Bystander Approved, Even If They Don't Know What It Is - 2013 Subaru BRZ Long-Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ Long Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: Bystander Approved, Even If They Don't Know What It Is

March 1, 2013

2013 Subaru BRZ

First it was the teenage boy in the church parking lot with the mop-like hair. "Dude, I like your car," he said. Then it was my wife's friend (a hair stylist with, I must admit, much better hair than the teenager) who came over to our house. "It's so cute!" she exclaimed, after seeing the 2013 Subaru BRZ in my driveway. Later that afternoon: My shirtless neighbor, washing his Tahoe, noted that the BRZ "looked pretty sharp."

It was three positive comments in one day for the BRZ. Not too shabby. Yet curiously, nobody actually knew what the BRZ was.

Presumably, this is because the BRZ (and FR-S) is still pretty new and quite limited in terms of sales numbers compared to mainstream cars. Nor does it enjoy massive marketing. But I think it's a credit to the car's designers that people do notice, even if they don't know what it is.

Not all affordable performance cars can pull this off. Our long-term Ford Focus ST is a good example. Most people just assume it's a Focus painted to resemble the hue of a Tropicana carton. Only a rare few actually realize it's something special.

Of course, there's something to be said for the appeal of an undercover performance car, too. But if I had to open my garage everyday and take my car to work, I know I'd much prefer the seductive (and eye-catching) styling of the BRZ.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,502 miles

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