Dave Conole road tests and reviews the Subaru BRZ.
When two competing manufacturers team up to build a car often the end result is not the success story that they’d hoped for.
But, what Toyota and Subaru have managed to do with the 86/BRZ really is remarkable.
Sure, Toyota still gets most of the cars produced under the arrangement, but Subaru continue to move BRZ’s just about as quickly as they can get their hands on them!
I got handed the keys to a brand new Subaru BRZ fitted with the six-speed manual transmission. How new? It had less than 1000 kilometres on the odometer.
Under the bonnet is Subaru’s famous 2.0 litre ‘boxer’ engine that delivers 147kW and 205Nm. Being a new engine I could feel that it had a little ‘loosening up’ to do and thus low-end acceleration was a little leisurely.
This engine likes to be revved though and the pace really picks up from around 3000rpm, while the short-shifting gearbox, direct steering and sweetly tuned clutch are BRZ/86 highlights.
The sporty coupe features only a 50 litre tank and that means overall range is fairly short, certainly no better than 500kms from a tank should be expected. The BRZ also requires 98 octane fuel.
Fuel consumption though is reasonable – 7.8L/100kms is the claimed combined consumption.
The BRZ/86 has its engine mounted down nice and low and this ensures a lower centre of gravity. This works hand in hand with the suspension and limited slip differential, in all the feedback the car gives to the driver is really impressive.
Inside the cabin, well it has four seats but really the backseat is not going to be good for much more than some shopping, or little kids!
The front seats are manually operated, well-padded with red stitching and covered in velour and leather. There’s a definite retro look to the dash and console and this carries over to the steering wheel where there are no buttons or switches to be seen.
Comfort and convenience are helped along by clever straps on the seat shoulders; these help guide the seat-belt over to the passengers.
Visibility from the driver’s seat is pretty good and boot space is adequate enough for a couple of overnight bags.
The 2014 Subaru BRZ comes with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; Subaru has broken its self-imposed AWD-only shackle and the result is a well-priced and fun offering.
With plenty of scope for after-market improvements what you get from your Subaru dealership is a raw, retro, stripped back and no-frills driver’s car.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 147kW and 205Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: From $37,150
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Subaru Z1 BRZ.
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.