Redesigned 2022 Subaru BRZ Proves Nimble and Fun
This light, low-slung sports car balances handling and ride quality
The formula remains unchanged for the redesigned Subaru BRZ: It’s a small, nimble rear-drive coupe, powered by a flat-four boxer engine that is best defined by its handling chops. The interior is intimate, with a nominal back seat whose best purpose is to hold a helmet on the way to an autocross event.
At a time when the average new car now costs about $45,000, the BRZ shines as a relatively low-cost vehicle. Sure, it doesn’t boast big turbocharged horsepower figures or blazing-quick acceleration. But it has true sports-car agility and smile-inducing looks. Pricing starts at $27,995 and goes to $32,295, with a $960 destination fee added for most states. For that money, enthusiasts will find the bang-for-the-buck quotient to be off the chart.
This Subaru is once again rebadged as a Toyota, the GR86. The original pair were identical twins, but this go-round, there is a slight difference in the driving character between the brands. The Toyota feels more raw, with precise steering, jarring stiffness, and exquisite road-holding abilities. The Subaru is a bit more friendly, with those attributes dialed back a hair. In the process, it stands as the easier car to live with every day.
We recently rented two Subaru BRZ coupes: Premium with a manual transmission, and Limited with an automatic, from the automaker to gain early impressions, ahead of us buying one to test.
You might mistake the new BRZ for the outgoing model with a really good aftermarket body kit added on. That’s because the design is essentially unchanged. Yes, it’s about an inch longer and almost a half-inch lower than the 2013 to 2020 version, but the proportions and lines are the same.
You’ll probably notice larger flares over the rear fenders, more prominent door sills, a more sculpted roofline, and a new grille. Most of the exterior design changes are at the rear, with new taillights and a license plate holder that has moved from the trunk to the bumper. The styling may be evolutionary, not revolutionary, but it looks sharp nonetheless.
No surprise, the rear seat is tiny. Using it requires the front seats to be moved far forward. Consider it strictly a place to stow a backpack or groceries, and even then, access is challenging.
Cargo space, like other small sport cars, is minimal storage up front. The manual gives up one of the three central cupholders found in the automatic. There are bottle holders on the doors. The rear seat folds down quite flat for added versatility. However, it is a single piece, requiring you to walk to each side of the car to release it or secure it. The trunk lid opens wide, but the opening is small and narrow, particularly toward the bottom. The trunk height is shallow, but it is deep, front to back. This combination makes it rather unfriendly to use.