Battle of the Sporty Compacts: 2016 Scion FR-S vs. 2016 Ford Focus ST

Posted Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 by nhtwpprod

The introduction of a new model year means a lot more comparisons to be made before purchasing a vehicle. If you are in the market for a sporty compact with a lot of style, you may be planning to visit a Los Angeles Toyota dealer to test drive a new 2016 Scion FR-S. Dealers already have a very large selection of new 2016 vehicles to choose from. A test drive will tell you a lot, but, before you go, you may want to do some comparing to determine how another vehicle like the 2016 Ford Focus ST stacks up against the Scion.


Both of these cars offer a very sleek and sporty look. If your goal is to get to your destination and look great doing so, then either the Scion or the Focus will fit the bill. As far as appearance goes, either car is pleasing to the eye, so that aspect of the competition is a draw.


Both the Focus ST and the Scion FR-S have driver and passenger front airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, traction control, and rearview cameras standard. It starts to look like this comparison could be a waste of time.

However, the Scion does edge out in front of the Focus a little bit in the safety category due to offering Daytime Running Lights. Apparently Ford isn’t aware that Daytime Running Lights are a huge safety feature.

Performance and Handling

This is an area of importance for most drivers, especially when comparing sporty cars. The lower center of gravity and road hugging features of sporty cars make a big difference in handling and performance. Both of these cars are low to the ground, but the 2016 Scion FR-S offers a boxer engine that enhances stability. This type of engine is not available in the Focus.

While many drivers prefer a manual transmission for performance, speed, and control, others choose automatic transmission for driver comfort and city driving. Those who prefer an automatic transmission are out of luck with the Focus. In this area it seems as if, once again, the 2016 Scion FR-S comes out ahead of the 2016 Ford Focus ST.

Space and Comfort

While most people who are shopping for a sporty compact car are not overly concerned with cargo space, it is still important to make sure that a car has enough room for passengers and at least the most basic belongings. Both vehicles have lift-over trunks, but the Scion is a few inches lower, making it easier to load and unload. Both vehicles have decent leg room and a comfortable “cockpit” area. Both have technological features that make driving and riding a pleasure. Other than the lower trunk area, the main advantage the Scion has over the Focus in this category is a locking fuel door and remote release.

The competition between these two vehicles is very close, but, if we were forced to make a choice, we’d agree that the Scion inched ahead in our in-depth review of both of these models. You’re still welcome to try them both. Visit a Ford dealer and check out the new Focus, and then head to a Los Angeles Toyota dealer to drive the new Scion. You can then choose whichever car meets your needs best.