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2013 Scion FR-S Review

A high-performing engine, outstanding handling, and a perfect safety score help the 2013 Scion FR-S perform well in our rankings. It does, however, have the lowest-possible reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Supportive front seats
  • Responsive steering
  • Limited trunk space for the segment




Critics' Rating: 9.7
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Scion FR-S Overview

Is the 2013 Scion FR-S a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Scion FR-S is a good used sports car that works well both as a daily driver and on the track. It has a powerful four-cylinder engine and superb handling, and the front seats are supportive and comfortable. The FR-S is also one of the least expensive cars in the class to own. When it was new, we named this front-engine coupe our 2013 Best Sports Car for the Money.

Used 2013 Scion FR-S Performance and Interior

The rear-wheel-drive FR-S has a Subaru-sourced 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine. That’s less horsepower than competitors like the 2013 Ford Mustang or the 2013 Nissan 370Z have, but the Scion is hundreds of pounds lighter. The FR-S has a standard six-speed manual transmission, while an automatic transmission is available. Its agile handling and precise steering are comparable to the performance of much more expensive sports cars. Fuel economy for the segment is excellent, at 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission and 24/33 mpg city/highway with the automatic.

Read more about FR-S performance »

The 2013 Scion FR-S coupe seats two adults comfortably up front, and the seats are well-bolstered and supportive. Visibility is outstanding. The back seats, however, are best left to small children. The Scion has complete LATCH child-seat connectors in the second row. At 6.9 cubic feet, trunk space is small even for a sports car. However, the folding rear seat makes the space more practical.

Standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, an eight-speaker audio system with a USB port, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and an auxiliary input jack. The audio system is frustrating to use. Even a task that should be simple, such as adjusting the bass and treble, is overly complicated.

Read more about FR-S interior »

Used 2013 Scion FR-S Prices

The price of a used 2013 Scion FR-S base model ranges from about $13,100 with the six-speed manual transmission to around $13,600 with the six-speed automatic. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 15 Scion FR-S reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 FR-S.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Scion FR-S?

The 2013 Scion FR-S has a reliability score of two out of five from J.D. Power. That’s the lowest score possible across the auto industry.

See FR-S reliability scores »

How Safe Is the FR-S?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Scion FR-S a Top Safety Pick. It earned the top rating of Good for the following crash tests: moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not crash test the FR-S. There are no active safety features.

See FR-S safety scores »

Is the 2013 FR-S the Best Model Year to Buy?

The Scion FR-S was launched for the 2013 model year. In 2014, an infotainment touch screen became standard and the 10 Series was introduced to mark Scion’s 10th anniversary. The 2015 FR-S added a retuned suspension and a special edition 1.0 trim level. Unless you’re passionate about these features, the more affordable 2013 FR-S should meet your needs.

In 2017, the Scion brand was discontinued and its vehicles were transferred to the Toyota line. The company refreshed the FR-S in 2017, renaming it the Toyota 86.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 FR-S »

Which Used Scion FR-S Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Scion FR-S has one trim level. You might find some models equipped with dealer-installed accessories that boost handling and horsepower, like a rear spoiler and a cold air intake.

Due to the FR-S’s low reliability score, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. Scion provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Scion must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Scion warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Scion FR-S and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Scion FR-S or 2013 Subaru BRZ?

The 2013 Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S were jointly developed by the two manufacturers. They have the same low reliability score and the same mechanical parts, such as a flat-four engine and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Subaru adds some interior and exterior features, like standard HID headlights, satellite radio, and a navigation system. Because the two cars are so similar, personal preference will need to drive your choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Scion FR-S or 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata stands apart from the Scion FR-S in two areas: interior quality and reliability. The FR-S seats four (albeit in a cramped second row), while the Miata seats two. The Scion has the lowest reliability score, while the Mazda is above average. Both cars handle well and have rear-wheel drive, but the FR-S has much more horsepower. That extra boost in horsepower gives the FR-S the edge.

Compare the FR-S, BRZ, and MX-5 Miata »

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