2015 Subaru BRZ Review

Pros & Cons

  • Light and well-balanced chassis
  • excellent steering
  • high fuel economy
  • comfortable front seats
  • abundant standard features.
  • Small backseat and trunk
  • frustrating audio controls
  • relatively modest acceleration.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$15,812 - $20,271

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you think you need 300 horsepower to have fun, think again. A test-drive in the 2015 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.

Vehicle overview

In this age of powerful and fast but somewhat pudgy performance cars, driving enthusiasts who would rather pilot a lighter and more agile sports car should take note of the 2015 Subaru BRZ. Comparing a Subaru to such sports car luminaries as the Datsun 240Z, Porsche 944 and original Mazda RX-7 would've been heresy just a few short years ago, before the BRZ debuted. Yet this Subaru can proudly stand tire-to-tire with those icons as it similarly proves that if you've got a very well-balanced chassis, communicative steering and light weight then you don't need a lot of power to have a lot of fun. Sharp looks and an as-new price tag well under 30 grand, nicely equipped, don't hurt either.

The BRZ, which was co-developed with Toyota (which sells its version as the Scion FR-S) breaks with Subaru tradition in that rather than having the brand's expected all-wheel-drive system, it uses a lighter and more sporting rear-wheel-drive layout. It also uses a naturally aspirated engine rather than having a turbocharged mill expected of a Subaru performance model.

Though it may be outgunned by heavier, V6-powered sport coupes, the BRZ is not exactly a slug. With a curb weight just under 2,800 pounds, the 200 horses unleashed by its flat-4 "boxer" engine are enough. Besides, this car is more about straightening out curvy roads than ripping straight-line acceleration. Going with rear-wheel drive and the flat-4 engine allowed the powertrain to be set farther back and lower in the chassis. That architecture translates to a low center of gravity along with ideal front/rear weight balance. Factor in wonderfully communicative steering, and the result, as we discovered in our BRZ long-term road test, is a superbly balanced sports car that's one of the most rewarding to drive, regardless of cost.

If, however, neck-snapping power is a must for you, and you don't mind a four-door body style you can also check out the BRZ's sibling, the 2015 Subaru WRX. Offering a similar mix of speed with practicality is the Ford Focus ST. Of course, there are also the 2015 Ford Mustang and the 2015 Nissan 370Z, which are quicker if not as agile as the BRZ. However, the Subaru BRZ, which earns an "A" rating from Edmunds.com, 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.

2015 Subaru BRZ models

The 2015 Subaru BRZ is a four-seat compact coupe available in three trim levels: Premium, Limited and Series.Blue.

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 6.1-inch touchscreen; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; a navigation system; voice controls; smartphone app integration (Aha Radio); 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.

With only a total of 1,000 slated for production, the Series.Blue (available in blue or white) includes the Limited features and adds aero body styling tweaks, black wheels, red brake calipers, interior accent stitching and a black-and-blue interior scheme.

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2015 Highlights

For 2015, the Subaru BRZ gets a retuned suspension as well as new exhaust tips, a standard "shark fin" antenna and updated interior trim. This year also sees the debut of the limited edition "Series.Blue" version.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 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 except on the Series.Blue, which is manual transmission only.

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 (especially the automatic's) are on the slow side compared with V6-powered rivals that are about a second or so quicker. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) with the manual and an excellent 28 mpg combined (25/34) with the automatic.


Standard safety equipment on the 2015 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 government crash tests, the BRZ earned an overall rating of five stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for total frontal-impact crash protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. 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. The BRZ's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. In that agency's small-overlap frontal offset test, the BRZ received a second-best "Acceptable" rating.


If you're the sort of driver whose car must be able to hammer down freeway on-ramps with its tires ablaze, the 2015 Subaru BRZ is not for you. Its power is sufficient but not thrilling. Instead, the BRZ is for those who get a kick out of 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 roadways.


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 firm, well-shaped front seats are supportive enough for hard driving on curvy roads, yet are still comfortable for long-distance trips. 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 or pressed in to the rear window, 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 capacity considerably.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Subaru BRZ.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Most fun car I've ever had
Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Once I got used to the rear wheel drive, this car could really hug corners. The gear shifts were perfect. I loved that the dash didn't have a lot of extra information. It was simple and basic, all information available in one place (i.e., one clock, 1 speedometer, etc). After coming out of a car with overwhelming amounts of useless information in the dash, the red lights and simplicity were welcome. Also it had every extra thing I wanted, heated seats, soft leather, bluetooth, adjustable headlights, option to see outside temp, mpg, etc. Tight gears and steering, perfect handling. I will say that I test drove the automatic and would not have bought that car. All the difference was in having the manual. The back seats are all for show, they don't hold anything more than the 40 lb dogs with the back laid down. I got weathertech mats for front and back and they fit perfectly.
Show Stopper needs more "Go"
Jay Walker,04/11/2018
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
As a driving enthusiast, I am partial to the 6-speed manual gearbox. People ask me all the time if I like my car, and I will tell them I LOVE it, but it needs another 40-60 HP to really wake up the throttle response at low RPM. It is super fun to toss into corners, and the steering response is excellent, as is braking, although the latter could always be improved with some aftermarket brakes. The wheels are ho-hum, as they are the same wheels Toyota puts on the Prius. Something more personal should be added to the list of dealer options, as most people won't outright spend close to (or over) a thousand dollars on wheels, but they will sure finance them. The touch screen audio/navigation system needs a lot of improvement, as does the voice activated command system. I would prefer these were omittable options myself, but if you want the nice seats/interior, you get the 'upgraded' stereo with it. Road noise is noticeable, but if I wanted quiet, I would have purchased something more "luxury" in the first place. As I said, I enjoy the experience of driving: both hands on the wheel, connected to the car and the road ahead. If driving [for you] is just another chore--a means of getting from point A to point B, then this car is probably not for you. Entry/egress is not quick, but once you're in the car, you're IN the car. The deep bucket seats make sure your backside stays put during spirited cornering, and the heaters in the Limited trim are great in the winter. Now, if they could just add the steering wheel to it... The back seat needs to be omitted, as it is good for nothing more than tossing a windbreaker or foul weather gear into it; I'm sure it's only there for insurance discounts. The bottom line for me is: it may not be practical in the least, but it is great fun to drive, especially to run through the gears manually, and the exhaust note at full throttle above 4,000 RPM is music to the ears. Who needs a radio? ;-)
TJ Kane,05/17/2018
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
A lot of fun. Can be a great daily, just get used to a REALLY FIRM RIDE. Car definitely needs more power. But the balance in cornering and track driving is incomparable to anything else in this price range. I also have a Porsche Cayman GTS (which cost me in the neighborhood of $65,000) and this cars handling is right on par if not slightly better than my Cayman. Would be a great car to teach people how to drive a stick on.
Great Little Ride
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
This is a great handling sports car. Excellent handling. Needs back up camera.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover7.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Subaru BRZ

Used 2015 Subaru BRZ Overview

The Used 2015 Subaru BRZ is offered in the following submodels: BRZ Coupe. Available styles include Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Series.Blue 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Subaru BRZ models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 200 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Subaru BRZ comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed manual. The Used 2015 Subaru BRZ comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Subaru BRZ?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2015 Subaru BRZES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Subaru BRZ for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Subaru BRZ.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Subaru BRZ?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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