2013 Scion FR-S Long Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Digital Versus Analog

August 21, 2012

frs speedo.jpg

Usually, I prefer all analog gauges. There are two reasons why -- "at a glance" reading is usually easier -- such as coolant temp where if the needle's in the middle you know you're good. The other reason is aesthetics, a bank of round gauges looks cooler to me as well. For speed, however, a digital readout works just as well, "40" equals "40" and people can relate to it either way, whereas "190 degrees" digitally displayed might have some folks thinking their engine's running hot, when a traditional gauge would show that's comfortably in the operating range.

The FR-S has both analog and digital speedos, and I find it a bit easier to glance at the digital readout within the tach to check my speed rather than look at the finely divided, separate gauge to the left. Still, I'm glad the old dial is there as it properly fills out the instrument panel and just looks right. As compared to, say, the Chevy Sonic which looks rather hokey with just a digital speedo sitting alongside a traditional tach. Yes, I know it was inspired by a sport bike's instruments but still don't care for it.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor

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