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 Scion FR-S test drive/review

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nsticks
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PostSubject: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:35 pm

My brother and I were the first people to test drive the new FR-S at the dealership in El Centro. Interestingly enough, someone else bought one of them this morning, so hopefully they can chime in on this thread.
There were 2 at the dealership-- a gunmetal-colored, 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and a white one with the traditional 6-speed manual (which was the one that was purchased today.) They were literally still unwrapping both cars from the truck when we showed up, so we only got to test drive the automatic.

I just wanted to give everyone an idea on our first thoughts of the car, since there has been a lot of buzz and interest surrounding its release. Naughty

Exterior-- First of all, we fell in love with the white one. It LOOKS awesome. And that's saying a lot because honestly, I've never been impressed with the looks of the FR-S since the first day I saw photos. However, against a white backdrop, the black body accents, rear F-1-style reflector and reverse lights, front end, and wheels really pop out. The clear-corner taillights seem to blend a little better too. Although the wheels are cool looking, they're only 17s (the tC comes stock with 18's... not really sure about why Scion put smaller wheels on a better car.) They're begging to be upgraded. But because the tires are staggered, and you get "86" badging on the front fenders, they had to cut costs somewhere right? Crazy

Interior-- if you've ever been in the new Scion tC then the interior won't surprise you. It's very much a Scion platform for 2013. Quality materials were used, but you're getting what you pay for. Lackluster dashboard and center console with fake carbon fiber trim pieces and basic black plastic don't do it for me anymore, but that's just me. The seats are awesome. Black-cloth racing bucket seats were comfortable and definitely keep you in place. The seats and steering wheel were like my Focus ST-- have red trim accents and red stitching. I'm used to that, but I still think it's a great touch. If you're an audiophile like me, you NEED NEED NEED to upgrade to the 340 watt stereo option. The standard stereo is simply inadequate for the times. I have a full component stereo with subs, so that kind of thing is important to me.
As for cabin space, it's essentially a 2-seater with a back seat. If you plan on having anyone in the back, it better be for less than 10 miles. Anything more then forget it, take another car, because the backseat is worthless. My brother and I are tall guys, so we need all the leg room we can get.
Visibility out the windows is a solid 8/10. I was surprised, because from the outside, the small, sloping back window and side windows look make it appear you're driving in a shoe box with peep holes. But no, you can see all around you, and blind spots for us were at a minimum.
Trunk space is actually pretty decent for a car this size. The trunk opening is small, but the amount of cargo room is impressive, given the FR-S's purpose.

Performance/handling-- As I'm sure many of you already know, there has been a lot of debate on why the FR-S doesn't come boosted. Well, cost is the obvious reason. But what we're all left with is a 2.0L Boxer engine with 151 lb-ft torque and 200HP at redline. Pretty paltry if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, that's a lot of torque and horsepower for a 2.0L engine (I personally use 100 HP-per-liter as a benchmark), but because this car is rear wheel drive, the result is obviously a greater loss of power along the drive train. And boy, does it ever feel that way. Even in manual mode, you HAVE to rev the $h!t out of this car to get it to do anything. I'm not trying to make a backhanded joke here, but if you love Hondas I guess you won't have a problem with this car's power band. My brother drives a tuned 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 with 450HP, so he was obviously not impressed with the power. But my Focus has about 165 torque at 4250 RPM, so I noticed the lack of low end power from the FR-S. It has decent mid-range power, but the power really doesn't come until about 5000 RPM+
The exhaust note doesn't even sound like a Subaru boxer note at all. Doesn't really sound much of anything, to be honest. But from inside the cabin, the engine has a nice, throaty tone when you give it gas. Sounds like it has a low-restriction air intake setup.
The transmission was really smooth. Seamless, competent gear-matching on downshifts, and confident, quick upshifts. There's about a half-second delay every time you press the paddle, but when it does shift, it shifts very well. The technology has come a long way for sure. I would NOT recommend the paddle shifter automatic transmission for the simple reason that the paddles move with the steering wheel as you turn it, and I had to take my eyes off the road numerous times so i could find where the paddles were. Annoying. Get the 6-speed manual for better car feedback, and so you know you won't be fumbling around while you're driving spiritedly.
Suspension-- Pretty much one of the best handling, stock suspensions I've ever driven. This was the talked-about allure of this car, and they weren't lying. It corners flatly, rides smoothly, but tight, and I'm pretty sure this car will beat most cars (in this class) in a slalom. That's really all I have to say about it. The car handles awesomely. Period.

Final/overall thoughts-- This car is certainly made for the tuner. I'm certain companies will be making so many parts for this car, but Scion/Toyota give you an awesome platform to start with. If you're thinking of buying this car, I'd focus on modifications to increase power. I'm sure there will be a slew of TRD upgrade parts soon to come. LEAVE THE SUSPENSION ALONE until the end. Trust me, it's pretty good as is. If anything, lower it an inch to get rid of fender well gap and get bigger wheels.
For $26,650 (price as tested) you can get so much more car. 2013 Golf R, 2013 Focus ST, used STI's, 2011 Mustang 5.0s, etc. But this car has a crazy-low center of gravity and rear wheel drive. Pretty much the 2 essentials for sport driving that can't really be found in a car of this price range. However if straight-up power is your thing, then I'd look somewhere else. Because I'm certain the new Civic Si can still beat this car from 0-60, and it costs $3500 less.
For this price, I want things like navigation, a subwoofer option, a sunroof, HID's and electric seat adjustment... none of which came on the car we tested. (Check out pics of the 2013 Focus ST interior. THAT is an interior to compare all cars of this price range to. But of course I'm biased Wink )
However if you want a car you can mod the hell out of, I'm pretty sure it won't get any better than this for years.


Last edited by nsticks on Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:19 am; edited 12 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:08 am

Wow!! Not happy with the power/handling and power for that price.!! Great looking car tho but for that price I 'll get a use supra!!


I love this kind of threads.

thanks Nsticks.!!!


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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:29 am

Great review nsticks!!! I read every word, you know how to keep it interesting haha goodjob
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:06 am

And apparently, I didn't read it before I submitted. Haha mistakes everywhere. It's all fixed now though.

Glad you guys liked it!
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:28 pm

Really good review!! I read somewhere that the Subaru BRZ would come out with an STI version, know that would be interesting. Chuckle
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:17 pm

Good review nsticks!!! And i personally am a little fan of boxer engines......dont know why.... Haha but if they have the same issues that the subaru ones have once you start modding then ill pass......Good stuff tho!!

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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:26 pm

Nsticks that was a hell of a review. You gave top gear a run for there money.Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:22 am

nefarious187 wrote:
Nsticks that was a hell of a review. You gave top gear a run for there money.Wink

Haha thanks man. I felt I needed to contribute something substantial to this forum, so that was my shot at it. I'm just glad the review was so well received. I may have found my calling in car reviewing. motion


Last edited by nsticks on Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:56 am

Wheres the video??? and did the Stig take it for a lap on the IVScene test track?? Drum joke

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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:59 am

dude shut up Uly, Neil doesnt want people to know that he is in fact the Stig Oh No

but anyways, yeah i think most tuners will simply buy used cars, when you consider you can buy a rwd nissan 240SX with an SR20 swap for way less than $10K and at that price youre almost guaranteed to have around 300hp with full suspension.

or

try n fix up a new FR-S while making $350ish (depends on the downpayment) a month payments on top of a high insurance cost

im sure there will be plenty of turbo setups for sale but im sure youll pay anywhere between $1,500-$3,000 or more depending on how crazy you wana get
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:28 am

I went heads up with the owner of the white FR-S. Big Grin it was fast.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:20 am

Must be the 6-speed is the way to go then. I saw that guy driving around the other day. That car has some pretty legit street presence... a head turner for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:41 am

I spotted a dark blue one some asian guy was driving it.......my girl saw it and said i should get one but the BRZ STI version when it comes out......hahahahahaha money money money

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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:48 am

Get that shit your only young once...I'm working on a evo 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:05 pm

nice review! well put. It sucks that it doesnt come with a turbo or brembo brakes Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:36 am

Uly wrote:
I spotted a dark blue one some asian guy was driving it.......my girl saw it and said i should get one but the BRZ STI version when it comes out......hahahahahaha money money money

FTW or what?!?!
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:21 pm

I only care about having 450wHP to the FRONT wheels, no LSD, torque vectoring, or traction control.
:driving:
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:26 am

No traction control? How do you plan on launching?

If I didn't have [a form of] traction control (N2MB Boost Box) I would be seeing 26psi in 1st gear through 5th. Thats gonna break the trans, block, and axles. Especially in a FWD.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:22 am

Ha, I was attempting to make a joke. Yeah there's no way that much power on a fwd can be safely manipulated without computer assistance.
My current car will never even see 200HP so I really don't have anything to worry about. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Ohhhh. I got cha Big Grin
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:02 pm

damn the brz is hella cheap!!! and they currently only have the limited version which just gives it a spoiler and and leather seats......it does add like 5k to the price but i dont think thats worth it. The BRZ Limited only runs 28k which is not bad at all!!! cheapest performance car subaru sells!!

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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:20 pm

But for 28k you can get a WRX STi from Carmax with low miles. For an extra 5k, you can get a Nismo 370z from 2009 with less than 6,000 miles on it.

To each their own though.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:20 pm

FOR 23K YOU CAN GET A CTS-V on Craigslist with a salvage title and be sipping coffee on the way to work, while walking STi' and SRT's like childsplay PAPER

I would do unmentionable things for a CTS-V ashamed
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:10 pm

03RedSRT4 wrote:
FOR 23K YOU CAN GET A CTS-V on Craigslist with a salvage title and be sipping coffee on the way to work, while walking STi' and SRT's like childsplay PAPER

I would do unmentionable things for a CTS-V ashamed

Best idea I've read all week. If it's the coupe, I'll buy it without question.
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PostSubject: Re: Scion FR-S test drive/review   Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:14 am

Hahahaha this thread has oficially gone off track!! But yeah the scion looks good!! But i still prefer the toyota emblem over the scion.

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