April 25, 2013
You already knew that the 2013 Scion FR-S doesn't offer much rear-seat legroom. Just 29.9 inches, in fact. But as this photo illustrates (possibly poorly), the FR-S is still up for a small family challenge. She didn't have a ton of room to stretch her legs, but our 7-year-old did fine back there during a day of driving around town, taking in the sights. No complaints about space or headroom with the booster seat.
April 17, 2013
Maybe it was because I had spent most of the week driving mid-size sedans. But when I sat down in our 2013 Scion FR-S and fired it up for the drive home, I realized, yeah, this is how it's supposed to be.
What was I talking about?
February 13, 2013
This weekend I had to take my dog Mya back to the vet in our 2013 Scion FR-S. I put her doggy blanket down in the backseat like I usually do to protect the seat but her hair still managed to get on the cloth. When I took the car to the car wash for its weekly wash and afterward pointed out to the attendant handing me the key of the "clean" car that they didn't clean the backseat, he said that they couldn't and that it had to be shampooed.
February 8, 2013
You see that purse? Sometimes it sets off the airbag sensor in our 2013 Scion FR-S. That's not usually a big deal to me since sometimes I load it up with heavy stuff. But when this particular not-so-heavy one, combined with my smartphone, set off the sensor telling me to buckle them in, I threw the purse in the footwell and left the smartphone on the seat. Oddly enough, the car continued to tell me to buckle my phone in, and urgently, so I put it in the center storage cubby to shut it up.
January 15, 2013
Several weeks ago, I took our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S to Laguna Seca raceway for a weekend of berms, apices and brake markers. It's an annual thing, this Laguna track weekend, and last time I chronicled the trip in several installments all bearing the title "The Beauty of Dual-Purpose Cars," in the Miata section of the Long-Term Updates. My esteemed colleague Kurt Niebuhr saddled up in Project Miata this time.
There's a lot of green (to adopt the parlance of billiards) between Edmunds HQ and Laguna Seca. Decided to make the most of it and take the bitchinest roads possible that roughly connect between the two points. So that's what we did. The collective "we" being the two of us and my friends (and Eyesore Racing co-conspirators) Bitter Dan in his Lotus Exige and Sarah in her ridonkulously clean Nissan 240SX.
One wrinkle on the voyage northwards: rain. Lots and lots (and lots!) of rain. No big deal. It had no bearing on our selected route but slowed us down a bit. The first portion of our path took us north on 101 until we peeled off on 33 in Ojai. This is one hell of a road, and the FR-S is just such a perfect car for it. It's so communicative that you can drive hard (with conditions in mind) in complete confidence.
Deep into the drive on 33 I found an oddity. I'd hear a chime-chime-chime from time to time, which makes a rhyme, I have a dime...anyway, the chime wasn't related to any particular driving style, nor were any new lights illuminated in the cluster, nor did the car drive any differently. Nonetheless, I slowed down and put the senses one click higher. Miles and miles later I realized what was causing the intermittent chime. It was the passenger seatbelt chime. Turns out that the light jacket and a half-eaten bag of dried fruit sitting on the passenger seat was enough weight to drip the seatbelt alert. Why this took some 100 miles to finally occur I have no idea.
More to come.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
December 17, 2012
Last week, we held another one of our meet-ups at a local In 'n Out burger to give our readers a chance to check out the all-new Dodge Viper. I was thinking of bringing our long-term Grand National, but with the threat of rain, I decided to drive our Scion FR-S instead.
The Buick is one of the most popular cars in our lot right now, followed closely by the Scion. I showed up before the Viper did, and that gave some of the early-bird attendees a little time to spend with the FR-S.
Most of those who sat inside commented on how good the seats felt, and I totally agree. These seats deftly balance aggressive bolstering with long-distance comfort. Yes, our long-term Ford Focus ST has even more lateral support, but the shoulder wings tend to push my shoulders a bit too far forward. Unless you were spending most of your time on track, I can't see any reason to change either of them.
Just like the Cars and Coffee event where I did show up in the Grand National, the Dodge Viper was the start of the show. All told, I thought it was an enjoyable gathering that allowed me to connect with a few of our loyal readers, some of which showed up with their own impressive machines.
If you couldn't make it out this time, fear not, we intend on having more of these in the future. Stay tuned for more details.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 11,900 miles
August 21, 2012
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
August 16, 2012
From afar the fastback shape of the 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ suggests these machines are hatchbacks, and indeed when most of us recall the old AE-86 we're picturing the liftback in our minds. But this is not the case; the FR-S and BRZ have a trunk like the notchier-looking AE-86 coupe.
And while it's not a very big trunk, I didn't think the Scion's 7.0 cubic feet would hamper my visit to the local appliance store because I was going after a GE Profile Spacesaver countertop microwave, a tiny 1.0 cubic foot, 800 watt model that stands less that 11 1/4 inches tall and spans less than 2 feet wide.
But foam packing corners make the box it comes in a little larger, and that's enough to keep it from fitting through the small trunk opening. The roof of the trunk is too low as well, so even a deliberate application of brute force isn't going to get it in there.
August 10, 2012
So there I was, driving away from CasaHashi early one morning on my way into Edmunds HQ. Then I hear a beep. Beep? Why are you beeping? What have I done?
That beep was accompanied by the passenger seatbelt warning light, but I was alone. Oh...so...alone. Strangely enough, the only thing on the passenger seat was my iPhone.
"That can't possibly be heavy enough to trigger the seatbelt warning, can it?" I thought to myself. Sure enough as soon as I removed the phone, the warning went away. A put the phone back and then a few seconds later, beep.
This seems far too sensitive to me. That threshold has got to be set higher than a few ounces, don't you think?
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
August 09, 2012
I was chatting with a Japanese Toyota rep during the Lexus LS launch this week and he told me that FR-S/BRZ chief engineer Tetsuya Tada insisted that there be no buttons on the Toyabaru's steering wheel. It was to be a real driver's car with a simple, perfectly designed wheel unfettered with Bluetooth, radio and trip computer controls.
I think he made the right call. Our BRZ's touchscreen stereo interface and its lack of physical track/preset skip buttons mean that wheel controls would be useful, but that's somebody else's fault. The wheel is indeed simple and perfectly designed. Bravo.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,729
August 02, 2012
"Daddy, is this a Ferrari?" was followed closely by "I like this seat! It's really comfortable." I doubt either of these things will ever be said again of the Scion FR-S.
That is all.
July 26, 2012
I expected the Scion FR-S to be fast and fun. I didn't expect its seats to be a selling point. But they are.
The seats are in keeping with the car's sport purpose, of course, but they do the job with more style and attention to comfort than I had bargained for. The back provides a good fit, with a mild S-curve for basic but discernible lumbar support. The bolsters are firm and high, but don't pose barriers to entry or exit. The seat cloth has a bit of a nap meant to stick you to seat in turns. Even on a relatively sedate commute, though, that fabric grip adds to the sense of being cosseted in the cabin.
I came for sport. I got comfort. That's a nice bonus.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @3,733 miles
(Purse not included)
July 16, 2012
When I first saw this odd-looking insert (on the right) in our 2013 Scion FR-S, I decided to do some researching. What is it? Pen holder? Art supply caddy? Parking garage card holder?
I didn't see it on the Scion site or even the aftermarket accessories section.
Turns out it's a multi-function electronic device and coin holder (FT86club.com) and includes slots for the different-sized devices out there. And since our FR-S was in the first shipment, it came with the nifty accessory.
Out of curiosity, I checked with Associate Vehicle & Content Coordinator Rex Tokeshi-Torres to see if our car came with anything else (besides its inherent awesomeness) since I heard that the actual First 86ers were given a lot of schwag like a collector's pen (with instructions), FR-S branded clothes, car cover and even entry to the VIP tent at Formula Drift.
"Nope, that's it," Rex replied. Ah well, I'm not too sad about that since it's not my car anyway. And judging from FR-S forums, none of the post-86er FR-S owners are all that broken up about it either. Just happy to be driving their new car which they seem to love lots.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
July 05, 2012
She looks happy, doesn't she?
July 04, 2012
You've seen plenty of pictures of the exterior of our new long-termer, the 2013 Scion FR-S. Here's a closer look at its interior materials. What do you think? What you'd expect of a $24,930 car?
June 29, 2012
OK editor Dan Edmunds just blogged about our 2013 Scion FR-S's tiny backseat but I present Exhibit A that a tall-ish guy can fit back there. The above photo is of my friends ice cream shop Matt and Nick trying on the FR-S for size. Matt (in the backseat) and Nick are both 5'11".
As you can see, Matt's knees come up against the back of the front seat and Nick's are pressed against the dash. They're not necessarily forced into a fetal position but it is still awfully cozy. Matt said that the backseat wasn't unbearable and he could manage taking a short trip back there. But he has a long torso so had to scrunch down a bit or lean his head back to keep it from touching the top.
The seat itself reminded him of an airline seat in that it didn't feel like a "real seat" but like it was stuffed with cheap foam.
Meanwhile, up front, despite glovebox contact with his knees, Nick said he was comfortable.
June 28, 2012
Don't plan on sitting behind me when I'm driving the 2013 Scion FR-S. The front seatback touches the rear seat cushion, you see. I could slide my seat up a notch or three for you, but there's no point. That's not enough to do anyone any good.
To me it looks like the driver would have to stand well under 6-feet tall before an attempt to carry someone in the seat behind would stand the slightest chance of success.
On paper there are 29.9 inches of legroom back there, a very low number that nevertheless seems laughably high and utterly inaccessible unless the seat is positioned a full six inches farther ahead than I have it. Your knees have to go someplace, right?
For me the FR-S is a 2-seater, plain and simple. The same is probably true for many of you, too.
Do I care? Nope. To me this is the hard top Miata -- with good front legroom -- that Mazda never had the cajones to build. I want one.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
June 18, 2012
I've only been in our Scion FR-S for a short period of time, and I wasn't even behind the wheel. But I've got to say, the styling of this car is beautiful in my opinion. I don't think there is anything revolutionary about it's look, but it's a simply a smart looking sports car.
think just about anyone would say the exterior looks sporty, but there are a few details I really like about our interior.
First is the stitching found throughout the interior. Red thread set against black is a great look.