The 7 best Scions ever: A definitive list

The 7 best Scions ranked

They’re almost good enough to make us forget about the iQ

Oh, Scion. When you weren’t cooking up mix CDs and tuner/lifestyle brand collabs, you built and sold some decent, or at least interesting, cars. And to your eternal credit, you did it all without resorting to dancing hamsters.

But which Scions are the best Scions? We looked back allll the way to the marque’s birth in 2003 and hand-picked the best seven.

Normally, lists like these are tricky — there’s no telling what brilliant cars will come with a new model year. But that’s not gonna be the case with Scion. So here it is: our definitive list of the seven best Scions that ever were, and that will ever be.

2013 Scion FR-S first year red front 3-4

2013 Scion FR-S

It took a decade after the marque’s founding for it to happen, and a partnership with Subaru to bring it to production, but it’s safe to say that we were all geeked when the Scion FR-S arrived for the 2013 model year.

Sure, there was the tC, but this was something else: A true (relatively) lightweight, affordable, rear-wheel drive coupe. A competitor to the untouchable Miata, even. Something those kids might actually crave on its own merits, not because a PR firm threw an edgy party in its honor. They got things so nailed down on their first try that we’d defintely call this one of the seven greatest Scions ever built.

Also known as the Toyota 86, the Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ, it’s a joy to drive no matter what it’s called — but only the Scion badge gives you that sick orphan car street cred.

2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series front 3-4 black

2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series

How did Scion follow up on the much-loved 2013 FR-S? With the limited-edition 2014 FR-S Monogram Series! This run of 2,000 cars cost $2,700 more than the base car but hooked you up with alcantara and leather heated seats, a spoiler and more. Notably absent was a boost in power: You still got the car’s 200-hp boxster-four engine.

Anyway, still a really good car — and definitely one of the seven greatest Scions.

2014 Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0 front 3-4 yellow

2014 Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0

Here’s another little-known gem from the Scion stables: The 2014 Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0.

Even more exclusive than the Monogram Series with just 1,500 yuzu-yellow cars built, the Release Series 1.0 blended the FR-S’s rear-wheel driving dynamics with a Toyota Racing Development lowering spring set, quad-tip exhaust, steering wheel and more. No powertrain upgrades, but it’s still definitely one of our favorite seven Scions ever.

2015 Scion FR-S white front 3-4

2015 Scion FR-S

You can’t just release a car like the 2013 Scion FR-S into the world and drop the mic; you don’t want to let the car get stale.

But how to keep things fresh? Change too much and you risk screwing up the straightforward, balanced formula that made the car a winner in the first place.

Don’t change at all, and you end up with the 2015 Scion FR-S. It’s still pretty good, definitely one of the top seven Scions ever. Heck, we’d drive it any day.

2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 front 3-4

2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0

It took the Scion brain trust two entire years to devise a followup to the 2014 Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0, but the result is definitely one of our top seven favorite Scions ever: the 2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0.

And it might just be the Scion for you. Want a fun-to-drive coupe and crave the youthful energy of the Scion brand, but need a little bit more exclusivity and the perception of luxury in your ride? Try the FR-S Release Series 2.0’s camel leather-accented alcantara seats, forged alloy wheels and a super-exclusive 1,000-car production run on for size.

Another hit from Scion.

2016 Scion FR-S red front 3-4

2016 Scion FR-S

With the 2016 FR-S, Scion managed the impossible: Developing a car that was technically new, but also still a 2013 FR-S. We are pleased to report that Scion succeeded, and the result is definitely one of the seven best Scions ever.

All signs point to this being a future collector’s item, since it represents the last time this particular model will ever be produced (even if the car itself will live on as Toyota and Subaru). So buy one of these end-of-the-line sweethearts, make sure those numbers stay matching and start cultivating that patina!

See you at Barrett-Jackson 2050!

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