Car Review: Subaru BRZ

So you want a car that gets your pulse racing and a hot hatch just doesn’t cut the mustard? You need a front engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe and Subaru has just the ticket.

It’s 2.0-litre boxer engine pushes out 197 bhp and 150 lb ft of torque. The power on offer comes high in the rev range at 6,400 rpm so you need to work it hard. When you do the bassy sound gets better and better the more you hear it. Power delivery is smooth and there always seems to be good reserves when you need it. With a 0-62 mph sprint taking 7.5 seconds the BRZ is rapid but won’t knock your socks off like other sports cars will.

Subaru BRZ

On the road the BRZ turns the most timid of driver into a speed junkie as it tempts you to push it harder and harder. The nicely weighted, mechanical feel to the controls including the clutch pedal makes every interaction an event to saviour. The gearbox also has a short throw and heavy action that’s precise and the steering is quick, direct and communicative.

If you are in the mood for some fun the BRZ is always happy to oblige thanks its superb chassis dynamics. With your bottom only inches from the road and the 53/47 weight distribution the BRZ loves corners. It’s poised, planted and unflappable even when pushed to the limits. You are also rewarded with impressive grip levels and a crisp turn-in enabling you to get back on the power mid-corner. You can also provoke the tail to dance if you get the throttle and grip balance just right.

Subaru BRZ

For such an exciting machine the BRZ offers good levels of refinement and comfort. It rides surprisingly well on its 17 inch alloys with a forgiving, smooth ride. The boxer engine is also relatively quiet when you take things a little more gently and wind and road noise fail to enter the cabin.

The BRZ is actually a very compact coupe. Inside you feel cocooned and the almost vertical steering wheel feels really sporty. The design is simple and is built using solid rather than plush materials but it adds to the BRZ’s charm. The seats are also well up to the job with chunky side bolsters which hold you tightly but are still remarkably comfortable. The switchgear is well thought out even if the bolt shaped heater controls look a little tacky.


For such a small car there is ample space in the front but space in the back is non-existant to the point that you could hardly refer to the seats as seats. The luggage space however is very good with 243 litres which is enough for a couple of weekend bags.

It is always a matter of opinion but I think the BRZ looks simply stunning especially in the blue finish of my test car. Its long bonnet/short tail stance and sleek roofline give the car a slender, balanced look. Modern, angular headlights and the angry-looking lower bumper create an aggressive face and I particularly like the swollen bulges in the bonnet around the front wheels. Its bottom is also good looking with a beefy diffuser with twin exhausts, sharp-looking lights and a big boot spoiler.

The BRZ is aggressively priced at £26,495 against most of its rivals but is very well equipped. Standard kit includes touchscreen sat nav, keyless entry, dual zone climate control, heated half leather seats, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors.

Tech Data

Engine: 2.0 16v 197 bhp – 0-62mph: 7.6 secs – Maximum Speed: 140 mph –
Economy: 27.2 mpg (urban) 44.1 mpg (extra-urban), 36.2 mpg (combined) – Emissions: 181 g/km (Band I) – VED (12 months): £215
Dimensions: Length: 4240 mm – Width: 1775 mm – Height: 1425 mm – Wheelbase: 2570 mm
*data from Subaru

Price as tested: £26,495

There is no doubting that the BRZ is a simply brilliant sports car. It turns every journey into an event and its well mannered dynamics make every driver feel like a pro. With plenty of grip and poise It handles brilliantly and offers levels of feedback through the controls that many rivals cannot match. Exploiting the revvy, willing nature of the boxer engine is addictive. It may not be as super-quick but the power on offer seems perfectly suited to the BRZ’s character. To my surprise comfort hasn’t been forgotten with a forgiving ride and good levels of refinement. The cockpit is also a nice place to be feeling snug and well designed which adds up to a very complete allrounder.