The Forte Koup has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The FR-S doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Both the Forte Koup and the FR-S have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available rearview cameras.
The Forte Koup comes with a full 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The FR-S’ 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Forte Koup 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Scion covers the FR-S. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the FR-S ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Scion vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Scion is ranked 25th, below the industry average.
The Forte Koup SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 1 more horsepower (201 vs. 200) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 151) than the FR-S’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Forte Koup uses regular unleaded gasoline. The FR-S requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
For better stopping power the Forte Koup SX’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the FR-S:
Forte Koup SX
For better traction, the Forte Koup SX’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the FR-S (225/40R18 vs. 215/45R17).
The Forte Koup SX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the FR-S’ 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Forte Koup SX has standard 18-inch wheels. The FR-S’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.
The Forte Koup has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The FR-S’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Forte Koup’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the FR-S (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Forte Koup is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the FR-S.
For better maneuverability, the Forte Koup’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the FR-S’ (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet).
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Forte Koup is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the FR-S is rated a Minicompact.
The Forte Koup has standard seating for 5 passengers; the FR-S can only carry 4.
The Forte Koup has 15.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the FR-S (92.3 vs. 76.5).
The Forte Koup has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 6 inches more rear legroom, 8.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the FR-S.
The Forte Koup has a much larger trunk than the FR-S (13.3 vs. 6.9 cubic feet).
The Forte Koup’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The FR-S’ standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Smart Key optional on the Forte Koup allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Scion FR-S doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Forte Koup has standard extendable sun visors. The FR-S doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Forte Koup’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The FR-S doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.
The Forte Koup’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The FR-S doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.
Optional air conditioned seats in the Forte Koup keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The FR-S doesn’t offer an air conditioned driver’s seat.
On extremely cold Winter days, the Forte Koup’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The FR-S doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Forte Koup’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The FR-S doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
The Forte Koup’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The FR-S doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Forte Koup has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The FR-S doesn’t offer rear vents.
To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Forte Koup has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The FR-S doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.
Insurance will cost less for the Forte Koup owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Forte Koup will cost $1550 to $2390 less than the FR-S over a five-year period.
Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Forte Koup will be $5380 to $8338 less than for the Scion FR-S.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Forte Koup and the Scion FR-S, based on reliability, safety and performance.