2016 Subaru BRZ Review

Friday February 5th, 2016 at 2:22 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Subaru BRZ

By David Colman

Hypes: Terrific Color/Interior Combo
Gripes: More Cockpit Storage Please

Although Subaru (BRZ) and Toyota (Scion FRS) have collaborated from the outset to produce slightly different versions of the same 2+2 sports coupe, there are some notable differences that differentiate the pair. For 2016, Subaru has taken pains to upgrade the look of their BRZ. Ours special edition test car was finished in a new shade called “Series.HyperBlue.” This vibrant derivative of French Racing Blue not only does wonders for the external appearance, but also brings with it a specially tailored interior to match. The extremely deep bucket seats are covered with grabby black Alcantara suede, with all seams double stitched in blue thread to match the exterior hue. Fat blue “BRZ” monograms also decorate the headrests, and the rest of the interior comprises a medley of black shades: carbon fiber patterning on the dash face, pebbled black leather and vinyl on the door panels and transmission tunnel. A few splashes of matte aluminum highlight the shift console, threshold plates and pedal surfaces. The overall effect of the Series.HyperBlue interior is stunning, quite unlike anything Scion has marketed on the FRS.

2016 Subaru BRZ

The latest BRZ is unquestionably one of the top affordable sports cars on the market today. It enjoys perfect front-to-rear weight balance, light curb weight (2,770 lbs.), and a very spunky two liter engine of Subaru design that will keep you entertained with its power and sound track. The flat four cylinder makes 200hp and 151lb.-ft. of torque, so you need to select gear ratios carefully to maximize acceleration. Subaru gives you 6 well spaced gears, and a marvelous short stick to stir them up. The art of driving gets no better than a Subaru BRZ. This coupe is agile, quick and lots of fun to control. But it’s never in danger of getting you into trouble, because the power supply is never enough to overwhelm the chassis. It’s a perfectly balanced sports car that will never scare you silly when you tromp the gas pedal.

2016 Subaru BRZ

Most of the fun comes from cornering the BRZ at rates of speed that would be unthinkable in other machines. The suspension is specifically sports-tuned for maximum adhesion during transient maneuvers. Subaru makes sure you plant all 200hp on the ground while cornering by providing a standard Torsen limited slip differential. This expensive unit, often optionally available on other sports cars, insures traction when exiting corners. You can feel the Torsen kick into action when you accelerate past your apex. The tail of the BRZ hunkers down, the limited slip emits a slight ratcheting noise, and the Subaru simply squats and flings itself forward without losing an ounce of grip. The black finished 17 aluminum alloy rims carry Michelin Primacy HB tires (215/45R17) which help get the job done with a minimum of side slip. Future plans call for Subaru to introduce a race division bred model of the BRZ called the STi, but you really don’t need to meddle with the suspension of the current version. It’s already as close to perfect for real world driving as you can get.

2016 Subaru BRZ

What isn’t so perfect about the BRZ is its lack of usable storage space in the cabin. One day we stopped to fetch the usual haul of Christmas mail and found no place to tuck it away anywhere. The small glovebox is filled with the owner’s manual, the door pockets are good for a water bottle each, and the console between the seats offers 2 cup holders and no storage bin. So you’re faced with the arduous task of sliding the front seats forward to access the +2 rear seats in order to store anything at all. Because the of tall backrests on the front seats, there’s not even room to toss anything in back without first sliding the seats out of the way. Or you can climb out altogether and place your mail in the trunk, where it will fly around like space trash since there are no segregated compartments back there either. By the way, those +2 back seats are good for little kids, not adults. I made the mistake of climbing into one to see for myself and could barely hoist my 5’8″ frame back out.

2016 Subaru BRZ

Of course, you are not going to buy a BRZ because it’s the most practical mode of transportation available. It isn’t. What it is, however, is just about the most fun you can have in a car for a price of $28,485 out the door.

2016 Subaru BRZ

  • Engine: 2.0 liter opposed 4, DOHC
  • Horsepower: 200hp
  • Torque: 151lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 22 MPG City/30 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,485
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

Thursday March 26th, 2015 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

By David Colman

Hypes: Incredible Sporting Value, Killer Blue Edition
Gripes: Don’t Have My Own – Yet

Luck of the draw has seen me test this Subaru’s fraternal twin, the Toyota FRS on a number of different occasions since the duo was introduced 3 years ago. Over that same period, however, I never had the opportunity to strap into Subaru’s version – until now. In Series Blue trim, a new level of cosmetic refinement for 2015, the BRZ decidedly outshines its Toyota counterpart. The BRZ shares basic architecture with the FRS: rear wheel drive (first ever for Subaru), 2.0 liter flat four cylinder engine producing 200hp, independent suspension and disc brakes at all four corners, even a quartet of the same mediocre Michelin Primacy HP 215/45R17 tires mounted on alloy rims.

What distinguishes the BRZ is the excessive attention to detail Subaru has invested in the optional $2,545 Series Blue Edition. This racing oriented company turned to its competition based STI parts bin for exotic looking front, side, rear and underside spoilers which cumulatively distinguish this special model from any previous FRS or BRZ. The frontal aspect is particularly daunting, with its sculpted under tray and discreet STI logo. Full length side skirting finished in black looks especially good against the complex Crystal White Pearl exterior color of our sample. Again, you discover discreet STI badges just forward of the rear wheel well strakes. At the back, a large single element wing does a great job of providing down force to match the beefed up front spoiler while managing to stay out of your aft line of sight in the mirror. These aerodynamic tweaks not only increase the BRZ’s ability to stay glued to the road at high speed, but also enhance gas mileage to a figure of 25MPG overall.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

As you might expect, the interior decor of the Blue Edition harmonizes a purple shade of blue with black Alcantara to enhance the look and feel of the ultra supportive racing style seats. Carbon fiber patterned dash board facing sets affords nice detailing to an area that looks like bleak plastic in the base model car. The black pseudo-suede headliner looks and feels rich, and ribbed aluminum race style pedals grab the soles of your feet with authority. This businesslike cockpit reeks of racing functionality. In fact the BRZ has already proven itself to be one of the best and most affordable track day/autocross cars you can buy for just $30,000.

This Subaru is endearingly responsive to both throttle and steering input. It will change direction like a go-kart, and keep you happily absorbed in swapping its 6 gears for maximum thrust. At 200hp, and just 151lb.-ft. of torque, you’ll find yourself constantly recalibrating gear choice to keep this engine on full boil. The exercise provides intoxicating fun. But in reality, the BRZ could do with at least another half liter of motor and another 50lb.-ft. of torque.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

Do not dismiss this ride as impractical. The wide and deep trunk opening surprised me with its ability to digest two large, nested Christmas ornament lockers from Orchard Supply without drama. You’ve got a generous 7 cubic feet of storage to play with back there. There’s also a wealth of space aft of the front seats, but getting to use it can be problematic since the front seats must always be tilted forward to access this area.

Just because the BRZ is a cutting edge sports coupe does not mean you need to sacrifice comfort or luxury to use it daily. Subaru softened its harsh ride for 2015, so it no longer clangs off potholes or gets airborne over speed bumps. The list of interior refinements is long and comforting. Subaru’s standard list includes dual sided climate control that works exceptionally well, front fog lights, three stage heated seats, very effective rear window defrost, keyless access and start, and a tilt and telescoping leather wrapped steering wheel with fat grips.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

The Blue Edition features gloss black alloy rims which look particularly sharp set against red finished front and rear brake calipers. If you intend to turn your BRZ into a part time track day ride, however, you’ll want to remove the 17 inch rims and all-season Michelins in favor of a set of 18 inch wheels with Bridgestone RE 11 tires. This is the hot set up that Toyota utilizes on its fleet of FRS Celebrity Challenge cars at the Long Beach Grand Prix. But no matter what rubber your BRZ rolls on, you’ll have the blast of your life everyday you climb behind the wheel of this affordable gem.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series Blue

  • Engine: 2.0 liter Horizontally-Opposed 4 Cylinder, DOHC
  • Horsepower: 200hp
  • Torque: 151lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 22MPG City/30MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $30,285
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Subaru |Tags:, , || No Comments »




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