2015 Scion FR-S Review

Pros & Cons

  • Light and well-balanced chassis
  • excellent steering
  • fun to drive
  • impressive fuel economy
  • comfortable front seats.
  • Tiny backseat and small trunk
  • relatively modest acceleration.
Other years
Scion FR-S for Sale
List Price Range
$14,450 - $19,590

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Scion FR-S has sleek styling, rear-wheel drive and sharp handling, all of which make it one of the most appealing and attainable performance cars sold today.

Vehicle overview

When Scion introduced the FR-S two years ago, this coupe immediately became a hit with driving enthusiasts. Here was a back-to-basics sports car with rear-wheel drive, a light curb weight, excellent balance and an affordable price. Two years later, it still offers just as much excitement and value.

The way the 2015 Scion FR-S (along with its twin, the Subaru BRZ) drives is, no doubt, its biggest party trick. This year, Scion has updated the suspension to give you a more stable and responsive feel while cornering, but we didn't think there was any need for improvement to begin with. The FR-S is still extremely entertaining to drive. It nimbly zips around turns, yet it's not intimidating to drive hard like a lot of high-horsepower, rear-drive coupes can be. The FR-S gets pretty respectable gas mileage, too -- 28 mpg combined with the automatic transmission.

You do have to accept some drawbacks with the 2015 FR-S, though. While its 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine is capable, it lacks the low-end oomph provided by competitors with larger engines. The FR-S can also feel a bit insubstantial in the way it responds to road impacts, and seems noisy during long highway drives. It's not the most practical thing, either. The trunk is relatively small and the rear seats are pretty much useless, even for small children. Basically, it's better to think of the FR-S as a functional two-seater.

Since the 2015 Scion FR-S has two-doors, a 2+2 seating layout and sporty driving dynamics for a relatively low price, it only has a few direct rivals. If you desire stronger acceleration, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Nissan 370Z are viable options, though they aren't quite as nimble as the FR-S and can be considerably more expensive. Or, if practicality weighs more heavily into your decision, you can still have a lot of fun in front-wheel-drive hatchbacks like the Ford Focus ST, Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen GTI. Whatever you compare it to, though, the 2015 Scion FR-S stands out as a stylish and elemental small sports car that gives you a great driving experience. It's definitely worth a look.

2015 Scion FR-S models

The 2015 Scion FR-S is a four-seat coupe that comes in two trim levels.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and USB/iPod integration. The new Release Series 1.0 adds to that with exclusive yellow exterior paint, xenon headlights, an aerodynamic body kit, a performance exhaust, a lowered ride height, keyless ignition and entry and a special steering wheel and shift knob.

Scion doesn't offer any factory options for the FR-S. Instead, there's an array of dealer-installed accessories such as foglights, performance parts and a premium BeSpoke sound system with navigation, voice command, smartphone app integration and Internet radio.

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Scion FR-S gets a retuned suspension, automatic headlights as standard, and a few cosmetic changes such as new exhaust tips and updated interior trim. There's also a new Release Series 1.0 trim level this year.

Performance & mpg

Powering the rear-wheel-drive 2015 Scion FR-S is a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine generating 200 hp and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters and rev-matched downshifts is an available option.

In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped FR-S sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds -- quick, although not as fast as more powerful but heavier sport coupes. We haven't tested an FR-S with the automatic, but a nearly identical Subaru BRZ equipped with the automatic transmission yielded a slower, 7.9-second 0-60 time.

The six-speed manual FR-S returns a respectable EPA estimate of 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway), while the automatic achieves a truly impressive 28 mpg combined (25/34).

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2015 Scion FR-S include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Scion FR-S came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet. That's a respectable distance, though still longer than average for a car with summer tires.

In government crash tests, the FR-S received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side impact safety. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the FR-S received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. It received the second-highest score of "Acceptable" in the IIHS small-overlap frontal-offset test and its seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

With its small and moderately powered engine, the 2015 Scion FR-S is not a car built for sizzling straight-line performance. Its 2.0-liter engine revs willingly and lets out a nice little snarl at high rpm, but we're still talking about outright acceleration that's no better than that of a modern V6 family sedan. In Scion's defense, though, moderation is part of the car's design, anyway. It's light and nimble, so you look for excuses to take it for a spin and drive it a little farther or harder than you need to because it's so entertaining. The FR-S defines what sports car driving is all about.

From a practical standpoint, the FR-S fares adequately for long-distance highway travel. It's not loud, exactly, but it certainly isn't serene at higher cruising speeds, either. Most drivers will be pleased with the compliant ride quality, but because of the car's lightweight nature, it can feel somewhat insubstantial compared to bigger and heavier sport coupes.

Interior

The cabin of an FR-S isn't exactly luxurious. Scion has made few concessions to style and it's an environment that emphasizes driving, punctuated only by a blend of Toyota and Subaru switchgear and materials. The FR-S's cockpit looks a little bare compared with other compact sports cars in its price range (like the feature-laden Ford Focus ST), yet it also feels like a genuine back-to-basics driver's car. There is a standard touchscreen-based audio system, but we recommend opting for the upgraded BeSpoke system as it includes navigation and smartphone app integration.

The FR-S's front seats offer firm support for hard driving, but remain comfortable over long-distance travel as well. Drivers of just about any size can find a suitable driving position, and the low-profile hood allows an expansive view of the road ahead.

In the backseat, legroom is next to nil, heads bob perilously close to the rear glass and the center tunnel impedes hiproom. Trunk space is also small at 6.9 cubic feet, although folding down that mostly useless backseat expands cargo-carrying abilities considerably.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Scion FR-S.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Drive - this is the best for 30 grand!
JWH-3RD,08/18/2017
2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
This is a true sports car by design and engineering. As the first new RWD sports coupe since the late '80s from Japan reveals a classic sports design that is an eye catcher to others on the road. It has enough power to maneuver without fear of failing on very twisty country roads. For example, I can whoosh through a curve marked 15 mph at 45 mph or more. When it comes to stopping, it stops as the brakes do not fade. I have not enjoyed a sports car like this one since I purchased a pocket rocket Eclipse back in 1993. This car has style, creature comfort, and driver confidence built in. The boxer engine is a real plus. Some argue this car needs more power but I am not convinced. Any great driver knows how to max out a well-designed car regardless of engineering limitations. To say otherwise is just plain lame. Besides, why lose fuel economy with a larger engine when the average speed out of red light is proportional to someone else's car? Forget dragster with this car. Embrace true sports car driving instead. After all, it remains stable through turns and a dragster does not, This car is all about balance and fun. UPDATE: The car is now three years old and the only maintenance required is the manufacturer's recommended regimen. UPDATE: The car remains highly reliable, eye catching to others, and sheer fun. UPDATE: The car is now three years old. The nice thing about the car is it is not commonly seen. It remains eye candy to many who see it. So, it seems new all of the time. It remains a very cool car to drive. No rattles. No squeaks.
Reliable, Fun
Rain S,08/16/2016
2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Scion FRS known for you JDM fanatics like myself included as Toyota 86, really pays homage to the true meaning of a sports car not just based on 0-60 but RWD, great handling, brakes, suspension. Sure it won't be 0-60 fast like the Mustangs, Challengers, Camaro but the car itself is truly engaging to drive whether or not it's a automatic or manual it may not be everyone's cup of tea but this car doesn't pretend to be. The way the automatic is programmed is truly different experience from ones I've driven and to note I've driven many MT cars from Civic SI, Celica GT, MK3 Supra, it gets the job done especially if you intend to daily drive this car, now if your gonna track the heck out of this then MT might suit you more. Make sure you have on sport mode and sport trac to get the most of the paddle shifters. To really appreciate this car you really need to drive it and I've been more than satisfied to what the designers and engineers did. There's thousands of ways to mod and customize this car as well but for me the HIDS with LED, rebadge, drop in intake was all that it needs.
A great road-tripper!
Winstonscifi,10/08/2016
2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
We wanted a great car to drive around the country. Our last sports car, a Chrysler Crossfire was perfect. We checked out a Miata and a Fiat Spyder, but there was just not enough trunk space. This Scion FR-S was perfect. Plenty of room. Great handling. 35 miles per gallon on the highway. And, since it was a new 2015, the dealer had it priced with a discount of $3000! Well, we've had the car for a year now, and I'm still very happy with it. I'm pleasantly surprised by the gasoline mileage - I average over 30 miles per gallon with every fill-up. The car has been rock solid in reliability. I've taken advantage of the ToyotaCare free maintenance - no cost oil and filter changes and tire rotations every 7500 miles. I'll be going in for the 15000 mile check up in about a month. Very happy with the Scion FR-S!
FR-S Great bang for your buck
David Krishan,01/23/2016
2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
This car isn't a rocket. It's a drifting, handling demon. If you want to go to the track and eat Mustangs, move on. You won't win. But if you want to have tremendous fun on corners, and a lively ride in traffic, this definitely is a car to consider. Yes, it's a bit underpowered acceleration-wise. You have to know that going in. And don't even consider automatic - 6-speed all the way or go home. That said, it is SO much fun to whip around traffic, take 90-degree turns at 50mph+, etc. It corners like a dream and is incredibly responsive. It's just a fun car. Also, it's a 2-seater. It may have four seats, but unless your friends are quad-amputees or children, they won't fit in the back. This is purely a 2-person cruising machine. The only way it would be more fun is if they made it a convertible. I have an hour-commute each way every day to work, and it puts a smile on my face every time I get in it. I have no regrets buying it. Edit 2 years later: I still love this cat for my daily driver. It is agile, small, but not Miata-small, you know? And while I will never win races in it, the handling on it is everything you could want from even a Porsche-level car. Definitely a keeper. I would recommend the Subaru BRZ over the Toyota however. The interior is much nicer, the service/warrantee better, and the price more or less the same.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 Scion FR-S features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover7.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Scion FR-S

Used 2015 Scion FR-S Overview

The Used 2015 Scion FR-S is offered in the following submodels: FR-S Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A), 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Release Series 1.0 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and Release Series 1.0 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Scion FR-S?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Scion FR-S trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Scion FR-S Base is priced between $14,450 and$19,590 with odometer readings between 54885 and55725 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2015 Scion FR-SES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Scion FR-S for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2015 FR-SES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,450 and mileage as low as 54885 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Scion FR-S.

Can't find a used 2015 Scion FR-Ss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Scion FR-S for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,122.

Find a used Scion for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,907.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion FR-S for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,645.

Find a used certified pre-owned Scion for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $8,059.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Scion FR-S?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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