Subaru BRZ Review

This is Subaru – but not as you know it. Ok maybe that’s because it’s Toyota too. Developed in partnership to create the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GT86, these affordable sporty coupes are bringing the segment back to life with a vengeance. Ignoring Subaru’s world renowned 4WD rally car heritage, this proper RWD sports car is much more about a beautifully pure driving experience over breakneck supercar speed. The Subaru BRZ is right in so many ways and might possibly be the ultimate in affordable driving thrills.

Aesthetically, it’s almost identical to its Toyota GT86 brethren; everything except the slightly different front grille and the badges. Arguably, there is a slightly sportier feel about thenSubaru BRZ too. The styling is dynamic and sporty without being too ostentatious. There are short overhangs, bolstered wheel arches and a muscular stance which combines with hawk eye headlights, a smart rear spoiler and the 17” alloys which all work together to emphasise its purposeful sporty potential. The Subaru BRZ is also incredibly light, weighing in a shocking 1220kg (that’s lighter than a little hatch!) which is a fundamental factor in its brilliant dynamics.

Inside, the cabin of the Subaru BRZ is extremely driver-centric. There is a remarkable level of simplicity here with none of the usual luxuries you’d expect as well as a lot of lightweight plastic panelling to keep the car free of clutter, light and purposefully streamlined. The noise proofing is minimal too, which again comes down to weight. Chances are tough, if you bought this car like this then you would want to hear it. The controls are perfectly placed and the 6 way adjustable sports seats cradle you well. There are some great touches too such as the knee-height pads fixed to the doors to keep you comfortable when going through hard corners. The back seats in the Subaru BRZ aren’t the prime focus of any coupe and this follows suit. That being said, it is actually handy to have as a quick storage space or to carry passengers on quick trips. The boot space measures at a fairly compact 243ltrs, but as with the back seats – who buys a car like this expecting it to be a paragon of practicality eh? If you do need more space you also have a handy underfloor compartment and you can always push down the rear seats to reveal 1270ltrs. That should be as much room as you’ll ever need.

The Subaru BRZ follows a formula of light weight, RWD and a Ferrari 458beating centre of gravity combined with a high revving front placed boxer engine and mechanical limited slip differential… you might agree that you’ve got the recipe for a fantastic driving experience. There’s a beautiful driver-centric simplicity about this car that gives you a great connection between you, the car and the road. The 197bhp 2.0ltr boxer engine pumps out 205Nm of torque to get you to 62mph in 7.6 seconds up to a top speed of 143mph. Ok, that might not sound astoundingly great compared to sporty hot hatches, but then again none of those come close to the driving experience you get with the Subaru BRZ. The engine takes a bit of a thrashing through the revs as you get going (so you might be disappointed if you just took it for a little jaunt around the block) but get passed 4000rpm and into the higher revs and it’ll really kick off. The noise of the Subaru BRZ’s engine becomes much more aggressive and the torque really shows itself to give you that proper sporty feel.

Turn on the Sports mode or turn off the stability control and you’ll be able to throw the end out like Miley Cyrus at the music awards thanks to the intentionally skinny tyres to ensure you’re never too far from losing traction on the back wheels. In the best way obviously. In the rain you‘ll be able to pull off the meanest power slides should you want to. The electric power steering in the Subaru BRZ is simply phenomenal with a feel so fantastic that you totally connect with what the wheels are doing and how much grip they have. The super slick 6 speed manual gearbox is also the best in the business, so don’t you dare specify one with automatic transmission, because you’ll really be missing out. The mechanical limited slip differential (the same kind used inBMW’s M cars) allows you to launch around the bendy stuff with confidence so you can really enjoy the dynamics of this car. The clever VSA stability control also acts as a safety blanket of sorts should you slip up, meaning that proper enthusiasts and less capable drivers alike will be able to enjoy ripping it up in one of these.

All in all, what’s the lowdown with the Subaru BRZ? Beautiful in its pure driving simplicity and classic sports car feel, this is one very special car. Sure enough, other cars might win out on traffic light duals and the interior quality could be a little higher in quality and refinement, but changing these things might dilute precisely what this car is all about. This was never about high speed statistics. This is about having the best experience behind the wheel and for that… well GT86 aside, you try finding something that feels so incredibly fun, dynamic and involving to drive. I doubt you’ll find one. This is a proper hero car and it’s affordably priced too! One thing’s for sure – I want one, and you should too!

If you want to get hold of the new Subaru BRZ then don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact us page or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out about our Subaru lease deals.

Will Titterington
  • 12th June 2016

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