2017 Subaru BRZ road test and review…
The Subaru BRZ is easily one of the most attractive, eye-catching cars on the road today.
Albeit, the companion Toyota 86 outnumbered it in sales last year 6:1 and are a more common sighting.
Either way, there are both a sight to behold and possess the same sleek, sport car body.
There are differences by comparison, most notably the cabin design and switchgear, the absence of steering wheel controls in the 86 and a light variance in the engine specs. But these are all minor considerations.
Handed to me were keys to a 2017 Subaru BRZ, 4-seater coupé with a six-speed manual transmission, a 2.0 litre boxer petrol engine (152kW/212Nm) in rear wheel drive.
The BRZ is all about the drive and the handling making it a master of corners.
Optimal control of the vehicle is supplied by the overall low profile of the chassis combined with horizontally opposed engine creating a lower centre of gravity.
From the cockpit, the pilot feels in contact with the ground - so close you could almost touch it. This gives a great sense of stability and connection with the road surface.
Manipulation of the coupé is enhanced by the not too closely spaced sports pedals, notchy, quick to change gear shifts and the tight leather steering wheel which affords controlled and direct handling.
Although the BRZ does looks the part and produces a pretty mean exhaust note, it doesn’t generate the amount of grunt as it appears to.
From a standing start acceleration isn’t a sharp as in a turbo engine though the power does kick in after 4000rpm once it overtakes the torque curve.
Like all well-designed vehicles, the ignition button is located at the bottom of the centre dash in front of the gear stick - easy to see and easy to reach. I don’t know why more cars aren’t like this.
Egress and ingress are challenging not only for the front occupants with the low slung sports bucket seats and longer heavier coupe door but for the rear passengers
Getting in the back of a 2-door is never easy and the cramped quarters of the BRZ not to mention you’ll have next to no legroom even with small framed people up front.
But taller people won’t even be concerned about their legs as they struggle to sit upright due to the low sloping rear windscreen.
Carrying something in the back? Well, plan to pack light as you’ll have to compete for space with the exposed spare tyre in a boot that is long-ish but not deep.
The sporty coupé is a fairly no-frills affair devoid of most modern features.
On the dash is a touch screen, dual zone climate control and auxiliary inputs plus cruise control, DRLs and auto headlamps with washers though you don’t really notice what’s missing because of the smart layout.
This type of driving capability isn’t restricted to vehicles over $80k and comes in at an affordable $32,990 before on road costs.
There is an automatic version for $2000 more.
And under the Subaru brand new owners receive a 3 year/60,000km capped price servicing plan to go with the 3 year unlimited km warranty.
The Subaru BRZ offers a raw, pure driving experience with awesome dynamics and you can look good while doing it!
NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Subaru BRZ
Engine: 2.0L petrol producing 152kW and 212Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Warranty: 3 Year/Unlimited km
Safety: Five Stars
Price: From $32,990