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2022 Subaru BRZ: What's It Like to Live With?

Just how practical can a BRZ be while having fun? Hang out with us for a year and 20,000 miles to find out!

Subaru BRZ 2022
Miles Driven:Average MPG:

Latest Highlights (updated 11/21/22)

  • We got a BRZ Limited. Are the added amenities worth it?
  • Let's see how good it is day to day. Read our updates.
  • How fun is the BRZ to drive? Find out in our Performance section.
  • Can this car be practical? We explore that in our Interior section.

What We Got And Why

by Rex Tokeshi-Torres, Associate Manager, Vehicle Testing and Operations

Our test vehicle: 2022 Subaru BRZ Limited
Base MSRP: $31,455
MSRP as tested: $31,455

A 2022 Subaru BRZ joins our long-term fleet for a yearlong evaluation. We look forward to exploring its capabilities and practicality in everyday life. But we have another motive for adding a well-balanced, rear-wheel-drive sports car to the Edmunds fleet: driver training. We're always looking for a good rear-drive vehicle to teach those new to our team, as well as remind the old-timers, how the dynamics of a car like the BRZ compare to competitors. Even when those competitors are of the front-wheel-drive variety. It's going to be fun, er, educational.

What Did We Get?

Edmunds suggests the best version of the 2022 BRZ is in Limited trim with a six-speed manual. So that's what we got. For $31,455, it has grippier higher-performance summer tires on 18-inch wheels plus features like blind-spot warning, heated front seats, a nicer upholstery and adaptive headlights. This car may spend a lot of days as a training car, but we still want some comfort — we're not savages. There are no other options.

Why Did We Get It?

We got the BRZ both to use as a driver training vehicle and to explore its day-to-day livability. This may not be an only-car choice for a young family. But the BRZ appeals to two target markets that we happen to have on Edmunds editorial staff right now: 1) younger, enthusiastic buyers who want to have fun while driving and 2) older buyers who don't have young children and want a fun car. See the common thread? "Fun." A couple of staffers have also owned BRZs. They are eager to know how much better the redesigned car is. Let's see how it fares for 12 months and 20,000 miles.

The BRZ is on loan from Subaru for the purpose of evaluation.

2022 Subaru BRZ: Real-World Fuel Economy

So far, the BRZ has been slightly under the EPA's combined rating at 20.2 mpg.

Average lifetime mpg: 25.2
EPA mpg rating: 22 combined ( 20 city / 27 highway )
Best fill mpg: 30.6
Best range (miles): 321.2
Current odometer: 9,879

2022 Subaru BRZ: Performance

How does the BRZ Limited's performance match up against our expectations?

Our first impressions with the BRZ

Here are some first impressions from Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya after spending a weekend in the Subaru BRZ.

"The clutch lets out near the top of the pedal, which I'm not a fan of. It'll take some getting used to. It is definitely fun to drive and while the suspension rides firm, it doesn't beat you up either. Looking back on the 2013 Scion FR-S we once had in our fleet, I remember it being too firm for my taste, so its nice that the comfort has improved.

"Another minor complaint I have is the 'Active Sound Control' feature, which Subaru says 'enhances engine sound within the cabin for a more engaging driving experience.' Not for me. The sounds coming from this thing often sound louder than the engine and makes me feel like I'm revving higher than I actually am. These devices are fairly common these days, as modern cars do such a good job of isolating engine sounds from the cabin. But more often than not, they don't quite have the proper sound figured out and tend to make things more annoying than 'engaging.'"

"I love our BRZ's balanced and lightweight feel. It's easy to feel how much grip it has as you're cornering, giving you confidence to get it up near its limits of adhesion without worrying about being over your head. So many of today's performance cars are overkill for public roads, but the BRZ is perfect for having fun as part of a daily drive, even if it's just around town." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

What do we think of the BRZ's personality?

"Hey, check this out: a super-smooth naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that redlines at 7,500 rpm! Did I just time warp back to 1999 and into some sort of Honda product? Actually, it's kind of sad. Our long-term Honda Civic Si's turbocharged four-cylinder provides similar horsepower but is a no-show for character. The BRZ's flat-four encourages you to row through the gears and wing it up to redline just for the heck of it." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

"Buying a new Subaru BRZ? Excellent. Just be warned: you might find yourself doing YouTube searches for "BRZ exhaust" after about a week of ownership. Heck, I don't own this car and even I was doing this. Subaru built an awesome car and then seemingly removed all personality from the engine and exhaust and placed into the witness protection program (they are now living in Seattle under the name Mr. and Mrs. Fuji). I like revving this car out, but I sorely miss that warbling sound that Subaru used to have for its flat-four engines. Hopefully it's fixable with an aftermarket exhaust that won't void the car's warranty." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

2022 Subaru BRZ: Interior

The BRZ's interior is basic and straightforward — read on to find out if that's a compliment or a complaint.

How functional is the BRZ's back seat?

"Are the BRZ's back seats usable? Well, it depends on what you want to use them for. For adults? Nope. Babies or small children who still need to sit in a reverse-facing safety seat? I haven't tried that, but it seems unlikely. But I can report that I've put my 11-year-old son in back for my school drop-off runs. He normally still uses a booster seat but in the BRZ it's not necessary. (He quite liked that, in fact.) But even here the BRZ is a three-person car. I've been putting him on the passenger side with that front passenger seat slid forward. Introducing another child or adult would complicate matters greatly." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

What do we think of the interior storage?

"Apparently, minimalist sport coupe design also means minimalist interior storage. There's no center console bin or cubby ahead of the gear shifter, so anything you might want to tuck away (your phone, for example) has to be placed in the glovebox (suboptimal) or in the cupholders, two of which are inconveniently located rearward on the center console. And what if you want to use those cupholders for -- crazy idea here -- actual beverages? Well, now you need to put your stuff on the front passenger seat. And then what happens if you have a front passenger, and they have their own stuff? You get the idea. I understand that this is a driving-focused sport coupe, but the lack of practicality dulls this car's appeal to me as a daily driver." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

2022 Subaru BRZ: Miscellaneous

All the odds and ends about our Subaru BRZ that doesn't fit somewhere else.

We're still developing the "BRZ / GR86" wave

"Some flavor about driving our BRZ: I was cruising along a highway when I saw a silver Toyota GR86 coming up behind me in the rearview mirror. "Oh, cool," I thought to myself. It was in the lane to my right and going faster than me. I looked over as it came by, figuring we'd exchange waves or something. You know, kindred spirits? We've basically got the exact same car and I wanted to complement him on his purchase.

"But the guy just kept looking straight ahead as he cruised by. No wave, no thumbs up or acknowledgement whatsoever. So either: 1) he was thinking of more "important" things and didn't see me; 2) BRZ and GR 86 owners just don't do the wave thing; or 3) BRZ/GR86 owners wave to their own brand only. I don't know enough about the BRZ/GR86 car culture to say. But all the same, I was disappointed to not share the moment." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content