2013 Scion FR-S: Feels Like a Really Finished Product
September 1, 2012
I will readily acknowledge that two days and 120 miles of commuting in our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S hardly qualify as quality getting-to-know-the-car time. For that, you'd need a good road, like the one Brent drove on, or a closed road course. But I feel like I at least scratched at the surface of what the FR-S has to offer and I want to share.
First, the steering feel in this car is really good. I'd read that it was good, but honestly, I didn't think it would be as sharp and informative as I found it this week. My frame of reference isn't a fair one -- my expectations were based on that WRX sitting in my driveway and every WRX and STI I've driven since. All-wheel-drive to rear-drive won't ever be a just comparison, I know.
But even so, the steering in the FR-S has to be considered progress for Subaru. It just feels like the Subaru and Toyota engineers went out together and kept driving and retuning it until they got it just so.
It also feels to me like several someones took pains to make sure the clutch takeup would be user-friendly. Obviously, there's not much torque for your left foot to modulate, but it's easier to feel the approaching engagement point than in most other manual-shift cars in this price range. This makes the car easy to deal with in 405 freeway traffic. And if you bought an FR-S and had to teach yourself to drive a manual on your very own car, you wouldn't be over your head (provided you approached the whole thing with patience and maturity, of course).
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,574 miles