2013 Subaru BRZ Long Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: Head Unit Frustration

February 15, 2013

2013 Subaru BRZ

The photo doesn't quite convey how unnecessarily frustrating it is to do, but try reading then selecting a preset from that list of radio stations with the tip of your finger at the end of your outstretched arm while driving on a bumpy L.A. freeway at 65 mph in traffic and you'll understand.

Perhaps the motion-damped stylus that comes with the Fujitsu FA601US head unit has gone missing. Perhaps nobody listens to the radio any longer because I can much more easily select SAT, DISC, or USB than a radio preset.

2013 Subaru BRZ

And don't even get me started on the difficulty of actually tuning a radio station without a knob. Even if it's prohibited to adjust the fader, treble, bass or midrange while the vehicle is in motion, at least the audio system in our 2012 Subaru Impreza has knobs and physical buttons.

By my completely unscientific estimate, about 50% of the available real estate on the BRZ's touch screen is either artistic design or unused space. Why did they not render the presets as, oh I dunno, squares?! instead of the quarter-inch tall ribbons that they are? This isn't the first time Subaru has let us down in the audio head unit department either.

Okay, I feel better. Now get off my lawn.

Chris Walton, Grumpy Road Test Editor @ 11,004 miles

Research Models


Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Subaru BRZ in VA is:

$132 per month*
* Explanation