Subaru delivers light, grippy BRZ sports car

Subaru’s sexy BRZ coupe is, well, one sexy new coupe.

The company has come out of its three-box design briefly to offer a stunningly sculpted two door that looks as if it cost thousands more. Yes, this car is a looker –something that turns heads and gets lips asking questions.

2013 Subaru BRZ

Yes, I like it. Yes, it’s all the hype Subaru let build. And yes, you can get decent gas mileage (but who gives a . . .).

Let me tell you what it’s not. It’s not turbocharged. Nope, not yet. The boxer four-cylinder is naturally aspirated, producing 200 horsepower and 151-pounds-feet of torque. Not a lot but enough to move the car to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. Not blazing fast but certainly sporty. The automatic may be a second slower.

It’s not all wheel driven. Heck, it’s not even front-wheel driven. My, a Subaru not being powered at all its tires. The company does that? Yes, on the BRZ.

OK, let’s get to what this car is. This is an inexpensive sports car that’s light, minimal on big ticket options and loaded with the dynamics to make it a hoot to drive. If you are an urban commuter, you can zip through traffic with ease, selecting gears from either a direct six-speed manual or a nearly flawless automatic which delivers even better fuel economy than the manual ( but who gives a . . .).

Manual has very direct feel

If you can find some wide open spaces to put the chassis through its paces, do so without reservation. This car likes to stick and move, not bob and weave. Fling those rear driven wheels around a curve and howl with delight. You can go into a sport mode which messes with the traction and stability controls) to wring even more fun from this four-seat coupe. You might not outrun many cars in this price range, but you will have the handling advantage over most.

Unlike many sporty cars, the BRZ is well suited for everyday driving, so long as you don’t need much space. The front seats are comfy and supportive. The rear seats are children or adults that you don’t really care for. You can get back there but there’s not much leg room and you may hit your head on the back glass. There’s room for luggage but you may have to play around with the configuration a bit.

If this car looks familiar, it should. It’s nearly the spitting image of the Toyota Scion FR-S. Subaru and Toyota jointly developed the car. I’m thinking Toyota may have been in heavy on the styling side, There’s a bit of Supra in this coupe and I’m real happy about that.

There are four version of two models: premium and limited in stick or automatic. My limited came with stability and traction control, four-wheel disc brakes, Torsen limited-slip differential, 17-inch alloy wheels, air, Bluetooth, power package, navigation and premium audio system. What a bit more. Limited cars come with leather and faux-suede setting surfaces, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and mirrors.

My test car had no options so with destination the as-tested price was $26,265.

There are Mustangs, Camaros, Hyundai Genesis coupes and like which can be had for about the same price as this Subaru, but beware. This car is a balanced as all the above mentioned and just about as fun to drive, depending on your level of fun. I like this. I really, really like this.


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