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2016 Scion FR-S

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/3/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2016

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.

Vehicle Summary

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.

Trims, Packages, and What's Standard

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.

What We Think

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.

You'll Like

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

You Won't Like

  • Engine has little low-end and mid-range torque
  • Not much space for people or cargo
  • Boy-racer image may not appeal to everyone

Key Competitors

  • Subaru BRZ
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Ford Mustang
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Subaru WRX


4 star


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