Sunday, 05 February 2023

2022 Subaru BRZ offers sporty performance at an affordable price  Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 20 December 2022 00:56 Written by
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They 2022 Subaru BRZ's sporty driving nature matches its racecar-inspired design. They 2022 Subaru BRZ's sporty driving nature matches its racecar-inspired design. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

While some car buyers are focused on large, roomy, family-friendly SUVs, there’s also plenty of people who just want a vehicle that’ll let you have a little fun — every single day.

That’s where sporty, rear-wheel drive coupes like the Subaru BRZ come into the picture. (Of note: It’s the only Subaru vehicle that doesn’t come in all-wheel drive)

Redesigned for the 2022 model year, this vehicle is the brainchild of both Subaru and Toyota, who offer near-twin versions of the vehicle (Toyota’s GR86 is the alternate version in this partnership).

This second version of the BRZ gets an updated interior, and some updated technology. But in the end, this is all about the driving experience, and a more powerful motor comes with the updated package.

There are lots of sports cars out there, but most vehicles that offer such a purely enjoyable driving experience are out of reach for the average buyer. The BRZ aims to change that.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 BRZ, and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

The 2022 Subaru BRZ features a low-to-the-ground, sleek exterior design that you would expect from a sporty coupe. It will get lots of second glances, and looks a lot pricier than it actually costs.

My test vehicle featured an Ice Silver Metallic paint job, and a curb weight of just 2,864 pounds. The BRZ comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, though 18-inchers come on the higher trim level.

Its LED headlights are automatic, and the BRZ stands just 51.6 inches tall. The vehicle clearly wants to give off a racecar-style presence, and it manages to do so very successfully.

Moving inside, there is a mostly bare bones design, so don’t expect a flashy interior. For all intents and purposes, just consider this ride a two-seater, and use the tiny rear seating for storage. Technically it seats four, but I wouldn’t attempt to be in the back seat unless either I or the folks up front were very short,.

Speaking of storage, cargo space is limited in the BRZ. The trunk has just 6.3 cubic feet available, and that grows to about 13 feet with the rear seats down.

Other interior features of the BRZ include aluminum pedal covers, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power doors and mirrors, and windshield wipers with variable timing.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

As a rear-wheel drive sport coupe, the Subaru BRZ is a car aimed directly at people who just flat-out love to drive, but don’t want to pay for fancier/pricier alternatives. In this price range, it would be very hard to find another sports car that's this fun to drive. 

The BRZ’s lightweight design means it gets moving fast, and it's very nimble. Driving through curves is a magnificent experience, and there is even a track mode option. Not only does it look fast and drive fast, it sounds fast. People will definitely hear you coming.

The ride in the BRZ is enhanced by a sport-tuned suspension, and its traction and stability system offers multiple settings, depending how much you want to let it all hang out.

To the joy of the “save the manuals” crowd, a six-speed manual transmission is available, and the six-speed automatic transmission features a manual mode plus paddle shifters.

Power comes courtesy of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, boasting 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is a solid improvement from the first generation.

One thing to note: Choosing the manual transmission will definitely enhance the driving experience for some enthusiasts, but it also means they will have fewer options in terms of safety systems.

Zero to 60 times are roughly 6 seconds in the BRZ, which is respectable.

Also, please note that you’ll definitely feel the bumps on rougher roads due to its low position.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY 

Technology is a weak area for the Subaru BRZ. The vehicle I tested had a very basic tech system that was lacking and less user-friendly than most new vehicles.

The Subaru Starlink system featured an 8-inch multi-touch high-resolution display screen, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music and phone calls, plus access to satellite radio. It can do the basics, but people have come to expect a more top-notch tech setup.

Navigation is not an option in the BRZ, but you do get a pair of quick-charging USB ports up front.

Moving on to safety systems, the BRZ does pretty well for a vehicle in a segment that tends to feature fewer of these options. Though be aware that manual transmission lovers who opt to control the gears themselves will not have as many of these options as those who choose an automatic.

Safety features — many of which come through Subaru’s EyeSight system — include automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and rear emergency braking. The airbag system includes a new driver’s knee airbag, and there is a tire pressure monitoring system and rear vision camera.


MPG

The Subaru BRZ’s official fuel economy is listed at 21 city/30 highway and 25 combined for the automatic transmission. For those who choose the manual, numbers are 20 city/27 highway/22 combined.

In my testing, I averaged slightly less than these numbers, but the numbers were still quite impressive for a sporty ride like this. And let’s be honest: Buyers in this segment are more focused on the quality of the drive than they are on saving a bit of fuel.

PRICE

The BRZ that I tested was priced at $30,555, and there are two trim levels offered. The base model (Premium trim level) starts around $29K, and the higher Limited trim level is only around $32K.

Opting for the Limited model will bump you up to 18-inch aluminum wheels and add in helpful features like blind-spot monitoring and heated front seats.

These are relatively affordable numbers in relation to most vehicles in the sports car segment, especially when the quality of the driving experience and amount of included features is taken into consideration.

Warranties include a three-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a five-year/50,000 mile powertrain warranty. There is also three years/36,000 miles of roadside assistance included.

BOTTOM LINE

The Subaru BRZ is a back-to-basics, highly attractive, and fun-to-drive sports car from the minds at Subaru and Toyota. 

While it’s small in size, the driving experience will have you smiling every day. It’s not aimed at families, but can be a fun commuter ride and offer lots of fun for a two-person weekend getaway (with limited baggage).

And it’s affordable, something you can say about few sports cars on the market. If you’re looking for something outside the box, this is one vehicle to consider.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2022 Subaru BRZ
  • Price as tested: $30,555 (starts around $29K)
  • Best feature: Extra sporty drive quality without breaking the bank
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars     
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Driving enthusiasts looking for a budget-friendly sport coupe
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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