I get it. I totally get it. I understand why people say you don’t even care that this car is slow when you drive it. Because it is f***ing fun. Seriously, don’t say this car is slow/underpowered without driving it first.
The salesman at the Toyota/Scion dealership actually seemed to like cars and was excited to go out in the FR-S with me. There must not be a lot of women interested in these cars, because at first he was like, “You want to go out in an FR-S?” But he got over it pretty quickly once he realized he didn’t have to explain to me what a boxer engine is.
When I got in the car, I felt like it was designed just for me. The driving position was perfect – low slug and leaned back. The interior was basic and uncluttered. No power seats, no climate control, not even a radio! (The sales dude assured me it was not radio delete- he didn’t know what happened to it.) The back seat is super tiny, though, I don’t even know if you could put one adult back there for a short trip.
The clutch is finicky on this car – the engagement point is one specific spot. The shifter felt a bit more like the Civic than the G37. It’s definitely a transmission that would take more getting used to.
Driving this car is SO FUN. It’s tiny and it rides really hard and you’re sitting right on the ground. The steering is tight and accurate. It does literally feel like a go cart. And even though I know it wasn’t as fast as the G37, it felt faster because you feel so connected to the road. This car begs you to push it to its limits. That revy little engine sounds great and you feel like a race car driver/are in a Fast and Furious movie as you shift it right before it hits the redline.
Seriously, I didn’t want to bring this little guy back to the dealership.
But, that being said, I could definitely tell this car didn’t have the horsepower like the M3 or even the G37. You need to be in the higher RPM ranges to have fun. It doesn’t have the POWER EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME feeling that the higher horsepower/more torquey engines have. That’s one thing I love about that big old big block in the Charger- you can just feel the power all the time.
The thing that gives me the biggest pause, though, is the size. This little guy is tiny. I don’t know if the trunk would even accommodate my big suitcase. I don’t know if I’m okay with not having a functional back seat. But damn, that car is fun.
Up Next: 2004 BMW 330Ci, 2011 Mustang GT, 2012 Nissan 370Z Coupe
Ann Morey isn’t an automotive journalist, but she’s probably doing a better job of it than most of us. She’s a mid career marketing manager who only recently learned how to drive a manual transmission. She’s got a classic Charger in the garage and a boring Accord in need of replacement, so she’s out to test drive every mid-20-thousands dollar sports car out there. Her test drives run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
You can see the rest of the series here: