A spin in the 2017 Subaru BRZ reminds us that driving can be more than getting from Point A to Point B. For 2017, the BRZ gets its most significant upgrade since inception, with a more powerful engine, revised suspension tuning, and updates to its interior and instrumentation. Small changes add up to something very big: The BRZ is now more appealing than ever.
What hasn't changed is the reason we find the BRZ so attractive in the first place. This is a classic sports car with crisp steering and sharp handling that forges a special connection between driver and road. It makes a reasonably comfortable and economical daily driver, but it's as a grin-generating weekend car that the BRZ really stands out.
At the heart of the BRZ is a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed boxer four-cylinder engine. BRZs with manual transmissions now generate 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque, though output for the automatics remains unchanged, at 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. The EPA estimates the BRZ's fuel economy at 25 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway) for manual cars and 27 mpg combined (24 city/33 highway) for the automatics.
Rear-wheel drive is a rarity for the all-wheel-drive specialists at Subaru. And it is this method of power delivery that makes the BRZ fun. The car is exceptionally well balanced, which allows you to explore its handling limits at sane speeds. Subaru has retuned the suspension this year, making it easier to probe those limits and slide the back end of the car around a bit, if that's your thing. The ride is not soft, yet BRZ shoppers will find it fine for daily driving. The noisy cabin is less forgivable. Enthusiasts may gravitate toward the manual transmission but don't dismiss the automatic. It is a great companion for sporty driving, eagerly popping off smooth rev-matched downshifts to keep the engine on the boil.
We have always liked the BRZ's simple interior. For 2017, Subaru added more soft-touch materials in places where limbs are likely to touch. It also revised the instrument cluster and the infotainment system. We've always appreciated its supportive driver seat, but the backseats remain undesirable. Even with the front seats adjusted for shorter drivers, legroom is in short supply. And the center driveline tunnel impedes hiproom. The trunk is also tiny. Maybe it is best to forget the BRZ has a backseat and fold it down to expand the cargo area instead.
Subaru offers three versions of the BRZ: Premium, Limited and the limited-production Series.Yellow trim. The Premium is surprisingly well equipped for a sports car. Limiteds add more features, including suede and leather upholstery. The Series.Yellow is primarily an appearance package. It is a top-of-the-line BRZ with unique black and yellow accents. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Subaru BRZ for you.
Is the 2017 Subaru BRZ a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 BRZ featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2017 Subaru BRZ? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 BRZ 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 BRZ.
Vehicle Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Review So I decided to "upgrade" my 2013 BRZ to a newer 2017. Big mistake. The 2017 is terrible compared to the older model. Yeah, it's got some nice improvements: shark-fin antenna instead of plastic rod (but reception is rather poor), rear backup camera, LED lighting....but the list of what Subaru totally screwed up with (in my opinion) is too long to ignore. This is supposed to be a sports car, yet it resists acceleration. Yep, this car is S L O W. It accelerates like a tractor. The standard OEM navigation map is now gone, leaving a large dead area on the dash where a touch screen sits unused. The outside temperature and MPG readings no longer exist (and I have the Limited edition). The Blue Tooth will not maintain a connection to my iPhone and I've given up re-pairing it every few days. The steering wheel feels like cheap hardened foam compared to the nicer 2013 wheel. Doors don't automatically lock when you start driving as on other makes of cars. You cannot arm the security alarm with doors or trunk open because the alarm will then set off when closing them. The door handle sensor for locking the car hardly ever works, and the sensor for unlocking the car only unlocks the one door rather than the whole car (you need to manually press an unlock button inside to release the other side door). The auto-dimming rear view mirror still does NOT auto-dim (same poor technology as the 2013, yet Ford has an auto-dimming mirror which does work nicely so it's not unrealistic to expect this to actually work). The rear seating area is smaller than the 2013, which was already cramped, so the back seats are pretty much just for show - my kid doesn't even fit back there comfortably so forget about seating 4 adults in the car. Add to all that various rattles and vibrations which just should not be happening on a factory-ordered brand new car. Even the pearl blue color isn't impressive - it's blue, but there really isn't any "pearl" look to it at all. If I knew then what I know now I never would have traded in my 2013 for this disappointment.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2017 Subaru BRZ?
Available Subaru BRZ 2017 Submodel Types: Coupe
Available Trims: Limited, Premium, Series.Blue
Exterior Colors: Crystal Black Silica, WR Blue Pearl, Dark Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Satin White Pearl, Crystal White Pearl, Lightning Red, Sterling Silver Metallic, Pure Red
Interior Colors: Black Leather & Alcantara leather/sueded microfiber, Black leather/sueded microfiber, Black, Black cloth, Black Cloth cloth, Black Leather & Blue Alcantara leather/sueded microfiber
Popular Features: Aux Audio Inputs, Bluetooth, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, Upgraded Headlights, Alarm, Auto Climate Control, Heated seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Navigation, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Keyless Entry/Start, Back-up camera, Post-collision safety system
Engine/Mechanics: 4 cylinders
Transmission: MANUAL, AUTOMATIC
Fuel Types: premium unleaded (required)
Drivetrains: rear wheel drive
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.