cooper S
Subaru BRZ
Volkswagen GTI

Day 2

The inside of the FRS is an array of mixed emotions for me. The simplicity of the interior is welcome in a driver focused sports car. Keep everything simple so that the driver concentrates on driving, in this regard the FRS does it perfectly.

On the other hand it is 2015 and this is a 2016 model that is selling for over $30,000 with taxes in and at that price it really seems to be missing some features, like steering wheel audio controls, manual seats that return to their original position after being flipped forward for rear passengers.

And if I want the car to be driver focused, eliminate that horrible aftermarket tossed in stereo system with ridiculous controls that I cannot even figure out how to tune the radio on.

There seems to be a lot of compromises here, the rear seats are completely useless, I tried sitting back there, nope not going to happen. I tried to flip the rear seat down (it is not 60/40), I unlocked it but for some reason it wouldn't drop down. I asked a friend that owns an FRS how it folds down, he said to me that swearing at it seems to help otherwise it's a huge pain in the you know what.

And for those of us with less than stellar flexibility, getting in and out of the FRS daily can be a chore. Heck even my, not even 30 yet, co-worker commented getting in and out of the car twice was enough for him in his lifetime.

That's a lot of strikes against a car that seems to tick all the right check boxes on paper, maybe the drive will win me over?

Day 3

Everyone expects me to come out on day three of my blog praising the drive of the FRS. But I'm not sure that needs to be covered, pretty much every review written about the FRS goes on about how it feels light and nimble and fun to drive -- there I said it.

But what about the things that a lot people skirt around, for those that want to live with this car day in and day out? How about the firm ride, firm is a nice way to say it, but the FRS will jar your back and more even on some of the smoothest roads around -- the ride is ultra stiff, can you live with that daily?

If you can live with that, great, but can you live with the noise on the highway? Forget talking to anyone in the passenger seat without yelling and having a phone conversation with the Bluetooth connection. You will also be yelling over the engine noise as it hums along on the highway in sixth gear at over 3,000rpm.

And that brings us to the elephant in the room, that 2.0-litre boxer engine, sourced from Subaru. Again on paper everything seems peachy, but the nature of the engine does not work out as perfect. The engine sounds harsh, like a tractor as a result revving the engine to the moon to get the power out of it is not appealing at all -- at least not in the city.

Now taking the car onto the track is another story, with the revs boiling and a chassis that keeps on giving with quick turn in and a lot of grip despite the mediocre tires the car is a blast. And that is where I see a lot of FRS vehicles, but I do spend a lot of time at the track as well. But if you have no plans on taking it to the track, can you live with the downsides?

Day 4

Maybe I was a little harsh on the FR-S the other day, I just came back from a trip to Laval and it performed well. It is small and nimble so easy to drive in tight traffic and for a low slung sports coupe it has good sight lines and huge side mirrors so you are never questioning if someone is in your blind spot.

But it's still slow and loud, the constant tire noise on the return trip was starting to get to me, when you want peace and quiet it just isn't there. But it handled the rough roads in Laval remarkably well. Where the FR-S does shine though is in fuel economy, we have a sports coupe that needs to have its neck wrung to go fast but I still averaged 7.1 L/100 km over the week and 6.8 L/100 km after the trip to Montreal.

The only downside to the good fuel economy is the premium fuel requirement for the engine, so add about 10 percent to your fuel costs, or base it on an average of 7.8 L/100 km instead of 7.1 L/100 km when comparing to a car that drinks regular fuel.

Overall the FR-S still appeals, it's one of the best looking sports coupes on the market, I'd suggest a Mustang in this price range but it is a much larger car, if you like small cars the only true competitor is the Mazda MX-5 which I will drive in just over a month from now -- stay tuned.

Sours: https://www.autotrader.ca/expert/20150816/day-by-day-review-2016-scion-fr-s/

You will also be interested:

Driving enthusiasts have a lot of options these days, from the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata all the way up to track-focused versions of our favorites, such as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins still exist in the lower end of the spectrum price-wise. Both earned 10Best nods upon their debut for 2013, but the pair’s sales quickly fell off once the initial rush of enthusiasts got their keys. Here we take a look at the 2016 FR-S and the incremental improvements Toyota has made in an attempt to keep it relevant with sporting buyers.

Keeping Up

Although Scion and Subaru have separately tweaked their models over the years, most of what we gleaned from our 40,000-mile test of a 2013 Subaru BRZ still holds true for both cars. They continue to share the same 200-hp 2.0-liter flat-four engine and lightweight, rear-wheel-drive chassis, as well as their sleek bodywork and driver-focused interiors. These are still very fun and affordable sports cars, albeit ones with minimal refinement and practicality.

The Scion’s changes for 2016 are modest and focus on dressing up the previously drab interior with silver accents on the steering wheel, console, dash, and doors. Also new are a standard backup camera and Pioneer infotainment system with a seven-inch touch-screen display. The latter once again has an aftermarket look and feel, but its features and usability are significantly better than the previous unit’s infuriating setup. Similarly, the brighter trim is a welcome improvement on the early FR-S’s all-black décor, even though it does nothing to address the excessive road and engine noise that still invades the cabin. Fortunately—and most important—the FR-S’s primary controls remain ideally arranged and rich with feedback for spirited driving.

Slip and Slide

A stiffer front suspension and recalibrated rear shocks were added to the FR-S for 2015, with Toyota’s goal being to reduce body roll and improve driver feedback. The chassis does feel more stable midcorner, as well as more connected than we remember our long-term BRZ being. The 2016 model also seemed to ride better. But the recent switch to Bridgestone Turanza all-season tires from the Michelin Primacy HP summer rubber that was on every other FR-S and BRZ we’ve driven makes a direct comparison difficult.

The Scion and Subaru never had an abundance of grip at their contact patches, but the Bridgestones—still sized 215/45R-17—simply feel like they have less of it to offer. Combined with the Scion’s suspension changes, the latest FR-S is more tail-happy than ever. While that makes the car a hoot to play with at lower speeds, as well as a great learning tool for beginners, less traction means less outright performance.

Our six-speed-manual FR-S test car’s performance figures were below average versus the other FR-S/BRZ coupes we’ve reviewed, despite it weighing a comparable 2761 pounds. Lateral grip on the skidpad was a so-so 0.86 g versus a high of 0.96, and our car needed 177 feet to stop from 70 mph. Although manual versions like ours are quicker than those with the six-speed automatic (an $1100 option), the less-grippy rubber contributed to a lazier zero-to-60-mph time of 7.1 seconds, with the quarter-mile run taking 15.4 seconds at 93 mph. For comparison, the 2016 Miata can reach 60 mph in 5.9 ticks and covers the quarter in 14.6 at 95 mph. It also stops and sticks better.

Some Finishing Is Recommended

The 2016 FR-S continues to be slightly more affordable than the Subaru BRZ, and it’s a sweet little performance package for its base MSRP of $26,100. Six airbags are standard, as are the Pioneer head unit and a leather-wrapped tilting/telescoping steering wheel. A dealer-installed BeSpoke Audio with Navigation system ($900) is the most significant option. Additional refinement and sound insulation would surely improve the Scion’s drivability and possibly attract more buyers. But it would also make the FR-S heavier, slower, and more expensive, which runs counter to the whole affordable-performance ethos.

The level of aftermarket support remains the FR-S’s most exciting feature, with virtually limitless modifications available, including Scion’s own dealer-installed Toyota Racing Development engine and suspension upgrades. While the latest updates make the 2016 FR-S slightly more enjoyable without compromising it too much, simply fitting stickier rubber would make a greater impact on its character, whether that’s from the factory or something you opt to do for yourself.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE AS TESTED: $26,100 (base price: $26,100)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 cc
Power: 200 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 6400 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: 101.2 in
Length: 166.7 in
Width: 69.9 in Height: 50.6 in
Passenger volume: 77 cu ft
Cargo volume: 7 cu ft
Curb weight: 2761 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 7.1 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.6 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 29.0 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.7 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 12.0 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 9.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.4 sec @ 93 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.86 g

EPA city/highway: 22/30 mpg
C/D observed: 26 mpg


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