Used 2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe Review

2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • If you think you need 300 horsepower to have fun, a test-drive in the 2014 Subaru BRZ will prove you wrong. Sleek styling, rear-wheel drive and sharp handling make it one of the most appealing and attainable performance cars sold today.

  • Pros

    Light and well-balanced chassis; excellent steering; high fuel economy; comfortable front seats; abundant standard features.

  • Cons

    Small backseat and trunk; frustrating audio controls; relatively modest acceleration.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Subaru BRZ is essentially unchanged apart from gaining standard smartphone integration.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Subaru BRZ is essentially unchanged apart from gaining standard smartphone integration.


Before last year, talking about a Subaru in the same breath as iconic sports cars like the Datsun 240Z and Porsche 944 would have raised eyebrows. Yet when the Subaru BRZ debuted last year, such comparisons flowed freely -- and rightfully so. With its superb chassis, communicative steering and light weight, the 2014 Subaru BRZ is proof that you don't need a lot of power to have a lot of fun.

The BRZ also proves that this decidedly different Japanese car brand isn't tethered to tradition. Since 1997, every Subaru has had all-wheel drive, and almost all of its U.S. market performance models have been turbocharged. In the BRZ, however, the rear wheels are driven by a naturally aspirated, 200-horsepower flat-4 "boxer" engine. This architecture is the result of the car being developed with Toyota, which sells the similar FR-S under its Scion brand.

The collaboration produced a winner, as that layout is key to the BRZ's impressive handling capabilities. Going with rear-wheel drive (rather than all-wheel drive) and the flat-4 engine allowed the powertrain to be set farther back, and lower, in the chassis. That architecture translates to an ideal fore-aft weight balance as well as a low center of gravity. Mix in wonderfully communicative steering and a low 2,700-pound curb weight and the result is a brilliantly balanced sports car that's one of the most rewarding to drive, regardless of cost.

That said, the Subaru BRZ doesn't boast the same sort of neck-snapping power as similarly priced sporty cars, including its WRX sibling. We learned this during our 12-month BRZ long-term test. Most near rivals, such as the 2014 Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Nissan 370Z, are much quicker. Meanwhile, similarly priced performance hatchbacks like the WRX and Ford Focus ST offer much greater practicality and a minimal loss in numbers-based performance.

Therefore, if practicality or racing away from traffic lights is a priority, the 2014 Subaru BRZ probably isn't for you. However, it should be very appealing to those who value an involving drive and back-roads athleticism in a small, affordable package that comes packed with features.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Subaru BRZ is a four-seat compact coupe available in two trim levels: Premium and Limited.

The Premium comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, summer tires, a limited-slip rear differential, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a fold-down rear seatback. Electronic features include a touchscreen interface; smartphone integration; a navigation system (with voice controls and traffic reporting); Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; hands-free text messaging; and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Stepping up to the Limited adds foglamps, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated suede and leather upholstery and an All-Weather package that includes heated front seats and heated mirrors.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 BRZ is rear-wheel drive and features a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic with shift paddles and rev-matched downshifts is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped BRZ went from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The automatic BRZ did it in 7.9 seconds. These times are on the slow side, (especially the automatic) compared with V6-powered rivals that are about a second quicker. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) with the manual and an excellent 28 combined (25/34) with the automatic.


Standard safety equipment on the 2014 Subaru BRZ includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control (with selectable levels of calibration), front side airbags and side curtain airbags.

In Edmunds brake testing, the BRZ came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet -- a short distance but about what you'd expect from a sporty car with summer tires.

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the BRZ received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The BRZ has a simple, pleasantly styled cabin that features a blend of Toyota and Subaru switchgear and materials. It's a bit bland compared with some other sporty cars in its price range like the Genesis coupe, but then this is supposed to be a back-to-basics driver's car.

There's no shortage of features, however, as even the base model is loaded with high-tech items like navigation, HD radio and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Sadly, those particular features are controlled by a touchscreen interface that's difficult to use. The menu layout requires a lot of back-and-forth commands, and the small virtual buttons are tough to press on the first try. Not helping matters is that there are no audio controls on the steering wheel. As such, you might catch yourself taking your eyes off the road to fiddle with the controls.

The BRZ's front seats are supportive enough for hard driving on curvy roads, yet are still comfortable for long-distance trips as well. People of just about any size should find the driving position to be quite agreeable, and thanks to the low-profile hood, there's an expansive view of the road ahead.

Yes, there's a backseat, but few adults would want to sit back there. Legroom is next to nil, your head will be either very close to the rear glass (or pressed against it) and the center tunnel impedes hiproom. Trunk space is also rather small at 6.9 cubic feet, but folding down that mostly useless backseat expands cargo-carrying abilities considerably.

Driving Impressions

If you're the sort of driver whose car must be able to hammer down freeway on-ramps with its tires ablaze, the 2014 Subaru BRZ is not for you. Its power is sufficient and nothing more. Instead, the BRZ is for those who get a thrill from going around corners and feeling all the nuances and inputs that go along with a car that offers phenomenal communication and impeccable control.

The BRZ's limits are approachable and easily controlled, which makes it a wonderfully engaging sports car. The steering practically telegraphs the front tires' grip status right to the driver's hands. What's more, the brake pedal is firm and consistent in feel, and the chassis remains composed even when the road surface doesn't. We'd go for the manual gearbox, which is a pleasure to shift, but even the available automatic transmission is programmed for enthusiastic driving.

Used for more mundane duties like the daily commute or a long road trip, this little Subaru is still rewarding. It's surprisingly easy to drive and the ride is sufficiently supple over broken pavement. The one dynamic demerit is that there's a fair amount of road noise, especially over concrete freeways.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 5 reviews) Write a Review

Great car. drives great, looks awesome.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

This is a great car. I bought this car for my wife in April 2014 in Portland and she loves it. We are the first and only owners. It has been well maintained using the correct oil and always premium gas. While I was working out of town, we needed a third car so I bought an big, old american land yacht. Now that I am back in town, something has to go. My daughter occasionally needs a car to drive when she is home from college and we figure a Towncar with automatic transmission is better for her to drive than a sports car with a manual transmission. This car is fun to drive. The GPS works well and the stereo is great. The back seat works well for one teenager and for groceries. It is, also, built to accept a bike rack.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Enter every road curve with joy in my heart

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

This is a car to increase your quality of life. I love it for where I live in the San Diego foothills with no deer. However, if I lived back in the Hill Country of Central Texas, I'd have sold this car within 6 months. The headlights are set ridiculously low so literally heaven help you if there are deer on the road ahead. You won't see them until they're through your windshield. The dealership's Service Dept told me I can't get them raised up because they're high density headlights. The headlights are a huge safety risk particularly in areas with large-sized wildlife. Other than that, I adore this car for the thrill of driving it. Kudos to the excellent engineers!

There aren't enough corners

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

The BRZ is just too slow in a straight line. It should've come with 300 hp from the factory. However, the feel, balance and handling of the car is second to none. The steering is sublime. The brakes are worthless after 20 min on the track but brake kit upgrades are available. Swapped the stock wheels for 18"wheels/tires and lowered it 1". The car now looks the way it should've come. The driving position is perfect, the seats are as good as Recaros, the extra features of the Limited version is well worth the cost. The torque dip at 4K rpm sucks but a tune can fix the problem. Only wish I lived near twisty roads!

Blast to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

This is the first 2 door rear wheel drive coupe I have owned, and it is super fun to drive. My prior cars have been SUVs and sedans. The low seating position, combined with the super responsive steering and manual transmission are amazing. When I see cars that cost 2 to 3 times more, I think they way overpaid for the badge and extra horsepower that will hardly be used in my traffic congested area.

19 of 51 people found this review helpful

Fun fun fun

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I'm 64 years old, this car is a gas to drive. cornering, handling, is very tight. I've been averaging 29 miles to a gallon. The bucket seats have nice supporting sides, instruments are very nice the controls are at your finger tips. I like not having all the horns and whistles on the steering wheel. The automatic climate control is very good too.

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Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe in VA is:

$70.17 per month*

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