Skip to main content

New 2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series adds a Lexus touch to Toyota's sports car

Scion will produce a limited number of FR-S with luxury amenities not previously available on the back to basics sports car. These treatments also hint at where the 2015 FR-S will be positioned in the market.

The Scion FR-S is Toyota’s entry level rear-wheel drive sports car. It used to be the company’s only sports car, but Lexus is now on a wild ride with the new IS 350, RC 350 and now the amazing RC F. However, the divide between these two Toyota brands is so wide that the Scion FR-S is literally half the price of the Lexus models. Those that wanted some refinement and near-luxury fitments in their Scion were out of luck. Until now.

The New 2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series will be applied to a limited number of cars, about 2,000. That is about a two month supply. The cars all have luxury appointments that many buyers expect in a car. For example, heated leather seating, HID headlights, dual zone climate control, Smart-key with push button start, cargo mat and a rear spoiler. The one very interesting addition is navigation via the BeSpoke “premium” audio system. When all of these features are added to the base FR-S the price comes out to about the same as the Monogram Series. That price is a very reasonable $ 27,400 with the manual 6 speed transmission. We have drive the FR-S with the automatic and don’t recommend it, but if you must have it the price in dollars is an additional $1,100. The price in driving pleasure by opting for the automatic is far more costly.

Unfortunately the one option the FR-S needs badly is more torque and that is not forthcoming. However, our editor Patrick Rall's review of the FR-S did reveal why the car is so fun to drive.

In the automotive world special editions usually have a reason. Our speculation is that Scion sees a competitor coming that will have more value than the FR-S and has decided to create a higher trim level to keep the car competitive. That competitor must be Subaru BRZ which is the twin of this car. There is no other rear-drive affordable sports car other than the Mazda MX-5 Miata and that car is basically unchanged since about 2006. Scion Vice President Doug Murtha explained the new trim in a press release saying, “Through this limited edition Monogram Series, Scion brought together extra comforts and conveniences in the FR-S and tC without sacrificing value. By incorporating these features as standard for a limited time, we provide a great price to go head-to-head with the competition and encourage more drivers to get excited about experiencing a Scion.”

The great thing about the FR-S base model is that the stereo can easily be swapped out by any local car audio company. It is a “double-DIN” sized head unit. However, the cost adder that Scion is applying here is very reasonable to upgrade to the premium audio with Nav. The one thing we will say is that any aftermarket unit will allow the driver to input destinations and searches for food and coffee on the move. We doubt the Scion unit will allow that.

The new 2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series looks to add the basic elements of any good touring/sport car and is well worth a look.


Parks McCants    January 10, 2014 - 6:23PM

Looks like fun. How lack-luster is the torque curve? Will a full size North American adult fit in the car. Most of the Scions I view tooling down the road are piloted by small teen aged girls and women. Looking for a modern 240 Z. Will this car fit the ticket?

John Goreham    January 10, 2014 - 6:55PM

Try it. I think it is a lot like an actual 240 Z (not the way we might like to fondly remember them) I am 6 feet 190 and I felt a little constrained by the seats and interior. I owned a 2007 Miata and it felt about the same, except the Miata is open so you feel a bit more airy in it especially with the side glass down. Some say there is plenty of power, but I thought the automatic was terrible. The stick was ok, but I found myself driving it at 3,000 to 4,000 RPMs a lot. I think the real problem is that we are all used to a lot more from cars now. Back to back with an old 240z this thing would feel like a rocket I think. Thanks for commenting.