With the BRZ, Subaru has hit the spot for driving enthusiasts with an exhilarating to drive sports coupe that also happens to be affordable and economical at the pump. Co-developed by Subaru and Toyota, the BRZ and 86 (formerly Scion FR-S) are nearly identical twins. The only differences are styling nuances and suspension tuning. The Subaru offers more upscale features and factory options than the Toyota.
Each is powered by the same 205-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission. That combo delivers ample acceleration, thanks to well-chosen gear ratios, and impressive fuel economy of 30 mpg.
But these rear-wheel-drive coupes aren't about raw power or scrimping at the pump. Their magic comes from the super-sharp, agile handling and excellent braking that makes them so enticing to drive, whether on a track or a twisty, back-country road.
Their trade-offs are typical for sports cars: a jittery ride, noisy cabin, and vestigial rear seats. And getting in and out of these low-slung cars requires a bit of ducking.