The Subaru BRZ is a scalpel among sports cars, capturing the imagination of the “I learned to heel-and-toe before I walked” crowd from the moment it was announced. What do you need to know before you buy a Subaru BRZ? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you in our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
Rear wheel-drive. Manual. Lightweight. These three essential ingredients have graced the world’s greatest drivers’ cars for decades. And for the longest time, neither Toyota nor Subaru offered a car that met these criteria. In fact, Mazda’s Miata has had almost a monopoly on this territory for the longest time. But all that changed when Toyota and Subaru teamed up to build a vehicle whose handling is as nimble as young Deion Sanders and, often, just as neon. Their combined efforts led to the creation of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FRS (or GT86 if you’re abroad), both of which launched for the 2013 model year.
Lauded by auto enthusiasts around the world, the BRZ is a simple driver-focused car that’s impossible not to like. It doesn’t try to look flashy, it doesn’t attempt to rip smokey burnouts, and it doesn’t envelop its driver in plush luxury. But what it does do is create an enormous smile on the face of its driver. Chuck the little car into turns, mash the pedal, and you’ll feel like you’re going 100 miles an hour, even though you’re probably not going half that. The little sports car makes do with less, and as a result, Toyota and Subaru built a package that offers tons of excitement and solid fuel economy. The back-to-basics approach of the BRZ puts it in an exclusive class of truly dynamic budget sports cars, and for that reason, it’s among our favorite cars on the market.
The 2015 model isn’t much different from last year’s car. The shocks have been tweaked slightly, and there have been a few small cosmetic tweaks here and there, but the biggest addition for 2015 is the new “Series.Blue” special edition. They’ll only make about 1,000 of them, but the Series.Blue model offers special aerodynamic trim, new wheels, and some unique touches in the interior as well.
The BRZ is not meant to be fast. It’s meant to be nimble. Which is why its 2.0-liter engine only pushes out a modest 200 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of. Most of the power is high in the rev range, so you really have to wring it out to get the full performance, but that’s all okay. The way the BRZ handles in the twisties makes for such an exhilarating ride, the boxer four is more than enough.
2015 Subaru BRZ Engine Options
Engine Max Horsepower (hp) Max Torque (lb-ft) 2.0L Boxer 4 200 @ 7000 rpm 150 @ 6400 rpm
Fuel economy numbers are actually pretty good with the automatic, scoring 28 MPG combined. But the manual doesn’t do so well considering its light curb weight and modest power output, mustering an only “acceptable” 25 MPG combined.
2015 Subaru BRZ Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)
_ 2.0L Boxer 4 Fuel Economy — Auto 25/34/28 Fuel Economy — Manual 22/30/25
All BRZs come with electric power steering, 4 wheel ventilated disk brakes, and fully independent suspension – MacPherson strut up front and double wishbone in the rear. Trim levels on the BRZ are bone-simple. You have three options: basic, slightly less basic (but still pretty basic), and slightly less basic with unique trim.
- Premium: Starts at $25,696. Notable standard features: 6-speed manual transmission, limited slip differential, 17” aluminum wheels with 215/45 summer tires, HID headlights, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, power mirrors, 6.1” screen for GPS and audio system, front and side airbags.
- Limited: Starts at $27,695. Notable standard features over Premium: Alcantara/leather seating, keyless entry and engine start, fog lights, trunk spoiler, heated mirrors, heated seats, dual zone automatic climate control.
- Series.Blue: Special edition. Starts at $29,490. Notable standard features over Limited: gloss black wheels, aero body kit, unique interior trim.
There aren’t many options when it comes to specing out your BRZ. We’d recommend that you buy one with a manual transmission to get the most enjoyment out of driving. Aside from that, you can’t go wrong buying this car.
MSRP: $25,695 - $29,490 Top Speed: 140 MPH [est] Acceleration: ~7.0 to 60
MPG: 25 city / 34 hwy / 28 combined [auto] Engines: 2.0L I4
Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, RWD
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic