2013 Subaru BRZ: Commenters & Kool-Aid
August 13, 2012
I decided to peruse the anonymous reader comments on my four blogs devoted to the BRZ last week. While these folks represent but a tiny fraction of our readership, I was picking up some general themes and figured I'd weigh in. It's Monday, I'm caffeinated, what the hell?
Many were in regards to my post about the Toyabaru's steering wheel. You see, someone at Toyota passed along a bit of information, I thought it was interesting. People interpreted my comments as follows: "If you have a steering wheel with buttons on it, you're not a real driver and your car is a pathetic automotive excuse best left for little girls." I wasn't saying that, so please unwedge your underwear. A Ferrari Italia has 800 buttons on its steering wheel, and I'd venture to say that's a real driver's car. (And by that I do NOT mean a car for real drivers, there is a difference). The BRZ's wheel is simple, uncluttered and its spokes are nicely small. It's refreshing, points to the car's focus and comes closest to a racing wheel in terms of design than anything I've come across in a new car. Now, that certainly doesn't mean that your car that has buttons on its steering wheel is any less special or that you're not a swell driver with lots of friends who's great with the ladies. OK?
Then there were anonymous commenters saying that we're liking the BRZ and FR-S too much. Well, there's an excellent reason for that: The BRZ and FR-S are actually that good! It's not some conspiracy. I'm not drinking Toyota-brewed Kool-Aid, nor do I have a history of bestowing great praise upon these two carmakers -- quite the opposite really. I've driven both cars now for hundreds of miles in a variety of conditions and consequently formed an opinion. The same can be said for other editors.
Now, for those commenters expecting some sort of perpetual Fair and Balanced, tit-for-tat Long-Term Blog, let me remind you that we have an entire YEAR for cons to be expressed. In these early days, though, the good is overwhelming the bad. That happens with good cars. Just because we haven't said something yet, doesn't mean something else won't come up later. So just it back, drink some tea and relax there, buddy.
Subaru and Toyota set out to create a car with a very honest, specific purpose that we as car fans can whole-heartedly get behind. The two companies then teamed up and triumphantly achieved that goal. If that's not worthy of praise, I don't know what is. Are they cars for everyone? No. Are there areas in need of improvement? Yes, and some have already been mentioned.
So there. You may now commence anonymous commenting.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor