You can choose the Volkswagen GTI, Ford Focus ST, Mini Cooper S and even a Fiat 500 Abarth. So why on earth would anyone choose the Subaru BRZ?
The sole engine in the BRZ is a 2-liter BOXER four-cylinder pumping out 205hp, up 5hp from last year. We didn’t really care too much for the engine output as there are so many rivals that are more practical, faster and costs almost the same as the BRZ. The new update still fell on deaf ears between us. It seems as though it makes all the right noise and is fairly quick if you keep the revs high (sort of like the previous Civic SI) but when you lose the momentum - you lose it and feel it. Driving the BRZ around town is actually fairly easy thanks to responsive steering, and a transmission that isn’t totally on another planet. We managed to sneak a few laps around a ring curved on-ramp and well the handling is spot on good. We even got to kick the tail out a little bit before the end of the off-ramp. It really is a hoot to drive and well the horsepower figures are easily forgotten as the BRZ does feel peppy and quick on its feet. We just wish that it had more horsepower to really exploit the chassis more. It’s like the chassis is begging for the extra horsepower.
You’ll love the way the BRZ drives as it is engaging to drive and never feels sluggish. The ride comfort is so-so it’s not the best but it isn’t entirely uncomfortable. It’s more tolerable than many sportier rivals. Wind and road noise are respectable.
The interior is a mixed bag. It’s not stylish but is easy to navigate through. The touch screen infotainment system is just an absolute mess and is very sluggish to respond. The overall fit and finish seems sturdy and long lasting, we just wish it didn’t have to look as boring as it does. We know the whole point of this vehicle is the driving experience but there are plenty of options out there that do both well, we promise. The driving position is good and there is plenty of space for the front passengers, while the rear seat is just absolutely useless. The boot space is okay as well.
Premium trim comes with sport-tuned suspension with limited slip differential, LED headlights, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering and shifter handle. You’ll have to step up to the Limited to get push button start, fog lights, automatic climate control and optional six-speed automatic. We’d stick with the Premium Trim which makes the most sense here, unless you have to have an auto gearbox.
The BRZ is one of those cars you’d buy with your heart rather than your brain. It’s fun to drive but hot hatches do the same and are easier to live with.
Likes: It’s a hoot to drive and it has running costs that are actually lower than you’d think. Rear-wheel-drive means you can really kick the tail out in corners and bends.
Dislikes: Rear seat is useless. We know horsepower isn’t everything but 220hp would do a world of good for this car.
Our pick: Stick with the Premium Trim and learn how to drive stick shift. It’s the best combo here. The automatic sucks!!!