2013 Subaru BRZ Long Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: It's Just Fun on a Back Road

January 28, 2013

2013 Subaru BRZ

Finally, I carved out some time to drive our long-term 2013 Subaru BRZ on a good road. It was a late-hour decision, as you can see in the photo, so only my husband went with me. Our drive took us down some of our favorite roads in the San Gabriel Mountains. It was a mini celebration of six months of marital bliss. Then, we went out for sushi.

The BRZ is the most entertaining car I've driven on these roads since our long-term Mazdaspeed 3 left. I know, I've previously said our Ford Focus ST is great fun, and it really is, but there's something about the BRZ that makes me enjoy it just a little bit more. I think it's probably a combination of the Subaru's seating position, which is just spot-on for a 5-foot-10-inch, 150-pound adult, and this small coupe's lightweight, unencumbered feel.

2013 Subaru BRZ

Plus, the steering is just quick with lots of feel. And the suspension calibration keeps body roll in check without making the ride too rigid over crumbling bits of blacktop. And thanks to the Subaru's HID headlights, the fun doesn't stop when the sun sets because, even at the low-beam setting, you can see a bit farther down the road than with conventional halogens.

At times, I still wish the engine in this car had a little more personality, but on these roads at my pace, you don't really need an engine with exhaust character or a ton of torque. This car offers just enough grunt to accelerate out of corners, and good pedal placement makes for easy heel-and-toe downshifts to keep engine rpm in the useful range. I can't wait to take a longer drive.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 10,383 miles


  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Nice commentary. I know the Scion has an available TRD cat-back exhaust, and there are many aftermarket exhausts available. I wonder if these can bring a little more emotion out of this engine.

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    So Edmunds now haev someone who thinks the Focus ST isn't as fun on mountain roads? Surprising after all the glowing posts about how it balances fun and daily driving needs.

  • caheew caheew Posts:

    Do you think the Mazdaspeed is more fun than the Focus ST?

  • jpnpower jpnpower Posts:

    A Subaru and sushi... Erin, you are one anime show away from becoming a genuine Japanese.

  • eriches eriches Posts:

    @ caheew: Staff consensus here is 'yes.' The MS3 is a little quicker than the Focus ST, and some might like its stiffer suspension. But those are pretty much its only advantages. The Ford rides a little cushier, but it still handles very, very well, and i

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Was your sushi at Miyakos? I was mad at first that you didn't invite me on the not quite a GMR run, but seeing as it was a monthiversary, I'll pass on being the third wheel. I really need to test drive one of these one time, but I fear it will tempt me just too much.

  • eriches eriches Posts:

    Sushi Kinoya (http://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-kinoya-long-beach). It was a totally last-minute drive, else we would have extended an invite. We also did some hiking, which limited daylight seat time.

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    @jederino they have a greddy cat-back on the FRS. im interested to see how Erin will feel after they drive ther mercedes and the porsche down this road.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    ^^bassracerx, do you have a link to the review of that exhaust on the FRS? I can't find it in this new format...

  • eriches eriches Posts:

    @jederino: This post by Brent has a video of the exhaust in action: http://www.edmunds.com/scion/fr-s/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-scion-fr-s-in-car-engine-sound-video.html

  • The long-term Scion FR-S actuallly has an Apexi RS Evolution Extreme exhaust. http://www.edmunds.com/scion/fr-s/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-scion-fr-s-the-new-exhaust.html

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Thanks, Erin. I like the sound from the cockpit that Brent recorded.

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

$132 per month*
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