Years ago, wife and I had a Volvo. It was pretty new and very snazzy looking, but it spent a lot of time in the shop. I found that really annoying, but my wife didn’t seem to mind. “It’s a European car,” she’d say. “You just have to get used to it.” Well, I never did. So when we divorced, I was thrilled to trade my interest in the Volvo for a few other items with better repair records.
I’m bringing this up because, as I was putting the Scion FRS (which the brand provided, with the understanding that all opinions in this review would be mine alone) through its paces, the phrase “you just have to get used to it” kept popping into my mind. But in a much more positive way.
First, the FRS is a Toyota brand so I wouldn’t expect it to come anywhere near a mechanic unless it was for scheduled maintenance. I could definitely get used to that. Second, the FRS is a sports car, a real-life, fast-as-hell, head-turning, takes-turns-like-it’s-on-a-rail sports car. So, yeah, I could get used to that.
Third, it’s not a luxury car, which means it doesn’t have a lot of the features you’d find on a Lexus, for example. There’s no multi-zone climate control, no collision warning sensors, and no rear backup camera. That last part gets us back to the sports car: This is a vehicle that you’ll be driving forwards, probably faster than you should be. So why spend the money on a feature you’ll never use? It does, however, have two speedometers: one digital, one analog, just in case you need confirmation that you’re really going as fast as you think you are.
The FRS is incredibly fun to drive. So much so that it created an interesting problem: During the week I had it, I put a lot more miles on it than I usually do. And it took me a little longer to get places than it usually does. The reason? I found myself taking the most circuitous routes between points A and B that I could find. The more turns the better. Yep, I think I could get used to that too.
MSRP for the base model FRS is $24.900. Fog lights, a rear spoiler, and a few other upgrades brought the price to just a shade under $28,000. The official MPG numbers are 22 city, 30 highway, but that may be when the car is driven at legal speeds. Chances are you’ll go over the limit. Hey, it’s a sports car, so get used to it.