I have the 6 speed manual.
There are 2 main problems with the car, the first being the severe lack of power.
Scion claims this car has 200 HP, I beg to differ, it's lucky if it has 150.
The acceleration is absolutely terrible, and the hesitation off the line makes the situation even worse.
However, once it's in 3rd gear or later, it does get a little better.
The other thing that bothers me about the car is the transmission grinds when shifting from 1st to 2nd, and from 2nd to 3rd.
It doesn't happen every time, but happens enough to be severely annoying.
The only redeeming quality of the car is the styling.
It looks like a sports car, but that's where the similarity ends.
Styling on the inside and out is superb.
People stop me and comment all the time about how good it looks.
They also say it looks very fast, and then I tell them that looks can be deceiving.
The comfort of the seats is great, they really wrap you up and hold you as soon as you sit into them.
As long as you're not driving, you'll feel like you're sitting in a sports car.
My car came with the touchscreen stereo, which I really like.
The sound quality is great and the Bluetooth is easy to set up and works well.
Two words: More Power
Why Toyota decided to put this gutless 2.0 engine in the car is beyond me.
My guess is that in later model years they will be forced to offer an engine upgrade to remedy the issue once and for all.
I had for a very long time an old porsche 928 s4.
It was a amazing car, and I thrashed the crap out of it. It died a terrible death...
The new Scion replaced it.
The Sion is not nearly as fast, nor as flashy. But it is WAAAAY more fun. At every red light the little 4 gives it a mighty big BRAAAPPPP and off we go. The shift points are just pure joy.
This is not a car that will set a new land speed record, or corner at speeds that make your brains turn to mush. BUT----It is a very fun car that is amazingly responsive.
It puts a smile on your face driving in city traffic as its sure is a little street fighter.
Its great on the highway and its MPG is amazing.
The car has a real soul.
Wow its great on snow.. The trac control works very very well.
L/100K is in the City coming back at 9.1 every fill up
( 5000K so far). I drive it very very badly, full throttle off of every light. So that is amazing. Long trips 6.5ish.
Amazing suspension and control in adverse conditions. The car is really very easy to drive and live with.
Don't listen to everybody who berates this car.
Those are the people who don't understand its purpose.
After 10,000 miles through 6 states and Canada, I can tell you this car is great in every single circumstance.
City, highway, straight road, twisty road, road course, etc.
I can get 34mpg on the highway, and average 31mpg even with some autocrosses and track days sprinkled in.
You can fit a 6' person in the back as long as the front passenger is willing to give up some leg room.
I honestly test drove every single new car with a manual transmission under $25k and this was by far my favorite.
Handling is outstanding.
Most new cars understeer at the limit, but this car is perfectly neutral.
Seats are very supportive.
Hood opens beyond 90 degrees making it very easy to work on.
Oil filter is on the top of the engine, making oil changes extremely easy.
For a coupe the trunk space is very good, especially with the rear seat folded flat.
Interior quality is great.
Much better than my previous car (2006 Mazda 3).
Personally I think it should be a little louder from the factory.
Stereo is only adequate.
Paint quality is not very good.
Paint chips starting showing up much earlier and more frequently than in my Mazda.
Purchased my Asphalt Grey FR-S 6-speed manual in June of 2012.
Traded up from a 2002 WRx (original owner), and while I miss the all-wheel drive and turbo rush, my FR-S just makes me smile every time I'm behind the wheel.
Mine is primarily used as a weekend fun car, and I argue that there is nothing out on the road today that is even close in price that makes you feel as connected to the pure, visceral driving experience as this $24K gem.
The steering is easily controlled, the shifter is perfect and the engine grumble is nice (I'm a sucker for boxster engines).
I would not use this as a daily driver, but as a second car, it is just perfect.
Shifter, steering, balance, sightlines, inspired confidence through the twisties (with new wheels/tires - see suggested improvements) and storage space with rear seats (a loose term in this car) folded down.
This is truly a drivers car and is rewarding at various levels of driving talent.
It is wicked fun with the stability control and VTC turned off.
Dealer offered tire and wheel upgrades would be nice.
The original OEMs are fun for about a week and then you want some additional grip and control in the twisties.
The touch-screen radio is better than the std. (anything would be)but its is still a poor unit, esp. in bright sunlight.
A center armrest would be nice for longer drives, but I've purchased an after-market unit that fits nicely into the cup holders. Lastly, a center dash storage nook would be nice as there is literally no storage in any useful location.
Beside the tires/wheels, these are all just nit-picky complaints.
I was looking for a fun sporty car as my daily driver and after doing my research I decided to test drive the FR-S. It is the perfect car for me (I'm 23) it is fun, fast, and so far reliable. The gas milage is also pretty good. I just have two complaints the first one is that I wish there were volume controls on the steering wheel the second is I wish it was called the Toyota 86 (like the rest of the world) but other than those two things I love the car and would reccomend it to anyone!