Back in the day, compact sport coupes were a dime a dozen, with plenty offered at affordable prices. If you're looking for a sporty little coupe today, you're pretty much out of luck -- unless you're talking about the awesome 2014 Scion FR-S. With masterful rear-wheel-drive performance and head-turning style to boot, the FR-S is a revolutionary take on the affordable-sports-coupe formula. Here are five reasons why you owe yourself a test drive.
The lightweight FR-S is really in its element on twisty roads. Tipping the scales at just over 2,700 pounds, the FR-S feels utterly unencumbered, gliding around corners with exceptional poise. The weight is actually only part of the story, because the FR-S was built from the get-go to handle as the otherworldly Porsche Cayman does for less than half the price. That's why it also has an exceptionally low center of gravity and one of the most precise steering systems on the market. If you're into drifting, few cars like to hang their tails out as much as this Scion.
Designed for Track Day
Plenty of cars are supposedly track-ready right from the factory, but how many genuinely deliver on that promise? Aside from big-bucks sports cars, the FR-S is one of the few legitimate players. Here's a fun fact that proves the point: The engineers purposely left extra headroom for helmets, so even taller drivers can feel free to don full racing attire. And before you knock the FR-S's tiny back seat, here's another fun fact: It's actually intended to carry racing tires and tools, not people. How cool is that?
Comfortable Enough for the Street
Although the FR-S is engineered for action, it's no slouch on the daily commute either. The front seats are fantastically firm and supportive, and the ride is unexpectedly supple. When you need some tunes, the standard touchscreen audio system offers Pandora compatibility and a pretty decent speaker system. Plus, with fuel economy of up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway, the FR-S could even be described as economical. Now that's the kind of comfort you can live with every day.
Style to Spare
Taut and muscular, the FR-S is an almost perfectly proportioned car, but here's the best part: It's totally tasteful, too. You'll turn heads in this car for all the right reasons. Unlike so many so-called performance cars, the FR-S isn't some kind of pretender with fake hood scoops and huge rear wings. It's purpose-built to excel on the road, and that's a mission that is clearly conveyed by its sleek, no-nonsense shape.
As a serious sport coupe with rear-wheel drive, the FR-S doesn't have many peers at its entry price of about $25,000. If you want handling like this anywhere else, bring money -- you're going to need it. The FR-S may not be the fastest or loudest car in its class, but it arguably gives you the most bang for your buck. As new cars go, this Scion is at the top of the value chain.
The 2014 Scion FR-S does pretty much everything right, and it does it at a price you can appreciate. If you're in the market for a real performance car, the FR-S is one of the best pound for pound.