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2013 Subaru BRZ Review

This review was written when the 2013 Subaru BRZ was new.

If you’re looking for track-ready performance in an affordable package, the automotive press says that the 2013 Subaru BRZ may be your best bet.

Test drivers are floored by the BRZ’s performance. Like the Mazda Miata, auto writers are astounded the BRZ's peppy engine, magnificent handling and slick-shifting transmissions. Autoblog writes, “There is no doubt about whether the car does what it was built to do - it handles terrifically, it sounds great especially if you're a fan of high-revving fours, it's a solid shifter with either transmission and a pleasant cabin.”

Inside, the Subaru BRZ has front seats that are well-bolstered and comfortable, as well as rear perches that are suitable for children or a forward-facing car seat. And although the 2013 BRZ’s trunk is the same size as the Nissan 370Z’s, its rear seats fold for larger items. Despite its small size, the 2013 BRZ also earns a better safety score than most competing sports cars.

  • "The BRZ is a delightfully fun car; a complete package that combines light weight and great handling with just enough power to have fun -- but not too much that you can only enjoy it for three seconds at a time." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The Subaru BRZ represents nothing less than the return of inexpensive, fun, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports cars." -- AutoWeek 
  • "Ultimately, though, a car this good doesn't need to make sense: Its brilliance is all the explanation we need." -- Car and Driver 
  • "Our drive was brief, but the takeaway message is that the BRZ is a scalpel in the current rear-drive knife fight." -- Motor Trend 
  • "Overall, it's a good dual-character machine that's fun on the weekends but won't beat you up during the week." -- Road and Track

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Other Cars to Consider

If you like the BRZ’s athletic cornering ability, but prefer a convertible, the Mazda Miata is an obvious rival. Like the BRZ, the Miata features a functional interior layout and a responsive powertrain that reviewers love. While you’ll gain top-down fun with the Miata, it only seats two, and offers slightly less cargo room.

Although reviewers love the BRZ’s performance, some enthusiasts may want a sports car with a more powerful engine. If that’s the case, consider the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Like the BRZ, the Genesis Coupe seats four, but it also has a larger trunk. Not all critics like the Genesis Coupe’s handling, but its optional V6 offers a substantial horsepower advantage.

Compare the BRZ, Miata and Genesis Coupe »

Subaru BRZ: The Details

The 2013 Subaru BRZ seats four and has rear-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission are standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The BRZ is all-new for 2013 and comes in two trims: Premium and Limited. The Limited trim adds to the BRZ’s list of standard features and upgrades some interior materials.

See the full 2013 Subaru BRZ specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/22/14

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