Carving Canyons - 2013 Subaru BRZ Long-Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ Long-Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: Carving Canyons

April 10, 2013

2013 Subaru BRZ

I really hate getting speeding tickets. And with the BRZ's aggressive looks, I knew I'd be a target for every cop between Los Angeles and San Diego. But I wanted to get this little sports car out of traffic and onto something fun to drive. Sure, with a tiny back seat and a decent trunk, you can use this as a daily driver. But it yearns for a winding country road where I could wind it out. So that's where I went.

I really enjoyed the BRZ's performance and handling with one exception.

It took me a while to find the sweet spot with this 2.0-liter flat-4 that delivers 200 hp and 151 pound-feet of torque. The fun starts at 3,500 rpm. There's little torque in first and second gear and the shifts are harsh with a lot of driveline lash. But once you get it revved up in third and fourth it hits its stride. And you don't have to break the law either. There's a lot of pleasure in just tucking into the curves and letting the lateral support of the seats catch you.

At a sticker price of $28,265, the BRZ could almost be called a bargain.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 13,310 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Not sure how there can be little torque in first and second gear, but once you get it "revved up" in third and fourth it's better.

  • DLu DLu Posts:

    I saw a light blue one a couple of days ago, coming out of a movie theater lot. Its low stance makes it look special in person.

  • huybui huybui Posts:

    the reality is you'd be paying $30k for one. bargain gone.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Erin just posted there was ample torque at low rpm (?!). Maybe the discrepancy in reviews is how the drivetrain communicates - perhaps lackluster feedback?

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I think the way the post was worded was a bit weird. 1st and 2nd have more torque but maybe Reed didn't actually rev it out, so he was stuck in the torque hole. Not to mention 1st and 2nd are so short you're not really moving that fast anyways and have to shift out of gear pretty quickly, which is sometimes annoying. Typically when you're caning a Japanese compact through good roads you leave it in third gear and hit a 'sweetspot' where you're in the the upper chunk of the rev range (good power and engine braking), and yet the gearing isn't so short you're forced to shift out of it until you hit some straights. In some cars the trans is also less balky at high engine speeds.

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