Offering classic sports car thrills with the safety and convenience of today’s automobiles, the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ is a fuel-efficient go-kart for grown-ups that is almost as happy drifting sideways on a racetrack as it is running errands around town.
Subaru BRZ Overview
Launched for the 2013 model year as a co-effort with Toyota that also resulted in the Scion FR-S, the Subaru BRZ is a two-door compact rear-wheel drive sports car that favors inspiring handling over raw horsepower. The normally aspirated 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-four engine is attached to a standard six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional.
Thanks to an incredibly low center of gravity and a performance-tuned suspension, the Subaru BRZ offers enthusiast-pleasing driving dynamics that rival what’s offered by many sports cars costing twice, or even three times, as much. The BRZ’s incredibly precise and responsive steering will make you wonder if the car can actually read your mind.
More along the lines of the 2+2 vehicles that found favor in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the BRZ provides plenty of room for the driver and front-seat passenger, but cramped quarters for the two rear-seat occupants. Although somewhat competitive with a few others in the segment, the BRZ’s 6.9 cubic feet of cargo space limit the sports car’s real-world utility.
The Subaru BRZ is available in two trim levels, Premium and Limited. Decidedly driver-centric, the Premium trim (the BRZ base model) features a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a race-inspired steering wheel and foot pedals and an easy-to-read gauge cluster. There’s also a fun set of race-car themed knobs, buttons and switches.
All models come with a touch-screen audio system and navigation, as well as Bluetooth and USB connectivity. An updated and more user-friendly infotainment system with smartphone app integration was introduced for the 2016 model year.
The Limited edition adds proximity key with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, Alcantara and leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, fog lights, a rear spoiler and more.
Shoppers investigating the Subaru BRZ with also want to take a peek at the closely related Scion FR-S. Other viable options include the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Volkswagen GTI, Dodge Challenger, Nissan 370Z and the Mini Cooper Roadster and Coupe. If you don’t need the tiny back seat, the Mazda MX-5 Miata provides similarly incredible driving dynamics in a convertible.