A few weeks ago in preparation for my son’s upcoming 4th birthday, I requested to review “something special” for him. Therefore, a 2014 Scion FR-S was delivered to my home for me to review the week of his birthday.
I explained to my son, “This is Lightning McQueen.”
It really does look like the character from Disney’s Cars, doesn’t it?
Obviously, this is a very sporty, sharp looking car. There is no denying that.
And to make sure I got the full experience on this sports car, I asked for the manual transmission.
Let’s talk about that…
I’ve driven a stick shift since I was 15 and the Reverse gear has always been the bottom right section.
Not with the Scion FR-S, which is also known as the Subaru BRZ and/or the Toyota 86, depending on which part of the world you are in; more on that in a minute…
It actually required some research to figure out how to use this apparently European style of a gear shifter. I noticed there was a lack of information on the Internet and even YouTube on how to shift the gears.
The main problem I was having was simply getting the car into Reverse.
Here’s the trick, as demonstrated in the video I made for you:
You have to pull up on the “ring” of the shifter before it will allow you to move the shifter left into the Reverse gear.
Once you move the shifter into 1st Gear from there, you will probably feel a slight vibration, sort of like a “triple click” so that you know you’re in 1st gear, not 3rd.
That’s something else that may take some getting used to: the gears are not so much in the tradition squared “U” formation. They are more of a “V”; very tight.
Again, this all takes some getting used to. It might literally require driving around the block a time or two, literally.
I suppose that’s sort of the qualifier for the manual transmission version of the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86:
You have to be pretty confident in your abilities to drive a stick shift to enjoy it. I feel this car is designed for that corner of the market that is still passionate about driving a stick. After all, if you’re like me, you probably see the ability of driving a stick shift as a lost art.
This car is not for most people, which is probably why you don’t see an abundance of them at Toyota/Scion dealerships. Chances are, if you’ve made it this far in to my review, you’re part of that demographic that the Scion FR-S is intended for.
If you’re curious about the size of the back seat, you came to the right place. I rode in it for about 4 miles round trip to and from the storage facility (we’re moving across town); with my dad driving and my wife up front.
I am 5’9” and 143 pounds. Sitting back in the seat, the top of my head was against the back windshield. Sitting straight up, my head cleared the ceiling by a half an inch.
As long as my knees weren’t together, leg room wasn’t an issue. I sort of have to straddle the front passenger seat; which was not pushed fully back; only about half the way.
And here’s a video I made on on that too:
A child will easily fit back there, given that your wife is okay with it…
Adults my size or smaller shouldn’t have too much of an issue for shorter trips. Granted, I don’t think anyone is expecting a “road trip worthy” back seat from the Scion FR-S.
After all, it’s a 2 door sports car. However, it does indeed have 4 seats and 4 seatbelts should the occasion arise.
Lastly, I want to point out the obscure fact that the motor for the Scion FR-S is made by both Toyota and Subaru!
If you’re familiar at all with Scion, you know they are the sportier, younger sister of Toyota.
So I wasn’t surprised to see a Toyota engine in it, but I definitely was surprised to see the Subaru name. Check out my video on that now:
Apparently, overseas, Toyota and Subaru team up for special projects; unlike here in America, where it appears those two companies are competitors.
Notice the “86” emblem on the sides of the car. I suppose that’s a sort of “Easter Egg” that points to the fact that outside of America, this vehicle would be a Toyota 86, or a Subaru BRZ.
As you can see from the dashboard display, I was averaging over 28 miles a gallon in this $25,000 sports car.
I get a free tank of gas with each car I review, and sadly, I didn’t even get through the first quarter tank. I could have easily spent another week driving this one!
At least my brother-in-law and I got a chance to take it out for a spin down Broadway in Nashville late Saturday night.
I’m all for answering any questions you have about the Scion FR-S. I really do feel there’s a lack of information on the Internet about this car, so I’m hoping to change that.
Thanks for reading!