Consumer Reports takes its car testing very seriously. After all, we are the only media organization that buys all the cars that it tests, running each through a multi-week evaluation that yields an extremely detailed report for our subscribers. But we can't help having a little bit of fun. Which is exactly what we did with a borrowed 2013 Scion FR-S Toyota lent us for a few days. In fairness, it was more than a little.
Since we don't formally test a manufacturer-owned vehicle, as opposed to one purchased anonymously at a dealership, what else could we do with a new rear-drive sport coupe besides assess its fun factor? As the video below shows, the fun factor is off the charts—same as we discovered in the drift-ready Subaru BRZ sampled recently at our test track. (See our Subaru BRZ video.)
The 2+2 coupe features a Subaru-supplied, normally-aspirated, aluminum 2.0-liter flat-four, mounted low and behind the front axle contributing to the car's low center of gravity. Using Toyota fuel-injection system, the engine produces 200 horsepower. It is teamed with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The stability control system has driver-selectable modes to enable enthusiastic driving with reduced intervention—something we could fully explore within the safety of our track.
The cabin is roomy for two up front, but the rear seat is tiny. Unlike the Subaru twin, there are fewer premium options available for the Scion. However, the fun and performance remain, as demonstrated in the video below. Both the BRZ and FR-S have proven to be no-nonsense drivers' cars. They are demanding and compromised as daily drivers, but they can also be very rewarding.
Pricing starts at $24,930 with a six-speed manual transmission and $26,030 when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, factoring destination charges. The FR-S goes on sale this month.