$17,319 - $20,077

2016 Scion FR-S Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Scion FR-S was new.


Performance: 9.1

The 2016 Scion FR-S may not overwhelm drivers with its power, but it is a fun-to-drive sports car, according to reviewers. They say it has athletic handling and responsive steering, although some wish the ride was a little smoother.

  • "More stable in corners but no less quick or fun around a track, the suspension improvements help improve driver confidence. But make no mistake, this is still a driver's car, and while it's easier for an amateur to have fun, it's still especially rewarding for an experienced driver." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "For enthusiasts on a budget, the Scion FR-S is a dream come true, offering crisp, well-balanced rear-wheel-drive dynamics, precise steering and an affordable pricetag. It's also well-equipped and easy on gas." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The FR-S is extremely entertaining to drive. It nimbly zips around turns, yet it's not intimidating to drive hard like a lot of high-horsepower, rear-drive coupes can be." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Having the fastest, most enjoyable car doesn't mean having the most powerful or the priciest. The FR-S is what budget-themed performance is all about." -- Motor Trend (2013) 

Acceleration and Power

A 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the FR-S. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, and a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The FR-S gets an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg city/highway, which is better than the class average.

Most test drivers agree that the FR-S’ engine is responsive despite lacking the high-end power of other sports cars, though some think the acceleration it produces is unimpressive. The manual transmission earns reviewer praise for its smooth operation and the automatic is responsive, they say.

  • The 2016 Scion FR-S is not a car built for sizzling straight-line performance. Its moderately powered 2.0-liter engine revs willingly and lets out a nice snarl at high rpm, but we're still talking about outright acceleration that's no better than that of a modern V6 family sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "Flick the slick-shifting 6-speed manual into gear, keep the engine revving high, and you'll find the 2.0-liter flat-4 provides plenty of thrust." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The smooth six-speed manual transmission's weighty feel invites accurate rev-matched shifts. The paddle-actuated automatic gearbox does it all for you with impressive hastiness, particularly in Sport mode (engineers wouldn't divulge actual shift times), and should easily appease the growing number of driving enthusiasts who toil through gridlock on a daily basis." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "We blipped the throttle and the engine response was instantaneous. Running through the gears, the manual transmission had a mechanical throw making it feel very connected to the gearbox." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2016 FR-S offers great agility and is entertaining to drive on winding roads. They add that the car feels stable when cornering, but some critics think it delivers a noisy, rough ride when tackling bumpy roads.

  • The suspension lost its tail-happy tendencies last year, and while the drift-kids may complain, it makes for an easier-to-drive and quicker car all around. However, Scion's FR-S sports car is a hassle in town. The stiff suspension is unforgiving over broken pavement, it's pretty loud inside on the highway, and the tight interior is a squeeze for taller drivers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In Scion's defense, moderation is part of the car's design, anyway. It's light and nimble, so you look for excuses to take it for a spin and drive it a little farther or harder than you need to because it's so entertaining. The FR-S defines what sports car driving is all about." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2015 FR-S preserves its tail-happy character, but now it only breaks loose when you really want it to -- not when you're, say, in second gear and trying to concentrate while winding around the tricky, sweeping esses at the back of Streets of Willow, or after climbing the hill and braking hard for the tight, bumpy right-hander." -- AutoWeek (2015)

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