As an unabashed fan of the Scion brand since its launch back in 2004, each new release has captured my interest. I’m a first-generation owner that took possession of a special-ordered 2005 Scion xB back in the summer of 2004. At the time, I was exactly the target market for the affordable, customizable ride – part of the “under 35” crowd that Toyota’s Scion nameplate has always embraced. Having owned one model and driven many, one that escaped my hands on the wheel until recently was the Scion FR-S, and my first driving experience for that one came in the cockpit of the 2016 edition. The 2016 Scion FR-S is the latest U.S./Canada edition of the vehicle sold elsewhere as either the Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ.
In a lot of ways, the Scion FR-S is the type of car I’d always envisioned myself in as a kid – which might be why my daughters both like it so much. Low-profile, with 2+2 seating, this Sport Coupe has just enough room for two grownups in the front, but the back seat is just enough for two small children – but I wouldn’t want to be an adult squeezed back there. For two youngsters ages 3 & 6, it was a ton of fun for them to be in there strapped tightly in their car seats, the illusion of speed seeming much greater with the tight quarters.
For adults, the feel of the car matches Scion’s “Raised on the Track, Made for the Street” tagline – with the basic, no-frills controls giving way for an uncluttered driving experience that truly allows the pilot to feel like “one” with the car and the road. Being such a music enthusiast, I’m a little weirded-out by the lack of a CD player and the fact that SiriusXM is now non-standard, allowing the infotainment system to simply pair with a bluetooth device to run apps like Spotify or Pandora instead. Those quirks aside, the 8-speaker Pioneer Audio System sounds fantastic, and the 7″ touchscreen is ample.
Video: Around the Block at a brisk 25mph
From a performance standpoint, the Scion feels faster than it is, but 200 horsepower is more than anyone needs. Zipping around town with the windows open, it reminded me of driving a well-handling go-kart or race-kart. It just felt good, and from a safety standpoint, the 2016 Scion FR-S scored a Five-Star NHTSA Safety Rating, and there’s six airbags in the cabin.
Starting at $27,200 and topping out around $32,500 with factory options, the 2016 Scion FR-S is an affordable, entry-level sportscar that feels more expensive than it is. While I wouldn’t call it a “family car” by any means, you could certainly take the little ones around town as we did, and the handling makes this just as fun as a daily driver as it would be for highways and winding roads. Is an a really fun car to drive.
Learn more at https://www.scion.com/models/FR-S/2016