- Agile handling
- Characterful engine sound
- Simple dashboard layout
- Interior quality isn't great
- Small dealer network
The Subaru BRZ sports car is the result of collaboration between Subaru and Toyota. It is the sister car to the Toyota GT86, and shares many parts with the highly acclaimed lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe. In fact, only the rear suspension (which is slightly softer and grippier), the badges and the interior are noticeably different.
Handling is a big part of what the BRZ is about. The rear-wheel-drive configuration is music to driving purists’ ears, while the low-mounted bonnet and low seating position mean the centre of gravity remains extremely low, which in turn means this is a car which simply loves corners. The steering is excellent, the driving position is brilliant and the clever electronic stability and traction control systems ensure fun without inevitable death.
The engine, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol-powered unit, makes 197bhp. Coupled with the six-speed manual transmission, that means a sprint to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. If you’ve gone for the paddle-shift-equipped automatic version you’ll hit 62mph in 8.2 seconds and top speed drops to 130mph. Although the auto is slower, it’s still a very engaging drive – the throttle blips on downshifts never fail to make you smile.
Surprising comfort, excellent aftercare
Although a sports car, the BRZ isn’t what you’d call uncomfortable. Its sports seats are very supportive without being hard, and long journeys pose no real problem. The ride is cossetting thanks to 17-inch wheels with relatively fat tyres, so there’s not much of the choppiness associated with other focused sports cars.
Subaru initially offered an aftersales package called Everything Taken Care of (ETCo) including a monthly wash, minor dent and scratch removal, lost key replacement, an annual valet, an annual wheel alignment check, service collection and delivery, first MOT cover and winter wheel/tyre storage. That’s since been replaced at the start of 2013 in favour of a longer warranty of five years or 100,000 miles.
That’s the same warranty Toyota is offering and both the BRZ and GT86 start at the very same price. So can this car do enough to command sales over its close relation? Will it attract buyers from hot hatches or larger coupes? Read on for our Subaru BRZ review to find out.
What owners say about this car
It isn't a practical car but the boot is surprisingly large. Read owner review