Track: Yes. Road Trip: No - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FRS: Track: Yes. Road Trip: No.

July 1, 2013

2013 Scion FRS

A year later, I'm still enamored by our long-term Scion FRS. As a track car and, to a lesser degree, a commuter, I'd definitely consider this as a purchase. But that's because I don't take a lot of road trips.

Last week, I drove the FRS down to San Diego to attend a press event. After the 2,400-mile Grand National trip, 140 miles each way would be a piece of cake. Shortly after hitting the highway, I quickly realized how wrong I was.

In a word, noise.

The Scion makes quite a racket. The engine is loud and not at all refined, road noise permeates every recess of your skull and the wind noise is like listening to radio static. While I wouldn't characterize the ride quality as harsh, the suspension does contribute to some fatigue. Of course, none of that matters if you have a helmet on and you're fighting for a good lap.

Now, I suppose if there was a track day at the end of this road trip, I'd easily tolerate this.

Mark Takahashi @ 19,000 miles


  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Hi Mark, remember when Edmunds also acquired a BRZ to compare and contrast with the FR-S? Feel free to do that here.

  • Could the difference be the tires? In my FR-S when traveling at the 100km/h (62mph) limit I find it MUCH quieter on the highway then my stock Integra GSR it replaced. When I start travelling faster it does get noisier, but nothing compared to my old DC2

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I would believe that the FR-S is quieter than a 15-year-old sport compact with a short final drive, but that's setting the bar pretty low.

  • yellowbal yellowbal Posts:

    Tires would probably help the noise but you'd lose ultimate grip. Some Conti DWs in 225/45R17 would be quieter and softer.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    @Fordson, that rather depends on the 15 year old car in question. As a former Subaru owner I would have no problem believing that the Acura has a smoother and quieter engine. It would also have narrower tires than IL's modified FR-S and the Integra body w

  • @fordson, I would consider both cars sport compacts but the integra was a GSR, not the Type R and had as much sound deadening as the other models. I never said all if the noise was engine, yes the engine was louder but there was more noise in general. I w

  • edboc edboc Posts:

    Can you post a video of driving the car on the highway?

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    It's very difficult to get the nuances of how "noisy" a car is through video, unless it's directly compared to something else we're all familiar with (like a rental Focus or Camry). That being said, I don't remember this car being noisier than 1990's-mid 2000's Hondas? I second the extremecontacts if you're using this thing for a daily driver and you value comfort and quiet (and rain performance)- Pilot Super Sports are a really good quiet performance tire if you can take the slightly harder edge.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Guys, I guess the issue with the FR-S is that it's a car with high-performance tires - and directional tires at that - that have a few miles on them and they are starting to get loud. I would have rotated them before now - don't know if Edmunds did that. More to the point, the car is built to a strict price point and weight point, and road and engine noise was just not a priority. Others have pointed to the tight rear seat and lack of hatchback design as reasons not to have this as a DD, but I think the lack of NVH control is at least as big an issue.

  • cracknut cracknut Posts:

    I was thinking about picking up a FRS until I heard about the road noise - no better than my 2005 S2000 + hardtop.

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