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#4

in Affordable Sports Cars

MSRP: $25,695 - $29,490
Invoice: $24,514 - $27,968
MPG: 22 City / 30 Hwy
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Subaru BRZ Performance

Auto journalists write that the 2015 Subaru BRZ is incredibly fun and engaging to drive. They praise its stellar handling, communicative steering and precise manual gearbox. Most note that although the BRZ isn't especially powerful, its four-cylinder engine is sufficiently peppy for the lightweight BRZ.

  • "Thanks to its lightweight chassis, though, if you're willing to get the revs up over 5,000 rpm and really work the 6-speed manual, the BRZ will bring a smile to your face every time you take it for a spin. Driving the BRZ reminds us of another old favorite, the Mazda RX-8. Wonderfully neutral in the curves, with precise steering, great brakes and tenacious traction, the BRZ is the kind of car that you want to push through winding mountain roads for hours on end." -- AutoTrader
  • "In this age of powerful and fast but somewhat pudgy performance cars, driving enthusiasts who would rather pilot a lighter and more agile sports car should take note of the 2015 Subaru BRZ." -- Edmunds
  • "This rear-drive sports car is for purists who want something they can drive every day, but also take to their favorite mountain roads, or even to a weekend race event, without changing a thing. The BRZ delivers in a way few cars in this price range can. … While not the most powerful car out there, what it lacks in punch, it makes up for with poise." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Power is not neck-snapping, but the car has just enough to make it exceptionally responsive. My frequent Mazda MX-5/Miata references are no mistake; the BRZ is definitely in that Zoom category of vehicles that deliver grins from pinning occupants to the side bolsters rather than seatbacks." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The Subaru BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The 2015 BRZ earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 22/30 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual, which is on par with similar rivals' estimates.

According to test drivers, the BRZ may not be satisfying if you’re looking for blazing acceleration off the line, but they say that the engine is peppy enough to move the lightweight BRZ with ease. Reviewers note that the manual transmission's shifter has short throws and precise action, as well as a clutch that engages smoothly, but is quite light. Others add that the automatic shifts crisply.

  • "If you're the sort of driver whose car must be able to hammer down freeway on-ramps with its tires ablaze, the 2015 Subaru BRZ is not for you. Its power is sufficient but not thrilling." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.0-liter engine isn't a power dynamo, but the car's lightweight body allows the engine's 200 horsepower to do their job without disappointment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With only 151 lb-ft of torque, the BRZ isn't going to deliver the same neck-snapping acceleration as its WRX or WRX STI brothers." -- AutoTrader
  • "The clutch pedal is a touch light-and a touch light on feel-but snaps to attention right off the floor and engages smoothly, and the stubby shifter snicks between gates with ease." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "At risk of sounding heretical here, you can have just as much fun with the automatic. Paddle shifters are standard, and when you shift the mode from D to M for manual, the mapping tightens up. Nice rev-popping to match downshifts and, again, the torque minimizes the amount of shifting you'll be doing." -- Road and Track (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 BRZ impresses reviewers with incredibly nimble handling, linear brake response and quick, communicative steering. Test drivers add that not only is the BRZ engaging and fun to drive, it has a balanced ride that is not too jolting on imperfect roads.

  • "Best of all, for everyday drivers, the BRZ is easy to live with. Its ride isn't too harsh or jarring. …" -- AutoTrader
  • "The BRZ's limits are approachable and easily controlled, which makes it a wonderfully engaging sports car. The steering practically telegraphs the front tires' grip status right to the driver's hands. What's more, the brake pedal is firm and consistent in feel, and the chassis remains composed even when the road surface doesn't." -- Edmunds
  • "Rather than use sheer muscle from a powerful engine, the lean and mean Subaru BRZ uses a beautifully balanced suspension and chassis, a limited-slip differential, razor-sharp steering and quick reflexes to turn any twist in the road into a driver's playground." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The BRZ turns in eeee-mediately with minimal, very well-controlled body roll." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
Review Last Updated: 8/15/14

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