2013 Subaru BRZ Long Term Road Test

2013 Subaru BRZ: Unplanned Holiday Slog

November 28, 2012


I went into the Thanksgiving holidays intending to take some kind of interesting drive in the 2013 Subaru BRZ, something in the spirit of Mark and Kurt's autocross day in the FR-S and Focus ST. Well, it didn't happen.

What did happen was an unplanned, two-and-a-half-hour drive to Corona, California. Corona is about 50 miles from my house. Our relatives had already eaten the turkey and stuffing when we arrived. This was one of those drives that makes you start thinking that an automatic-equipped BRZ isn't such a bad idea after all. Of course, I could never bring myself to buy this car with an automatic. But I'd understand if someone else did... well, I'd try to understand anyway.

So the clutch takeup in our long-term BRZ is not bad at all. It's still way easier to manage in traffic that sport compacts of a decade (or so) ago. And there's enough torque to hold 2nd gear until you drop below about 8 mph. The issue in traffic is that the clutch takes kind of a long time to engage, so if you're not deliberate with your left foot, you'll jostle your passengers around as you clumsily rush the 1-2, 2-3 upshifts. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to perfect my technique.

The seats were great during our drive (and during the part where we just sat). I never got uncomfortable. And the car was quiet enough for my taste, quiet enough for a sport compact, at least at the speeds we were traveling.

The audio system was kind of a bummer. None of the equalizer settings seems to make it easy to hear talk radio, and none of them make my music sound that great. Then again, I rarely listened to the radio in our 1985 Porsche 911 -- and like that car, the Subaru BRZ is not the kind of car you buy if you want to listen to the radio.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,917 miles

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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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