2013 Subaru BRZ: Well, It's More Practical Than My Car
November 21, 2012
Chris' post a few days ago about the FR-S and his Ducati plus the subsequent commentary made me think about similar thoughts I've had about IL's BRZ/FR-S twins and my own car (2008 Corvette). Some people wrote they wouldn't buy a BRZ/FR-S because it's not practical enough. Fair enough, I suppose. But if you were unwise enough to buy a Corvette and then subsequently add two kids into your life, a BRZ and its backseat (however small) might actually seem like a practicality upgrade.
Oh, and the typical transaction price of a used '08 Vette coupe compared to a BRZ? Pretty much the same as both are in the $25,000 to $30,000 range.
I did profess my love of the FR-S recently in this post. And the thought of replacing the Corvette with something with a backseat has definitely entered my mind a few times. I suspect nobody is going to be cross-shopping used Corvettes with new BRZs, though it is interesting for me to compare the two.
Both are really fun to drive, though for very different reasons. The BRZ definitely feels like the more proper driver's car. It's light and super communicative. I thoroughly enjoyed driving it on one of my favorite routes a couple months ago. Yes, its limits are modest, but that's sort of the point. It's a Porsche Cayman on a budget.
Ah, and then there's the Corvette. In contrast, it feels big and unwieldy, even if it has much higher handling limits than the BRZ. Through some aftermarket additions, I feel like I've partially negated my Vette's undesirable traits, but it's telling that my wife still hates driving it, whereas she actually enjoyed driving the IL BRZ when she had to take it to work one day. But for me, one swift stab on the throttle is enough to largely atone for its sins. The BRZ's 2.0-liter flat-4 is nice, but it wilts entirely compared to 6.2 liters of American V8 thunder.
I'm fortunate that my job at Edmunds provides a nice safety net of an additional car to drive. Without it, I suspect the Corvette would have been sold by now. Would I have bought a BRZ or FR-S? I really don't know. Maybe. A Mustang would perhaps seem to be an ideal compromise of the two worlds, but I feel like a BRZ and Mustang rank pretty equally in my mind.
Now maybe if a turbocharged/supercharged BRZ/FR-S model would come out...
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor